Angie's Reviews > Beastly

Beastly by Alex Flinn
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Nov 12, 07

bookshelves: good-uns, retellings, ya
Read in October, 2007

I read this in one big gulp the day it showed up on my doorstep. I've flirted with the thought of reading an Alex Flinn book for awhile now and just never got around to it. Beastly was the perfect point of entry. Loved the title, loved the cover, loved the back jacket excerpt. Set in contemporary NYC, this version is told from the Beast's perspective as he recounts the tale of how a scorned gothgirl witch changed him into a beast and his subsequent efforts to regain his human form (and perhaps a little actual humanity while he's at it). What I loved about this book was the way Flinn absolutely threw her story (and her characters) into the modern world of teenagedom. If a 16-year-old former cock of the walk high school student suddenly found himself a big beastie, he'd, well, once he got over the social mortification of it all, he'd totally find himself a chat room for transformation survivors where he could take advantage of his anonymity and make snarky remarks. And that's exactly what Kyle does. The book opens with a transcript from one of these chats, and they are interspersed throughout the rest of the narrative. They are the most hilarious parts of the book. BeastNYC, SilentGirl, Froggie, and GrizzlyGuy talk about their struggles as three transformed beings (and one wannabe). The discussion is moderated by the mysterious Mr. Anderson and as the familiar fairy tale characters took shape I couldn't stop myself laughing out loud. This B&B story hits everything right and the changes Ms. Flinn made enhanced her grittier version of the tale. For instance, Flinn's Beast is more akin to a dark superhero. Batman prowling the streets of Gotham City at night. He even takes a new name--Adrian--symbolizing his complete reversal in fortune, bleak new outlook on life, and ultimate rejection of the boy he used to be. In addition, the reader gets to catch the whole transformation thing as it happens. In most versions, we come to it way after the fact. Often the Beast has been languishing under his curse for hundreds of years. In this case, Kyle/Adrian has just two years to find true love and break the spell. I liked that we got in on how he coped with it all, as opposed to getting it in retrospect. This is also the first version I've read where Beauty's family didn't want her. Where, by all accounts, she's had a rougher life than he has. It makes it that much sweeter when these two people who have suffered much find not only love, but a way out.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Miss Clark Your review makes me want to reread this and see what I missed my first time through:)


Angie Miss Clark, I just cracked up over the chat therapy sessions. And I really did like how they got each other out of horrific situations. Hope it holds up better for you the second time!


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