Book Reviews of Beauty

Beauty
Beauty
Author: Robin McKinley
ISBN-13: 9780812442809
ISBN-10: 0812442806
Publication Date: 9/1986
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 5

4.5 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Perfection Learning Prebound
Book Type: Unknown Binding
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

49 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Beauty on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is one of my favorite "comfort reads." I don't know if this re-telling of Beauty and the Beast is supposed to be Young Adult or not, (I am 31.)... all I know is that there's something special about the journey I take with Beauty when I sit down and read Robin McKinley's version of her story.

I always fall in love with Beauty, her family, and the world they live in â" right from the beginning of the story. I love meeting Beauty's sisters, Hope and Grace. I love hearing Beauty tell how she ended up being nicknamed Beauty, instead of using her given name, Honour⦠even though she was a bookworm who had not inherited the same tall, willowy beauty that her sisters have. I become one of the family with them, sharing their grief as Grace's fiancÃÆ'é is lost to the sea, sharing their despair as their father's fortune is lost as well, and sharing their determination to be happy in their new poorer life in the far magic-tainted North with Hope's new husband.

And then the magic roses start to grow along the wall of the house nearest the forest, and their father gets lost in a storm and comes home with a hopeless story and a single perfect roseâ¦

Beauty's time in the castle with the Beast is an ever-changing exploration of a realm she didn't know existed, and Robin McKinley's gentle portrayal of it is exquisitely fascinating. I love how Beauty's days in the castle with the Beast rarely change⦠yet the story keeps evolving in a way that draws me ever further into it, so that I am learning, along with Beauty, to allow my heart to trust⦠to see the colors that flavor that fourth dimension that the castle seems to have⦠to hear the voices in the Breeze that acts as Beauty's maid⦠to listen as those voices chat about the mysterious tragedy of the castle⦠to learn that the Beast is not what he seems. By the time Beauty understands the mystery, my sight and hearing are clearer along with hers, and I am pleased to read that she finally knows her heart. I am never surprised that as her heart and mind have grown, so has her body and her spirit. How satisfying it is to see that both of her names now fit her so accurately! For she is both Honour, and Beauty now.

This truly is a beautiful story, beautifully told.
reviewed Beauty on + 386 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I had this book one summer I worked at a campground. When I was finished my roommate picked it up. As she was still finishing it, another roommate started it. Then someone else, and someone else ... I got the book back three months later with a long line of people asking to borrow it next. While it seemed that more girls liked it than guys, the age range of people loving it was from sixteen to 50+. I have all the Robin McKinley books I can find, and this is one of the best.
reviewed Beauty on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. McKinley puts her own special twist to the story. Lovely book.
reviewed Beauty on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I have always had a soft spot for fairy tales, and this is one of the re-tellings that has earned a place on my keeper shelf. Even after 10+ readings, the familiar story still puts a smile on my face. McKinley does an excellent job of world-building and gives it just enough extra spin and detail to leave her own unique mark on a beloved tale.
reviewed Beauty on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is my favorite retelling of the Beauty and the Beast and one of my favorite books. This is Robin's first book and she wrote this before everyone else started rewriting fairy tales. This book has a charm I find delicious as Beauty's heart thaws towards the Beast! My other favorite of Robin's is "The Blue Sword". I do not care much for her other works.
reviewed Beauty on + 126 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a fantastic retelling of the Beauty & the Beast story. With plenty of mysterious things going on, and strange happenings in their lives. The merchant's family, as the story would predict, loses everything and moves to the impoverished country side. To take up a small iron crafter that this town has been without for better than 3 yrs, and it's growing desperate, not just for horse shoeing, but for many other types of metal fixing. The father even starts tinkering with his old hobby/craft of woodworking, to the point that the have to enlarge the tiny closet/room that he had been working in.

And as the story predicts, the father runs on a mission, gets lost in a snow storm, winds up a the Beast's castle, which has invisible servants, all that a king would hope to have. After a refreshing nights sleep, and two good meals in in stomach, he is all pack up and ready to go to his home. He went thru a strange but most intensely beautiful garden with nothing but roses growing in it. On his journey, he had brought back presents for the two older sisters, the babies, etc, but had been unable to find anything that would at all fit his daughter, Beauty. He decided right then and there that one of these roses would be the perfect gift for Beauty, as she was not into strings of pearls and gems and stuff like her older sisters, she loved the earth, the ground, and all things of nature. Yes, this would be the perfect gift! But, alas, as he picks it, the beast predictably appears, and unless you are only 10 yrs old, you've heard the rest of the story, just not in this beautiful heart touching rendition.

It has it's romantic moments, but never anything that should be rated for a child of any age. I've read some retellings that get rather descriptive in nature, and this in no way does that. It's just a wondrous retelling of the old story, with an early 1800's type setting (they are still driving wagons with horses hitched up), and a beautiful exposure of the prince and how he tells her. I know, I love the word "beautiful" too much for this to be a perfect review, but what better word than that for the retelling of the story "BEAUTY"
reviewed Beauty on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I would say, if asked, that I am a fairly jaded person. I always flip the shiny quarter over looking for the tarnished side. I wouldn't say this is a character flaw. I would say it's just the person I am.

It has the quality of making it hard for me to watch some movies or read some books. It's excrutiating for me to see some of the stuff that gets put out there. And it seemed to me that I would never ever make it through a retelling of the Beauty legend. I got the book because i've read some of Robin McKinley's other work and loved it. I thought I would try.

After three false starts I finally really *read* it. And I have to confess even knowing the ending and all. I had some tears.

This is a wonderfully retold story of love and loss and beauty. I was engaged from the very beginning. It was a fast read but that was part of it's charm.

If you are just thinking about getting this book and not sure. I'd say: Take the chance.

I found it was way worth it.
reviewed Beauty on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a beautiful story that portrays all characters in an original light. Another masterpiece by McKinley!
reviewed Beauty on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Beauty is a wonderful re-telling of a cherished love story: Beauty and the Beast. It is the traditional telling of the fairy tale and my only gripe is that it wasn't long enough and sometimes weeks in the story line would be skipped with just a glossing over of the events that occurred. I am looking forward to reading Rose Daughter though.
reviewed Beauty on
Helpful Score: 1
I never cared for Disney's version of the Beauty & the Beast until I read this book. It gave me an entirely new appreciation for the story... A great read for all ages.
reviewed Beauty on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Ever wonder just exactly where Disney got their twist on "Beauty and the Beast"'s curse? Well, this is it. A delightfully enjoyable read, if you don't mind intense flashes of back-wards deja vu, as Ms McKinley's book definitely came first (I only wish I'd read it back then!). The whole cast is wonderful and the resolution satisfying, even with (or maybe because?) fewer singing teapots and candlesticks.
reviewed Beauty on + 301 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is not the book described in the book details. This is not a horse story. Rather Mcinley has written a lovely retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"Beauty" has been for a long time and remains one of my favorite fairy tale novelizations. It's a delightful read, not as long or complex as some of Robin McKinley's later works, but it has sweetness and a heart and has withstood many re-readings. I remain convinced that Disney swiped several details of this book (book-loving heroine, servants that seem to have become part of the furniture) for their movie "Beauty and the Beast".

If you like this book I also recommend Shannon Hale's "The Goose Girl."
reviewed Beauty on
Helpful Score: 1
I found the characters engaging and realistic. Robin tells a wonderful tale without being trite. I feel that this a better version than Rose Daughter, also by Robin. This version is closer to the story we grew up with but without the sugary taste of a "Good girl doing the right thing". One of her best.
reviewed Beauty on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I adore retelling and this book is why. It's well done, enchanting, and completely believable over the Disney version.
reviewed Beauty on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really good story. Seemed though at the end she abruptly ended it due to a deadline. Also the love story was not deepened as adequately as I would have like. Enjoyable read though!
reviewed Beauty on + 566 more book reviews
A lovely version of a classic.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 8 more book reviews
This book is a great retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
reviewed Beauty on + 49 more book reviews
A lovely story! One of my favorite Beauty & the Beast retellings.
reviewed Beauty on + 50 more book reviews
A sweet reasonably simplistic telling of this fairy tale. Could certainly see where the Disney version got it's inspiration. I enjoyed it as a nice comforting read, although it left a lot of questions that I hoped would be answered, like why the Beast suddenly can't actually live if she is gone from the castle, why exactly he was cursed. McKinley seems to like to leave all the details to your own imagination. I really didn't like that Beauty became a beauty in the end, why wasn't it enough that he fell in love with her as is. Also didn't like that he had fallen in love with her during their first meeting when she's literally falling over in fear of him. Ah, I guess I maybe wanted a less YA version. Otherwise, really, it is a good re-telling and worth reading.
reviewed Beauty on + 231 more book reviews
A very awesome re-telling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. Robin McKinley does it well and we get close to the characters and root for the Beast.
reviewed Beauty on + 893 more book reviews
Ah, how much I enjoy the writing of Robin McKinley! I had forgotten until I read this delightful version of Beauty and the Beast. Writers whose words make seem to move flawlessly through the story until you've finished are so very talented. Robin McKinley is one such author. This version pictures Beauty as the youngest of three daughters who is a tomboy with the key interests of horseback riding and reading. When their father loses his fortune the family is forced to auction off the remainder of their belongings and move into a small cottage with a son-in-law to be near a dark forbidding forest. The family is warned never to go into the forest for those who enter never return. When father is lost during a snowstorm he finds himself within the forbidding forest. He meets a beast when he picks a rose from the beast's rose garden and must either forfeit his life or give the beast one of his daughters. The youngest, a tomboy, believes that she is least important in the family and is determined to take her father's place. And, the story unfolds from that point. It's so well done that I highly recommend the read to both young and old.
reviewed Beauty on + 3 more book reviews
I love this book and I reread it often. Hands down my favorite rendition of Beauty and the Beast, and I am very much a fan. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Beauty and the Beast or who likes a good fairy tale.
reviewed Beauty on + 111 more book reviews
Move over Disney! This is a wonderful telling of the Beauty & the Beast story that will captivate and move you. Wonderfully written and you will be sure to fall in love with the characters! McKinley's account of the story is slightly different, but adds to the enchanting tale in ways that will only make you appreciate it more. Highly recommended!!!!
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 27 more book reviews
Just like the title says - a retelling of the B&B story - sweet, if a little on the simple and traditional side - I was expecting a little more of a twist on the standard.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 91 more book reviews
I adored this story. I now know where Disney got a lot of there ideas for their Beauty and the Beast animated movie - whether or not they would admit it. McKinley is so imaginative, humorous and clever in her re-telling of this classic fairy tale. This is a story everyone should read.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 38 more book reviews
I've always found the story of Beauty and the Beast interesting, and liked the way the characters each had their own story and paths to follow instead of just focusing completely on Beauty. Although I truly did enjoy this book and it's my favorite retelling of a much-loved story, I wish Ms. McKinley would have gone just a little deeper into the Beast's character and their romance at the end. It seemed just a tad rushed, but still was enjoyable.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 157 more book reviews
The description about a horse doesn't go with this title and author. This is a good retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale, with finely crafted writing and a solid story from beginning to end.
reviewed Beauty on
LOVED this book! What a great retelling. It's a shame there wasn't tighter proofreading, but it doesn't spoil a lovely, well written story.
reviewed Beauty on
I first read this book in High School many, many moons ago. Its a great story about the youngest of three daughters to a merchant. Their ships are lost at sea, and the suddenly impoverish family moves away from the city, and next to a mysterious forest. As a child the youngest daughter decides her name, Honour, is too boring and she wishes to be called Beauty. The name sticks, but as time goes by, her two older sisters grow more and more beautiful and she is the gawky misfit. The father goes back to the city when the hear that one of the ships has been found. He returns with nothing, but a rose he picked for Beauty, and as the story goes the beast demands daughter in exchange for picking the rose.

The best part of the book is that beauty is a bit of a nerd. She isn't as beautiful as her name or her sisters, she likes to read and be outside amongst the flowers, yet she carries a bit of magic with her. This is a great romantic retelling of a fairy tale that isn't too sappy or too childish. A great book for early teens that still love fairy tales, or adults that love a good story that will draw you in. You will want to read and reread this book.
reviewed Beauty on + 258 more book reviews
A beautiful retelling of Beauty & the Beast.
reviewed Beauty on + 287 more book reviews
I read this book for the first time many years ago and remember loving it. On this reread, I found myself being a bit impatient at the beginning of the story - I think that I just wanted Beauty to get to the castle and the Beast, but once I let my patience settle down a bit, I got right back into the story and loved it once more.
reviewed Beauty on + 8 more book reviews
This is an excellent story; my daughter loved it so much she is not giving it back to me to trade.
reviewed Beauty on + 26 more book reviews
This was a wonderful retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
reviewed Beauty on
Classic retelling of Beauty and the Beast story. Took me awhile to get into it but I liked it.
reviewed Beauty on + 404 more book reviews
I enjoyed this version of "Beauty and the Beast". I especially liked the interactions between Beauty and the two "spirits", and how Beauty and the Beast gradually became friends.
reviewed Beauty on
Great retelling of a familiar story.
reviewed Beauty on + 110 more book reviews
I was so nervous since Beauty and the Beast is a favorite story of mine. Started out slow but then I literally couldn't read fast enough, I had to know what would happen next. I loved this version with no Gaston and sweet sisters and a brother-in-law to look out for Beauty. The messages still come through so beautifully, that inner beauty can transform a person and the power of love. The magic/enchantment elements were well woven in, interesting without being unbelievable. I loved how Beauty's horse was a character unto himself, well thought out and described. I really enjoyed this version and am so glad I took a chance on it.
reviewed Beauty on + 8 more book reviews
A wonderful retelling of a favorite story! This particular book is brand new too!