Friday, February 14, 2014

Beastly by Alex Flinn (review)

Beastly (Beastly, #1)
Beastly  

By Alex Flinn

 
Genre: Fairy Tales, Young Adult
Published Oct 2007
Pages: 304
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy  Beastly






Summary: "I am a beast.

   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."


Review:  'Beauty and the Beast' has always been a favorite fairy tale for me. Therefore reading this had me quite exciting. I had already seen the movie and enjoyed it and I was pleasantly surprised when I learned about the book.

    This retelling takes place in a more modern day world, and starts with our "Beast" - Kyle. A rich, spoiled, popular pretty-boy who seems to have it all. When he plays a prank on the wrong girl he is cursed into a beast and we quickly learn this guy had nothing. He is moved to a private apartment, hidden away from the rest of the world. While at first he comes off as selfish and shallow (and in many ways is) it is quick to learn where his habits come from. His desire to change and grow after awhile impresses me. Especially his love toward his garden.

   One huge difference between the book and the movie is that in the book he is truly a beast (hair, claws, etc) yet the movie adds hair loss, tattoos, scars and metal grafting. While I am okay with this difference I do not feel they should have EVER used the movie cover on the book. Very misleading.

   One annoyance in the book that bugged me the most was the chatroom stops throughout the book. While amusing it doesn't fit. Especially since they are not mentioned in Kyle's actual thought. No reference to his chat with others about curses, love, etc. While the chats were somewhat amusing I overall though it to be a waste and took too much time from the real story.

   Kyle really grew on me. At first annoying but about halfway though we start to see that heart of gold shining through. His caring for his companions to his love for his garden. Heartwarming. True to the tale, we are stuck waiting until the last minute for any resolution to his curse. Alex Finn did a great job keeping the the concept for the original tale and making it work in today's world.

   This is a good book for teens and even enjoyable for adults. While the teen drama is a bit heavy at parts it soon dies off about 1/3 the way in. Any fairy tale fans should be sure to check this one out. While there is room for improvement on the writing, the story is sound.  


 

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked this one. I read this one a really long time ago and watched half of the movie but I fell asleep. Since I read the book before the movie was even thought about, I was really annoyed with the change of his beastly features. But Alex Pettyfer makes it better.;)

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    1. Yea the feature differences were annoying. I would have been fine either way but that was a huge inconsistency.

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  2. I've been wondering about this book since the movie came out. You always expect there to be differences between a book and a movie, but don't you just hate when they take such huge liberties in the adaptations?!

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    1. I understand small changes, especially to make it fit a reasonable movie time. Yet large changes or even changes that are utterly unnecessary. Such as a girl is blonde in a book yet a dark brunette in the movie. Why? I love the movies that at least TRY and keep things inline to the book. And character description for the leads is one of those things.

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  3. This is one I have on my shelf. Thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read it.

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    1. I have done that. Get the book, put it on the shelf then space on it for a long time. Enjoy it!

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  4. Finally had time to read Beastly, and it wasnt as good as i expected it to be

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    1. Sorry it was disappointing for you. While I enjoyed it enough I must admit, I think the movie was better.

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  5. I love beauty and the Beast retellings. Great review. <3

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    1. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale so I must try and read the retellings.

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  6. I've been meaning to check out this book, since I heard the movie was good. I'm hesitant about the teen drama bit, but good to know that it stops. He was just randomly in chat rooms? I think I like the idea of him being a beast over the movie's look, but they probably wanted to distinguish it more from all of the other retellings.

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  7. I have wanted to read this one for a long time. Beauty and the Beast was my fave as a little one, and I love retellings of it now. I have heard mixed things about this one, but I want to read it anyway. No interest in the movie, but the book? Yes, please!

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  8. When I first saw the trailer of the movie ages ago, I told myself that I would not watch it until I first read the novel. And I was right, while the movie was good(Pettyfer was there, and any Alex movie is GOOD for me), it was way better in the novel. They changed so many scenes and deleted many characters.
    Great review though! :D
    -Mikee

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  9. Great review! I really love any Beauty and the Beast retellings! I'm really starting to get on board with all of these fairy tale retellings!

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  10. nice review i already saw the movie a long time ago

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  11. I started the book awhile ago from my library but didn't finish it. I also saw the movie, enjoyed. With my enjoying the movie and your review, and the differences between the two, I will have to try to finish this book. Great review!

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