Lacey Louwagie's Reviews > Beastly

Beastly by Alex Flinn
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Mar 18, 2011

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bookshelves: fairy-tales, fantasy, retelling, romance, youngadultfantasy, youngadult
Read from March 11 to 16, 2011

The promotional materials I'd read about this book made a point of stressing that "this wasn't a fairy tale," and so, although I knew it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I expected the connection to be a little more tenuous than it actually was. Instead, it's more-or-less a by-the-book retelling with the main element of newness coming from it being set in modern New York City. But even with this premise, the vehicle of the spell, the transformation, and the story are surprisingly traditional.

I did like that the modern setting allowed the exploration of what kind of modern teen would deserve to undergo such a curse, and I have to say, Kyle Kingsbury was certainly in need of "a lesson." Deepening the "spoiled rotten" stereotype was the fact that he lived with his dad, his mother having left when he was younger, and that his dad really idealized superficiality, so that even his relationship with his son was totally superficial. The father-son dynamic is the one bit that did make me feel sympathy toward Kyle even before he started to soften his heart. And seeing how his image-obsessed father dealt with his transformation also added a new element to the B&B story.

Perhaps it's this dynamic that made the first half of the story more enjoyable to me than the second half, which became much more traditional. The love story is sweet, but the love interest sort of got on my nerves (although she was a really wonderful person and deserving of the good that came her way -- I think she was perhaps "too good" and too innocent, which is why I'd have trouble being friends with her.) I liked that she was a redhead, though, and that she was supposedly "plain" -- she wasn't described as beautiful until after the Beast began falling in love with her. There are times during his "courtship" that his desire for her struck me as a little creepy, and I wasn't sure if that was intentional or not. He was beastly, after all.

Oh, Alex Flinn must either love classics or think all teenagers should be reading them. She crammed so many references to classics into this book that I made a whole book display around Adrian and Lindy's reading list at the library! Another nice "gateway" book, even if it is a little fluffy.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jenna Psst, Alex Flinn is a woman! I love that you made a display of Lindy's books. :)

Lacey Louwagie Oh, oops! Sorry, Alex!

message 3: by Keir (new)

Keir "the main element of newness coming from it being set in modern New York City"

I just looked it up and that is where the TV series took place.

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