Published by Harper Collins on December 29th 2009
Genres: Adolescence, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.
Life for Kyle Kingsbury is perfect. He’s good looking, charming, and one of the New York elite. But Kyle’s inside is ugly, and all it takes is one witch to notice that he’s rotten to the core. Now, he’s a gruesome sight and expected to find someone to love and kiss him before his time runs out. Kyle has always been told that beauty is only skin deep, but now that he doesn’t have his, he’ll have to learn to dig a little deeper.
Being in a reading slump is something that makes me cringe. Sadly, I found my self in the middle of one. I couldn’t get into any books, and decided to go back to an old favorite. I read Beastly before it was turned into a movie with the gorgeous Alex Pettyfer as the male lead, and, as a middle schooler with an affinity for the unrealistic, fell in love. I wish I could say that I enjoyed it that much this time around, and even though it took me no time at all to read it, it appealed more to my younger side.
The reason I might have enjoyed it more in middle school could have been because the characters were young. Kyle begins the novel as a shallow freshman in high school and does have the entire world in front of him, and he’s ready to take it on. He had two years to change himself completely, offering him plenty of time to get back to his old life, if he could complete the task.
If you haven’t figured out by now, Beastly is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast—told in the city that never sleeps, New York City. The setting definitely created more of an issue for someone who couldn’t walk down the street without seeing his father on the megatron in Times Square. Since his father prided himself in how handsome he was, noticeable tension was created between the already nonexistent father/son relationship. It gave Kyle time to contemplate love within the family, and that sometimes family did not always translate to a blood relative.
Alex Flinn’s publisher has released a new version of this book that includes Lindy’s journal. I would love to see her thoughts before her time with Kyle and during, too. So, if you haven’t read this book yet, I would recommend getting a copy of that book! I’m having to convince myself that I don’t need it, that I already have the book. I might end up spending an entire day on the floor of a bookstore to read it.
If you love fairy tales, or if you just love love, I recommend anything by Alex Flinn. Her stories are timeless tales with a modern twist that even non-readers would enjoy.