9 member(s) found this review helpful.
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with some changes; firstly the book is set in the modern day and secondly it is from the Beast's point of view. When I started this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it but as the story continued I really got pulled in and ended up loving it. It helps that Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales.
Kyle Kingsbury is a jerk. He is your typical perfect looking, rich, snob. Everyone is beneath him and he is cruel about it. He gets his comeuppance when he stands up a strange girl with funny green hair and gothic clothing. You guessed it, she is a witch, and she curses him to look on the outside like he is on the inside. That is unless he is kissed by his true love within 2 years of his changing. Funny thing is Kyle's dad is a news anchor and basically disowns Kyle when he finds that his son is permanently beastly.
This story started out okay. I thought the writing was kind of choppy and awkward, with lots of slang, in the beginning. As Kyle becomes a better person; the book ends up being written quite beautifully. Since it is written from Kyle's viewpoint I guess that makes sense. So, just a warning, if the book irritates you at first keep with it because it is worth the read.
Flinn did an excellent job showing Kyle's transformation. There is some humor in between the different sections of the book in the form of online group chats; where Kyle goes to discuss his transformation with others who have been transformed. I thought Flinn did an excellent job of staying true to the original Beauty and the Beast story while updating the surroundings.
The only part I thought was awkward was when Kyle forces Lindy to live with him; the author mentions in the back that she also had a bit of trouble reconciling this part of the story with the modern world. Besides that I was very happy with this book. It is a sweet re-telling and stays true to the many versions of the story out there. It is appropriate for kids of all ages; not a ton of violence or making out.
Overall I really liked it. It was a quick and easy read. I had a lot of trouble putting the book down and ended up staying awake until the wee hours of the night to see how it ended. I will definitely be checking out more of Alex Flinn's books in the future.
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
I loved fairy tales as a child, and would spend hours pouring through the original Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm I found in my mom's study. These stories were very dark and years too old and mature for me, but I didn't care. Now, as an adult, I'm still hooked on the growing genre of novels that seek to recreate and pay homage to these childhood tales. Beastly is a great example -- a modernization of Beauty and the Beast told from the perspective of the Beast, a 15-year-old boy that's been turned into a monster by an enchantress because of his ugly-on-the-inside behavior and his focus on physical beauty.
The book follows Kyle Kingsley through his transformation over the course of two years, which he spends in solitude reading and becoming a real person. In the course of this, the story recreates the key plot points of the original fairy tale. The best needs to find a girl to love him and share a kiss of true love within two years -- a tall task when you're covered in fur. One night, a drug addict crashes into the Beast's brownstone to rob him, and when he's caught, offers to give his 16-year-old daughter to the Beast as a companion. The girl turns out to be a shy scholarship student at Kyle's former school, and of course, they do eventually fall in love and get their happy ever after.
This is a fun and fast read that fairy tale lovers of any age will enjoy. My favorite modern element added to the story was chat transcripts with other mythological beings -- funny stuff.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Beastly is a retelling of the fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast.
Kyle Kingsbury is your classic pretty, spoiled, rich boy who attends ninth grade at an exclusive private school in New York City. He has just about everything a kid could want: a hot girlfriend, nice clothes, awesome apartment with the latest tech gadgets and newly elected as prince for the spring dance court. He is mean and spiteful, has a mother who abandoned him and a Dad who doesn't spend any time with him.
After playing a hateful trick on Kendra, an ugly "fat chick" at the dance, Kyle is cursed with becoming a beast. He will endure this for the remainder of his life unless he can have someone who loves him, and he loves back, kiss him within 2 years.
As the time frame gets smaller and smaller, we see Kyle change from a heartless brat into a very caring and compassionate young man. He meets and falls for Lindy, a girl who comes from a horrible home. Her Dad gave her up to Beast to save his own behind.
What I really liked about this story was that Kyle and Lindy didn't automatically fall in love, you could see it gradually building over time...months and months and months. Which, in YA fiction, is sometimes a rarity. They are very grown up for their age.
My favorite parts were during some online counseling sessions for Unexpected Changes. Among the chatters was SilentMaid (a mermaid who was contemplating a deal with a sea witch for the love of her life, but she would have to lose her voice), Froggie (a prince who now lives in a pond and types with webbed feet) and GrizzlyGuy (who has met 2 girls, RoseRed and Snow White, "but not *that* Snow White!"). Too funny!
Overall, very fun read and a nice change from the vampire books. I rated it at 4 stars.