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Beastly by Alex Flinn (final thoughts)

April 1, 2010

Kyle Kingsbury is used to getting what he wants. As an only child who not only has access to his dad’s money, but also inherited his good looks, nothing has been held out of his reach. When a loner girl at school tries to knock him off his precious pedestal, Kyle decides he’s going to have some fun and put her in her place. Little does he know this girl has a scheme of her own up her sleeve. Welcome to Beastly, a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And this time, we get to see the story from the Beast’s perspective.

I don’t know if I can say enough good things about this book. I enjoyed it to pieces. Flinn had Kyle’s initial awfulness down perfectly. In fact, he annoyed me so much at the beginning that if he had been turned into a beast any later I don’t think I could have read one more page of his smugness. But that’s good, because his outward beastly hideousness had to come from somewhere, right? As soon as he was transformed, his confusion and despair felt so real that for a moment I actually felt sorry for him. But just for a moment. Watching the story unfold after that was a delight!

Because Beastly is a fairy tale retelling, there was a certain amount of predictability, which is to be expected. However, the story was never boring. I felt attached to the characters and truly wanted things to work out. I loved that familiar lines from the tale were thrown in to the book, but never felt out of place. They just made me really want to watch the Disney movie (although, darn vault thwarted my attempts).

Speaking of movies, I was pretty excited to hear that Beastly is being made into a movie, and is coming out this summer. But then I saw the trailer – where’s the Beast’s fur?? And Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy? Sigh. Not what I expected at all. It looks like they also changed a bunch of plot details, like the amount of time the Beast has to break the spell. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to go see the movie. Although even in my later 20’s I’ll likely be the oldest person in the theatre!

I highly recommend reading the book. The movie might just be a fun treat afterwards.

My rating: 8.5/10

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2010 1:50 pm

    I just love fairy tale retellings. I read Beauty and the Beast last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I would definitely be up for seeing this. The movie looks interesting too. I wonder if he will be changing back and forth or turning into that creature that they showed.

  2. April 1, 2010 5:36 pm

    I really liked this one, too! Looking forward to the movie.

  3. April 1, 2010 11:06 pm

    I had heard good things about this one, but now I think you just convinced me! I love retellings.

  4. April 2, 2010 8:29 am

    Your review was way better than the movie preview! I’ve never heard of this book, but I really want it now! Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. April 2, 2010 3:14 pm

    The book and movie sound awesome! :)

  6. April 3, 2010 12:05 am

    This one was just okay for me. It was light, quick read, but I didn’t buy Alex’s emotional make-over. Things were just way too easy for him, imo.

  7. April 3, 2010 5:42 pm

    I’m with you. I LOVE the book and have reservations about the film.


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