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3.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,809 ratings  ·  622 reviews
Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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C Hellisen It was written as children's fiction (aprox. around 10 - 13-years-old), and I don't write books for specific genders. Some kids will like it, some won…moreIt was written as children's fiction (aprox. around 10 - 13-years-old), and I don't write books for specific genders. Some kids will like it, some won't. Some will be boys, some will be girls. *shrug*(less)

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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,809 ratings  ·  622 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

Wendy Darling
Cat + Beauty and the Beast + middle grade + unconventional twist? Sold.

And Cat says that this is first person female POV. AND THE GIRL IS THE BEAST. :D

So excited!
Taylor Knight
This was such a surprising book! I was so blown away by the writing style and the plot.
Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down and I ended up finishing it in a little over 2 hours.
This book was so full of magic and I loved how deep rooted in classic fantasy the plot was. Beastkeeper reminded me the books that my mom would read to my sister and I when we were kids. She always read fantasy to us and Beastkeeper is something that would have mesmerized me as a child.
Overall, I absolutely
Dani Shuping
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
ARC provided by Netgalley

Ever since she can remember Sarah and her parents have always moved. Always further and further south as her mother hates the cold. Til the day her mother finally walks away from the family. And something strange begins to happen. Old magic comes out of hiding and her father begins to change slowly, but surely into a wild beast. Before he fully becomes a beast he takes Sarah to the last place she expected...the ruins of a crumbling castle where her grandparents live. And
Althea Ann
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I suspected I might be in for a treat when I read the dedication page on this book, which mentions the author's two children: "Tanith and Noa." Tanith? You named your KID after Tanith Lee? This book CANNOT be bad!

And indeed, it is quite excellent. I wouldn't say it's derivative of, or even particularly similar to Lee's writing, but the aesthetics are all what I love.

It's a contemporary fantasy, but it succeeds very well in meshing the timeless beauty of fairy tales with a modern setting.


Arc provided by Henry Holt & Company through Netgalley
Release Date: February 3 rd

I had to re-read this story immediately after I had finished it for first time, because with only one read, I honestly did not know what to say.

First of all, I loved its first pages: They had that bitter-sweet tone of well done magical realism, and they held so much promise.
We get immediately thrown into this family's live, and we can see that something isn't quite right. Besides the obvious that is...
[I find this difficult to rate, but I'm going to say high 3/low 4]

Occasionally, I come across books that I find difficult to review. Whether it's because I don't like them and wanted to, like them too much and don't know how to express it, or am in some weird limbo where I can't even begin to tell you what I liked or didn't like, and why, there are some reviews that just stump me a little.  And sometimes, as I work through what I felt about the book, these reviews can get a little long, and mayb
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

As expected from Cat Hellisen, this novel is a beautifully-written, mesmerizing and strange little book that takes familiar concepts and shapes them into new, original and bizarre forms. Beastkeeper is in all likelihood the most original Beauty and the Beast retelling I've ever read, and probably the most honest, too.

This novel takes the familiar fairy tale and reshapes it from a story of eternal love and idealistic romance, to one of sacrifice and loss where the human heart is at its rawest an
Melissa Chung
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely middle-grade fairy-tale.

Sarah (Sarahbear) is a 12 year old girl who lives in a magical world of boxes and new schools. Her mother Merete has raised her on magical stories and fairy-tales. But one day her mother has decided she is done running from Winter. She is afraid of the curse that she knows has been put upon the family and makes a run for it. Meaning she leaves Sarah and her father Leon. Leon is heartbroken. He can't cope with the sadness and sends Sarah to stay with his mother. S
Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
I love retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but I disliked Beastkeeper. The premise was great: the prince is cursed to turn into a beast as soon as he falls truly in love for the first time. The curse will only be broken when his true love loves him in return. Sounds great. It wasn't.

This book felt like a rough draft with a loosely sketched-in plot. Dialogue was sparse, broken by pages of description and self-reflection from our heroine, Sarah, a twelve/thirteen year-old.

I didn't like any of th
C Hellisen
Apr 26, 2013 marked it as i-wrote-this  ·  (Review from the author)
This is not a review, it's a giftling short story.

An adult fairy-tale about Inga and Freya and falling in love. A prequel, if you like.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Lately, I’ve been less and less interested in middle grade fiction. It’s been with sadness that I’ve watched a number of YA authors switch to writing middle grades. In fact, I initially thought Beastkeeper was going to be young adult, but alas no. Even so, it was by Cat Hellisen, so fuck yeah I was going to read it anyway. One does not simply skip a Hellisen novel.

Reading Beastkeeper was one hundred percent the correct deci
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Unconventional but beautifully written.
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: out-in-2015
A Beauty & the Beast retelling where the girl is the beast? Sign me up now, please and thank you.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoyed The Thickety, The Darkest Part of the Forest and A Darkness Calls
Oh. My. God.

This book. Why isn't this book more popular?

Please, please read it.
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(no spoilers)

To be completely honest I actually finished this book yesterday but kept finding myself staring off into the distance and murmuring 'huh' to myself, so I figured I'd wait to write a review. The first 50 or so pages will probably go down in history as the fastest I've ever fallen in love with a writing style and the very IDEA of the novel is so unique. Honestly this book would've been a perfect five stars if not for a few issues:

1) Clocking in at under 200 pages, I felt like there wa
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this was an interesting book because the book was very creative. Like what the story was about was fascinating and I like how it was good through out the whole book. I do wish it ended better because it left me with some questions. Otherwise I think this is a good book . This is what I thought about Beastkeeper.
Magical, beautiful, and bittersweet. A dark, original fairy tale that's not just for kids.

Full review to come.
Stefani Sloma
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can read this review and more on my blog, Caught Read Handed.
NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Henry Holt and Co. for letting me read this!

One freezing cold night, Sarah’s mother leaves her and her father. Her father starts to change – he’s lazy, wild, strange, and yes, his hair is out of control. Beastkeeper is said to be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it is, but also isn’t. There’s more than one beast, fo
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
Are you looking for a wonderful, happy fairy tale? One with a happy ending and all that jazz? Well then, you are in the wrong place! If you thought this would be a cute MG retelling, you are wrong.

Beastkeeper is a nice, quick read about a girl, Sarah, longing for magic, but unfortunately she really doesn't know what she's asking for. Once she encounters it through a family curse, one that turns her grandfather, her father, and even herself into a beast if their first love doesn't love them. Afte
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of fairy tales, middle grade books
3.4 stars
Kids in stories are always going where they shouldn’t and discovering hidden treasure and evil plots and unmasking villains.

Beastkeeper is a middle grade fairy tale. But it is not childish but utterly magical. This is a rather short story and I read it in a few hours. But this little story has a mood and an atmosphere. This is not your typical beauty and the beast retelling. Moreover, this book is original in it's own way. You will meet enchanted forest full of magic, speaki
Oct 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't give many one-star ratings. And I don't say this very often about a book--but this was terrible.

Our main character, Sarah, is not particularly likable or believable--within a few pages, she goes from completely normal teenager to being perfectly comfortable with magical forests, talking ravens, and humans-turned-beast--no questions asked. The book reads like she's older than 13, and much of what she says and thinks feels far beyond what a 13-year-old is capable of.

I feel like this starte
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: royal-lit
I adore this.
Like, ah. door. I'm going to be throwing it at my teens' heads when they come into the library like "READ IT. READ IT AND LOVE IT AND LEARN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MAN/WOMAN."

These days I feel like I rarely come across authors who genuinely love language, who understand theoretically simple but often tricksy devices that can be abused or over-used, like metaphor, and who treat words with respect, finesse, and care. Cat Hellisen does. She gets it; she has a beautiful relationship with
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of this book through NetGalley to review. This was an absolutely wonderful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I loved the writing style, there was wonderful description here and wonderful characters.

Sarah has a mother who hates the cold and constantly has their family chasing summer from one location to the next. When Sarah’s mother finally walks out on her and her father, the family is thrown into discord. Sarah’s father becomes more and more unkempt and reclusive and eventually d
Intisar Khanani
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

An enjoyable read with twists of both the predictable and the "Wait--what?" variety. For most of the book, it felt like this was a MG book in YA trappings, or maybe the other way around. With a 13 year old protagonist, age actually becomes important towards the end of the book, but for most of it, I kept thinking--she's a bit naive for a YA read, and the writing's a bit advanced for MG. But I definitely enjoyed it. I'm still not sure about how I feel about the ending, inc
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You guys, this book. With its fairy tale vibe, it's so very much the kind of story I loved to read when I was in middle school and high school, without seeming dated. It was a solid four stars until the end, and then it just hit the perfect note, somber and hopeful, and I just want to smoosh-hug it forever. ...more
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it
The book was fairly good. The rushed ended rather ruined the story.
I love fairy tale retellings. This one was good, up to the last 1/5 of the book.
I enjoyed the world-building and language in this book, but the pacing is slow. Definitely a hand sell to specific kids who will adore it.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about curses that Sarah has to break before she turns into a beast. My emotions for this book can’t be described.

I enjoyed this book; I give this book a five star because it is about family and rescuing which makes it interesting. Spoiler Alert: Sarah moves in with her grandmother and tries to stop the curses makes this interesting on how she is going to stop the curses reaching to her. I gave this book a five star because through the novel Sarah’s emotions are shown which made me w
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. And so I am honestly reviewing it.

Beastkeeper and I got off on the wrong foot a little bit. It was a bit hard for me to engage in the story because of the main character, Sarah. Luckily, she grows quite a bit by the end of the story but I still have some caveats about liking her.

The story is a tale as old as time. (Sorry. Not sorry.) It's a mid-grade retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a few spins on it. Sarah's family has
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Presumably a person, occasionally a table.

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“Sarah had discovered that while she liked to ask questions in the hopes that someone or other could answer them, adults liked to ask questions they already knew the answers to. She wasn't sure why exactly that was, and had finally decided that as people grew older, the more important something was the easier it becomes for them to forget. They had to keep asking as a way to help them remember.” 3 likes
“And know that the world exists, and moves on without me?” The beast settled back down, nose to tail, his horns gleaming in the faint light. “Thank you, no.” 2 likes
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