Title: Beastly by Alex Flinn
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Published by: HarperTeen (January 1, 2007)
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.
What I Thought
I was pleasantly surprised with this book! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from it. I had heard about Beastly, and I knew there was a movie, but I hadn’t heard a lot about what people actually thought of it. All I knew was that it was a modern-day, Beauty and the Beast retelling, and its cover looks like it was designed for fans of Twilight. I recently saw this book at the thrift store, and at only $0.40, I figured I had nothing to lose!
If I were to describe this book in one word, I would say it was nice. It’s not an overly complex story or the most profound piece of literature I’ve ever read, or anything like that, but it is a very enjoyable book. It keeps your attention very well, and it is not too big, so it could easily be finished in an afternoon.
This is a modern day retelling, but it is quite faithful to the Beauty and the Beast story line. The author did really good job modernizing the tale. I think she did an excellent job incorporating the rose into the curse. I also really liked the way she wrote Lindy’s, who is our Belle in this story, “imprisonment.” In my opinion, it was a lot less creepy/captor-ish.
I found it very refreshing that Kyle, the beast, was narrating the story. In most young adult romance novels, it is always the girl who is telling the story, and I liked that we were able to actually get the beast’s perspective. It was very nice to be able to see Kyle’s views and opinions on life and looks change through his eyes, as opposed to just reading about it through Lindy’s perspective. Because Kyle was the one narrating, the reader was really able to see where his heart was, and where his true intentions were.
This book is separated into six parts. Before each part, it features the beast in a chat room, talking to other enchanted persons. I thought this was a lot of fun! It made me wish that Alex Flinn had written other stories, featuring some of those characters.
This book was also, clearly, written in 2007. I just had to chuckle at the “modern” references that were made in this book.
All-in-all, this was a fun story. It features a really good message about looks and beauty, and the importance of a kind heart, because looks truly are only skin-deep. Beastly is one of those books that probably won’t change your life, but it will definitely put you in a good mood. I would recommend this book to lovers of Beauty and the Beast or someone looking for a nice, enjoyable book.