Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly By Alex Flinn
Release Date - Oct 1, 2007
Publisher - HarperTeen
Pages - 300
My Rating- 9/10

The synopsis from GoodReads
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

In a time not so long ago in the far away city of New York lived an arrogant young highschool student named Kyle Kingsbury. Kyle, being the mean person he is, made fun and tormented anyone he considered beneath him. One day he decides to humiliate a girl in his class but she is not just a highschool girl. She is a witch. As payback for his treatment of her the witch casts a spell turning the handsome boy in to a Beast. In order to break the spell the Beast must learn to love and have another love him in return. At this point the tale is probably sounding a little familiar...except for the whole present day and New York City part.

This modern retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast updates the story. I was not really sure if I was going to like it, to be honest. I LOVE the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. I was presently surprised to find that I really enjoyed this novel.

One of the things that always bothered me with the Beauty and the Beast tale is how quickly father just handed over his daughter. The Disney version is nicer in that Belle offers to take her father's place. This novel is the former. Lindy's father doesn't take care of her and he has no issues with offering her to the Beast in exchange for his own freedom.

The story is told from the point of view of the Beast. It's interesting as we get to see his transformation from arrogant jerk to kind and gentle. I loved that he changed his name halfway through the book to Aidan as he felt like a different person from when he was Kyle.

I am looking forward to seeing what they are going to a do with the movie (might do a post comparing the movie to the book after I see it) but I already know that they've made Alex Pettyfer different than the Beast described in the book.

As a hopeless romantic I couldn't help but fall in love with Kyle/Adrian and Lindy's love story. If you are a big gushy sap like myself, I think you'll love it.


  1. Is Alex the beast? If so that's interesting, told from that point of view. I have been looking forward to reading this book. I agree that it has been bothering me as well that Belle's father just hands her over to save his life.

  2. Hey Cass...

    Kyle is the Beast. Alex is the author (haha) but yes it is told from the Beast's (Kyle's) point of view. It's interesting to see it from that perspective for sure.

  3. Kat. I am loving the reviews.

    Great that you mentioned Beauty having to care for herself then callously being given to the Beast by her so-called Father. According to my ever-so-trusted wikipedia (ha), one of the very first official versions of this fairy tale (there were more than one it seems) was written in 1740. So! I would assume that the culture of selling off a young woman like cattle was commonplace. Heck, there are countries that even do such things today! But that's another blog. But yea I agree that it's disturbing that a Dad would sell off his daughter for his own freedeom even in an almost ancient children's fairy tale!

    Apparently, in the first movie made in 1946, Beauty's "suitor", an asshole named Avenant, was present. That must have been where Disney contrived the "Gaston" character. The Disney version did indeed portray Belle's father as a kinder, "oddball inventor" sort of guy, and that's how I always remembered it as a result.

    I wonder how Beastly will hold up with all of the other versions out there. Still cool that a modern day version was written. I don't like the subtle message that the original and the Disney that mean, cold or callous assholes can be "changed" by another by trying to find that sweet guy underneath it all. So many stories through the years have went that route though. BUT, I do love the message to not judge people JUST by what they look like, that there's more to all of us then meets the eye. That, and Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. What one considers ugly, another can consider cute. To each their own! Omg all of my dribble over a fairy-tale? Ha.

    If another Little Mermaid was ever made...Oh the places you could go with that story! The original Hans Christian Anderson verion is very sad (according to wikipedia, there was a debatable positive twist added on right at the end, as opposed to the aruagble bluntly sad ending I saw as a child first, looked like an Anime style movie) and the Disney version, while much more happy, would be old hat in today's standards. Most of Andersons tales aren't what you would call happy, but that's another blog.

    This is my favorite review from you so far. Love your take on the Beast, Kat! <3

  4. I read this book in a book club at school. it's a really great story .it's one if those kinds love story that guys can read and not get angery about.over all the plot of the story was great and really engrosing . To think i read the whole story in less than 24 hours


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