Saturday, January 24, 2015

Beastly by Alex Flinn

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.

My Thoughts:
This was cute. I mean, who doesn't love a fairy tale revival? And it's modern day? Sure, I'll bite.

The story followed the typical Beauty and the Beast story. There really was no variation at all. When I read a revival story I hope for some kind of twist, an added element of "Whoa, that's interesting!" to reward me for reading a story I've basically already read/heard/watched (in at least 3 different movies). I didn't find anything noteworthy here.

Kyle's transformation from inner beast to man was interesting and, for the most part, well done but I felt like it happened too fast. I wished the witch had given him a few more years to break the curse. I felt like that would have been more realistic and I wanted to feel for him more; Feel his loneliness, his sadness, his change of heart. I wanted more time. That, and it always bothers me in YA books when high schoolers find their true love. If they'd been just a few years older it wouldn't have annoyed me so much.

The love story played out nicely but, again, I would have liked more time. It felt too fast, even in the fairy tale, fiction, suspend-your-belief place you go when you read books. More. Time. People do not fall in love that quickly, especially if these people are not actually people.

The chat room thing was entertaining but I didn't feel like it added anything to the story. It really just made me want to hear the other kids' stories.

I loved Will, the blind tutor. He was just so perfect; Kind but firm, funny but serious, intelligent but humble. He sounds a lot like Mary Poppins.

Something that really bugged in this book was the language. Dialogue was a bit unbelievable. People said weird things. Beast even notices himself saying weird things but keeps doing it, even when he's not thinking to himself how weird it is. And I get that the author was trying to incorporate the classic fairy tale language and dialogue and whatever else but it just felt forced. And then the characters would all go on these long rants and monologue about whatever-it-was they wanted to say. Wasn't a fan of that.

And I didn't like the way Kyle was portrayed before he was a beast. That's kind of the point but I got a little weirded out that this high school freshman was drinking and hooking up with girls.

Other than that the book was clean. And it was cute. And it was a fast, easy read. And I'll probably read other books by this author.

Language: Mild (honestly don't remember how many curse words there were but it can't have been that much if I don't remember, right?)
Sexual Content: Moderate (lots of derogatory talk about girls, inappropriate touching and a reference to sex, but no scenes)
Violence: Moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild

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