Author: Alex Finn
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Retelling
Why did I pick it up?: I love this story it's a tale as old as time...yeah I just said that.
Synopsis: 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 a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
Favorite Lines: "I wished I had an opera house. I wished I had a cathedral."
My Review: Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies. That's pretty obvious. Belle's a brunette, bibliophile who is totally able to take care of herself. Yeah the Beast saves her, but she totally saves him too and who knows, she may have recalled some survival tactic and escaped those ferocious wolves without his help. So I was happy when I realized that this retelling stayed very close to the Disney version.
As per the synopsis, the story is told by the popular boy turned Beast. Kyle is a total jerk. You don't have any sympathy for him at least not for a while. He's Beastly before the story begins and only after he's forced by the witch to examine his behavior and inner flaws does he become likable. It's fun to follow his journey and to watch the relationship between him and Beauty develop.
Fairy tale retellings are tricky. I mean, you already are familiar with the story, you already know the ending. But Finn creates her own cast of characters that all help make the story feel new. I enjoyed the role the roses played.
Kyle joins an Internet group for people in situations like his. It's all these people stuck in fairy tale situations chatting about how to break the spells on them. In my opinion those were the funniest conversations to read.
There are quite a few discussions about books. Personally, I rejoiced to know that the handsome pampered high school prince turned hideous beast was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and Frankenstein. But there was nothing given away about those stories. However certain parts of Jane Eyre and The Hunchback of Notre Dame may be ruined if you haven't read them yet.
One complaint is the movie tie-in cover and the movie which I haven't seen yet. They depict the Beast as a human but covered in scars and ancient tattoo like markings. In the book, he's a Beast. Furry with sharp teeth and claws. That's how I prefer my Beasts. Yeah, they shed more but they're so snuggly.
Recommendation: It's a fast, light read perfect for anyone who loves fairy tales or Young Adult Romance.
Next Week: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake