Protagonist: Kyle Kingsbury seems to have it all. He has tons of money, good looks, and everyone at his school either wanting to be him or wantReview:
Protagonist: Kyle Kingsbury seems to have it all. He has tons of money, good looks, and everyone at his school either wanting to be him or wanting to be with him. So when he pulls a prank on the new goth chick at school the last thing he expects is to quite literally be turned into a beast. He's told he has to look beyond the superficial and find someone who can love him despite his looks and love him in return. He has two years to do it or remain a beast forever. Now I didn't really like Kyle all that much, but the great thing is that you're not supposed to. This isn't some run of the mill protagonist who means well but has flaws, this is someone who's so glaringly flawed that you really aren't supposed to be sympathetic to him for a while. My only problem here is that in the first half or so of the book we have a Kyle who is a huge douche but has a normal modern way of speaking, but in the second half, while he's much more sympathetic, it's almost as if the author wanted such a stark contrast between before and after that his speech in the second half lost almost all identity of being a modern day teenager.
Romance: So going into this I was expecting a lot of romance. After all Beauty and the Beast, the story this was based on, is all about loving someone regardless of their appearance, plus Kyle's curse can only be broken by requited true love. That being said this book is so much more about Kyle's character development than it is about the romance. Don't get me wrong there's still some great romance in this book, but it is by no means the point of this book. That being said, I do think the author did a great job on the romance. Even if the whole how they met post-transformation part is a bit creepy, there are legitimate excuses for it and after Lindy and Kyle, then known as Adrian, get to know each other, a real bond forms. The kind of bond where even if they did say the "L" word after only half a book it would feel earned and not something shoehorned in there to make a story complete.
World Building: So, as some of you might know Beauty and the Beast, is my favorite fairy tale and I love to see it retold time and time again. Ironically this was the first B&TB retelling I'd ever heard of and I'm just now getting around to reading it for the first time. What I love about modern day retellings it seeing how things would change if this story was told today, and while there were definite inclusions of that in this book, after a while the whole modern feel melted away and other than some things here and there it melted too much into itself and lost a part of itself along the way. This happens in the second half when the writing loses it's modern feel and becomes more formal and stilted. I did, however, like how much of the original tale was included in this retelling, though at times as I said before it could be a bit too on the nose.
Predictability: Going into this book I wasn't really expecting it to be unpredictable, and it really wasn't. This is very much a familiar story and for the most part I knew where things were going, even the bigger twists, either because of the movie which I had seen a few times before going into this book, or friends who don't understand what spoilers are who told m about this book years ago and I never forgot. I think the only times that things were really ever unpredictable were when they differed from the movie too much or the source material which didn't happen too often.
Ending: Speaking of unpredictable things, the ending of this book, or really the format in which it ended was rather unpredictable. This book is split up into six parts, and the sixth and final part all takes place after the final climax of the story and acts as an extended epilogue. As many of you may know I happen to really enjoy epilogues and this one was no different. After a rather unexpected final climax, things seem to calm down quite a bit as we're led through what happens after, who gets their comeuppance, and who lives happily ever after. I really enjoyed the end of this book, but most of all I'm looking forward to learning more about a certain character in this story.
So, I thought a lot about this and I think four stars is the perfect rating for this book. The first half of the story was fantastic, but during the second half the writing, the way the characters talked, changed how I enjoyed the book, things became too formal and didn't retain the modern feel the first half instilled in the story....more
Protagonists: Alex and Conner Bailey once again face a great challenge. After their Uncle Lloyd, also known as the Masked Man, unleashes an armReview:
Protagonists: Alex and Conner Bailey once again face a great challenge. After their Uncle Lloyd, also known as the Masked Man, unleashes an army of literary villains and takes over the Land of Stories, the only and best chance the twins have to save the land is to recruit characters from Conner's stories that he wrote based around his adventures, but as they explore these stories to help take back the Fairy Tale Land they love, something far more sinister is going on back in the fairytale world and who knows if they'll be back in time to save everyone. One of the things that I loved about this book is how much is revealed about these characters, specifically Conner, as the twins traverse his stories. At first, the stories have a very shallow, although exciting premise, but as they continue their travels more about who Conner is, his experiences and feelings about his life reveal themselves in elements of his stories. There are many third-person perspectives in this story, each with great development and character building, but, as the title suggests, if this book belongs to one POV it's Conner Bailey.
World Building: I was a bit apprehensive going into this book. The charm and hook of the previous installments of this book relied on two characters traversing classic stories and interacting with this author's versions of the classic characters that inhabit them. However, this book, on a whole, deals with new characters that were created in the mind of Conner Bailey, one of the main characters of this book. Keeping that in mind I was anxious to see how I would like traversing into unknown territory in a series as connected to classic characters as this one is. It turns out... I LOVED IT! Don't get me wrong, there were some trippy moments in the stories, but that had more to do with the fact that many of the characters in these stories are based on the fairy tale characters we already know, such as Goldilocks, Jack, Queen Red, and more. There are also moments with other characters, continuing Bree's storyline from the previous book, seeing (Not-Yet-King) Arthur again, and even learning what the royals and rebels have been up to since the hostile takeover.
Predictability: Normally these books have a good balance of the predictable and the unpredictable. However, I was almost pleased to see that this book had far more twists than I was expecting and many of them were very unpredictable. I love how this author mixes foreshadowing and cliches and still manages to have so many things be as unpredictable as they are. There are many times when I knew that something was meant to always be a surprise, and others when once the twist had come that you could almost follow a trail of breadcrumbs back to where it was first foreshadowed. I loved every twisty moment of this book but there were predictable moments that I know weren't meant to be a surprise that found a way to impact me in a similar, though not the same, way as even the most shocking twist.
Ending: As this story got closer and closer to the end it became perfectly apparent that while this book was at one point meant to be the finale of this series, it isn't so anymore. Granted I'm sure there was probably a tweet or blog post that announced that this was not the end, but I never saw it, so I have a very mixed feel on this ending. On the one hand I'm a bit upset that I thought going into this book that it was going to be the end, however, I'm overjoyed that we're going to get more books in this fantastic series. The final climax of this book was awesome and provided some much-needed information and closure for one character in particular and then we have an ending that if you hadn't gotten the memo by then surely told you that this isn't the final book due to the tremendous cliffhanger at the end.
It's funny looking back how similar this book is with the previous installment, however, that book felt almost like filler whereas this book definitely had the feeling of getting ready for one last battle that will decide the fate of all realms....more