Synopsis from the dust jacket: “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.”
This was a really adorable adaptation of the “Beauty and Beast” fairytale. It’s not sappy and “lovey-dovey,” and it’s set in present day, which I really liked. But, my favorite aspect of the book is the characters. The Beast, Kyle, actually CHANGED. You can see the changes taking place as the story progresses, no overnight transitions, like authors are sometimes prone to do. I felt like the characters had souls, and that was a really nice change, in terms of “fairytales.” I also liked that the story started out in a chatroom, with other fairy tale characters, such as the frog prince, and the little mermaid, all IMing each other about their transformation… when it’s the Beasts turn to tell his, our story begins. Very ingenious.
I picked up Beastly the other day because a movie rendition is coming out, less than a month from now (March 4). After I saw the trailer and realized the book was written by Alex Flinn, I went straight to Barnes and Nobel to get it. I have a lot of respect for Alex Flinn and her YA books. Breathing Underwater is another one of her novels, about a young abusive teen, and my students highly recommended that book, so I read that a few months ago. Pure talent. I am very excited about the movie rendition of this book, though I can already tell from the trailer and movie poster above that it is going to shy away from the book (as they always do), at least in terms of what the characters look like. Pick up a copy of this novel ASAP and read it BEFORE you see the movie. You won’t be disappointed! Four stars for a very cute, very well written novel!