Friday, 25 May 2012

Review | Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly 
Author: Alex Flinn
Release Date: December 29th 2009 (originally Jan 2007)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Paranormal
Pages: 300
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★

"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." Source Goodreads 
I first heard of Beastly when the movie was released in 2011 and I was intrigued by an adaptation of my favourite Disney movie. (yes the story of Beauty and the Beast goes much further back than Disney but we're sticking with my first experience) Now I adored Beauty and the Beast, I watched it uncountable times as a child (and an adult. shhh.) and I was a little apprehensive as to where Alex Flinn would take the story. Looking back now I needn't have worried because Flinn did a perfect job with Beastly.  

I've read a few fairytale retellings and I've got to say that a lot of the times I was guessing ahead and predicting every possible outcome of the plot. Because of this I was led to believe that's just how retellings should be. But I was wrong! That's not what is meant to happen. I know the tale of Beauty and the Beast better than anyone I know but Flinn's spin on the story was refreshing and original but still kept to the true story in ways that kept true to my heart. 

We start Beastly in an online chat room, a concept that for me was sort of baffling but I soon got over the shock and the brief encounters of this chat room ultimately added another dimension to the plot. We're then take back in time to before the main character is turned into a beast. Kyle Kingsbury is a mean,  hateful person with an ugly heart but with beautiful good looks. Until one day when he meets someone who changes his physical features to match his personality, beastly. Because of these abnormalities Kyle's father sends him to live in a 5 story secluded house in Brooklyn with his maid Magda to keep him away from the prying eyes of the general public, and to prevent further embarrassment. 

The only predictable part of the story was the growth of the main character which was executed perfectly causing me to fall in love over and over again with someone I wouldn't have looked twice at. Throughout the book I had no idea where the story was going, I didn't expect the many twist and turns and I was hooked from the first few chapters. The pacing wasn't what I would call fast, but it was addictive. I would say that it was more calm, thoughtful, depressing in a sense but more hopeful, one of those books that you want to wrap your heart around and give all your love. Too soppy... maybe but I just loved this book. 

There are so many wonderful character in this book, though none of which I'm going to mention because I want you to form your own opinions, but I challenge anyone not to let these characters suck you in.

Alex Flinn has created a world that I would return to over and over again. She's taken a story that holds a dear part upbringing and instead of causing disruption she has shown me another world while staying true to important messages raised in Beauty and the Beast. And if your wondering, as with the Disney movie, I still prefer the beast over the man. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book! Loved it. Alex Flinn can write some amazing books!! Try Bewitching, which deals with Kendra. The Witch you met in Beastly!! =D