Summary: A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.
I recently put up a book display in my library’s teen section based on teen fiction books that are based on fairy tales. One of the most popular books based on this “topic” is Beastly by Alex Flinn. I purchased this book for my Nook about a year ago and although I started it, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. While recently browsing through my Nook, I came across it again and thought I would give it a second try. After reading Anna and the French Kiss, I have been in the mood for another light-hearted romance read and Beastly couldn’t have been a better choice. Based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, this updated version really intrigued me.
The main character, later to become the beast, Kyle Kingsbury is your typical stuck up, rich kid going to a highly acclaimed private school. Kyle cares about one thing and one thing only--beauty and looks. He makes fun of classmates that aren’t up to his standards and just doesn’t care about anyone but himself. I’ll be honest, at the beginning of the story I couldn’t stand Kyle and the way he acted. He was everything that embodied a “mean guy” rather than a “mean girl”. When he plans a prank on his fellow classmate, who he thinks is extremely ugly, to meet her at the school dance as his date, Kyle thinks he will get the last laugh. Going along with Beauty and the Beast, Kyle is turned into a beast for his mean prank and has only 2 years to meet a girl, make her fall in love with him, fall in love with her, and kiss her for the spell to be broken. Is Kyle able to get beyond the fact that he has been turned into a beast? Will he be so focused on looks that he will not be able to live as a beast? Will he ever be able to find a girl to fall in love with him? Not only will readers see the growth and maturity in Kyle’s character, but their hearts will smile with the romance that is contained in the book.
Beastly is a perfect example of a fairy tale most of us are familiar with and made current and relevant for today’s teen readers. Even those that know how the fairy tale goes will be surprised with some of the plot twists and turns. Those looking for a light-hearted romance read, with a sort of paranormal romance feel, will enjoy Beastly.
I “liked” this book and would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
FYI: This book will be in theaters in March 2011! :-)