Sunday, October 18, 2009

-Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

I am a beast

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly. [summary from the book]

I loved this book! Alex Flinn cleverly retells the story of Beauty and the Beast in a modern time, set in New York City. It follows the classic tale closely but with new-fashioned twists.

The beast, who is telling the story, is a high school freshman named Kyle Kingsbury. He is the son of a newscaster, very rich, and the most popular kid in school. After a witch, Kendra, witnesses his extremely superficial and judgmental attitude, she casts a spell on him to make him a beast on the outside the way he is on the inside. He then has two short years to break the spell by finding a girl to look past his outward appearance and fall in love with him.

I was appalled at the way Kyle was treating people at the beginning of the book. The part of the book which takes place in his high school had me picturing my high school days and thinking of the people I knew who were like him. I was happy to see him get a taste of his own medicine.

Possibly my favorite character in the book was Will, the blind tutor who Kyle's dad hires at Kyle's request. He was so kind-hearted and helpful to Will. I also like Magda, the maid who lived with Kyle both before and after his transformation.

Of course we all know how the story ends, so that was no surprise--however there were a few twists added to the ending to keep it from being too typical and too expected.  I really do recommend this book, especially for anyone who enjoys re-told fairy tales.


Anonymous said...

I liked this book as well. I can't wait to see the movie adaptation of it. :D

Andrea said...

I keep thinking of pre-Beast Alex as a Chuck Bass type. I liked Will too. He was so great.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I LOVED this book :)

Nina said...

I love fairy tales, so this one sounds ofcourse fun. :)

Thank you for your great review.

lissa said...

I like this book even though it's a YA book. I didn't quite like the forum/chat room part of the book but I guess it does add to the appeal a bit I felt it was unnecessary but I thoroughly enjoy reading this book

ps, came over from Tales of Whimsy

Nely said...

Wonderful review Andrea. I loved this story too. I'm so glad you found my humble blog. Hope to hear from you soon.


Susan said...

I just found this book at a "Friends of the Library Book Sale" and picked it up. I'm hoping to read it as part of a fairy-tale challenge next year. Glad to see that you liked it :)