Beastly by Alex Flinn

Final Ruling: 1/5 stars

Woah, okay, talk about mixed emotions. It takes a lot for me to dislike a book as thoroughly as I disliked Beastly. It is a completely inadequate retelling, managing to negate everything that fairy tale retellings aim to do. Quite truthfully, the only reason that this book deserved any stars at all is the fact that it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which just happens to be one of my very favorite fairy tales.

Okay, first of all, the protagonist is an absolute brat, like the douchiest of all the douchey rich boys in the world. He plays pranks of those he views as lesser than himself, he is downright cruel to anybody he deems unworthy, he treats the people trying to help him like absolute trash, and he still thinks that he did not deserve to be transformed so that his outsides matched his insides. Not to mention that Kyle’s transformation from cruel and spiteful to good and pure is completely unrealistic. Let’s be honest, nobody can undergo a complete personality change in only two years, especially one as radical as Kyle’s, or “Adrian”‘s. Within this same realm of honesty, a girl, and a witch no less, as powerful as Kendra, should have done something much much much worse after the way that Kyle treated her. Now, I believe in redemption and all of that, but the changing of someone’s fundamental personality is not the same thing.

Moving on to the plot, which was pitiful, even though it did technically follow along the lines of Beauty and the Beast, as it was supposed to. However, the story showed no evolution from the original, even though countless years lie between them. For goodness sakes, it has been hundreds of years, it is time to evolve away from a storyline that revolves around Stockholm Syndrome, of all things. Yes, I know that the original Beauty and the Beast had just as much Stockholm Syndrome, but the purpose of retellings is to evolve the story, a purpose which Beastly somehow managed to miss entirely. There was no new twists, no new meanings, no underlying meanings to be developed, it was simply the same old story in modern day New York City; this fact makes the entire book predictable to a fault, as well as a tad bit creepy, because let’s face it, things that were acceptable in France a long long time ago, are not acceptable in modern day America.

I would recommend this to pretty much nobody, instead recommending that they read the original fairy tale, as even that is a bajillion times better than Beastly.


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