by Alex Flynn
Is it completely shallow to say I picked up this novel because I found Alex Pettyfer in the movie trailer attractive? Yes? Okay. Sue me. Oh, and I read a great review at Voracious YAppetite a while ago which made me want to read it more.
Beautiful, perfect and popular Kyle Kingsbury is a cruel and shallow person.. until one night he takes it too far and messes with a witch. Turned into a human beast, all his outer beauty is gone and he has 2 years to find a person to fall in love with, and vice versa. Beastly is a modern day re-telling of the beloved classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.
My Expectations: I hoped it would be good, the trailer actually looks really awesome and it’s a fairy tale re-make-ish thing.
Delivery: eh, it was engaging but not mind-blowing.
Put-down-ability: I read the teaser chapters online then went out and borrowed the book, must mean good things. 4/10
Beastly is satisfactory on all levels, which sounds like a cold and meaningless comment but I’m not sure how else to put it. I never found myself annoyed with the characters, yet I never fell in love with them. Kyle’s personality at the beginning is loathsome but I thought Flynn handled his development after the spell/curse surprisingly well. There was the predictable moping and vanity, and after the ‘acceptance’, I’m glad he didn’t immediately become a saint. It took two years for him to gradually change into a person worth respecting, with the help of Lindy.
Lindy was Belle, probably my favourite Disney Princess xD She was smart, hard-working and sweet, and she just has that likeability to her that makes her awesome. Since both characters toed the edge of stereotypical, I fully expected the romance to be cheesy, overdone, and groan-worthy but it was (to my surprise and pleasure) totally not. While it might not have been completely un-creepy (part were reminicent of The Collector by John Fowles...), it was still convincing and nice.
What can I say about the story? It was charming; it didn’t feel like a whimsical Disney movie, but more like a gutsy, real version told from the Beast’s point of view. I liked how the plot progressed and was especially fond of the rose garden aspect. Writing was smooth; it was engaging and refreshing to have a male narrator and imperfect characters. I liked how the story immediately sucked me in and left me wanting more.
Parting Thoughts: Time for the movie? I think so ;) I wish I were less shallow…
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
7.8/10 – because while it was an enjoyable, quick read, I never really loved it. It had a strong overall package but the tidbits that make me love a novel weren’t there. I couldn’t quite commit to the characters, and the fairy tale re-telling only moderately worked for me. I would recommend this novel to most people, especially if you are interested in fairy tales, different types of plots, and male narrators. B