Tuesday 7 June 2011

Book Review - Beastly

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 10 May 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0061998669

I am a beast.
A beast!
Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. 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 Review
I read this book because my best friends told me about it and said it was really good. I liked what she told me about it and so requested a copy from the library. It arrived on Friday, I picked it up yesterday and finished it today.
Kyle has everything you could want, he's popular, good looking, goes to a great school, is nominated for prom King, has a 'super hot girlfriend', his dad is rich and he has whatever he want handed to him on a plate. But this has made Kyle superficial. Everything is about looks and status to Kyle, so when he spots Kendra the school 'freak' he plays a trick on her. But the plan backfires when he finds out that she is a witch and turns him into a beast. The truth within comes out.
This is a mosern retelling of 'Beauty & The Beast' and it is one of my favourite retelling, it was so good. Powerful and emotional I really felt invested in the characters. I wanted to be a part of their lives and although Kyle started out as a complete a** I came to really like him.
Kyle changes his name once he becomes the Beast, he doesn't want to associate with the life he can't have anymore or the person he was so he changes his name to Adrian. His dad buys a secluded house for him and so Adrian lives with Magda his house keeper and Will a blind man who tutors Will. 
The story is well written and it feels like someone is telling it to you. You can really see the changes in Kyle/Adrian and it's great to see him grow as a character. 
Some bits were obvious such as I knew who the witch would be straight away and I guessed who he would fall in love with, but this didn't take anything away from the story. I really enjoyed the differences to the story that this modern version offers, but there are so many hints and references to the original that it still captures that magic, and then adds more to it.
Allow yourself to fall in love with the magic and mystery of Beauty & The Beast all over again, but in this one, its in a world you can recognise and relate to.
It's quite a short book at just 300 pages, and I seemed to fly through it, but that's only because I couldn't put it down.
This was the first novel I had read by Alex Flinn, but I will definitely be looking for more.
I'm tempted to try the film, but I've heard they have changed a lot and from the film cover it looks silly, so I may be disappointed. Will think about it. 
Have any of you seen it? How does it compare?

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10. Beautiful and captivating a great read.    

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