Book Review: Beastly

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Beastly Beastly by
Series: Kendra Chronicles #1
Published by in 2007
Genres: , ,
Pages: 304

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.

My Review:

This is my second novel by Alex Flinn, and I have to say, the first one (A Kiss in Time) wasn’t exactly my favorite. I thought it was clever, and a really good novel, just not quite my thing. But I’ve been told by many people that Beastly was their favorite, so I thought I’d try it. I’m so glad I did.

I should probably mention that I’m a bit prejudiced, because I absolutely love the story of Beauty and the Beast. It was my favorite Disney film, mostly because I saw myself in Belle and I wanted the Beast’s library so bad! I was excited to read a modernization of this novel, since I’ve read many different versions, but haven’t read one that would really count as “today” modern – the most modern one was during World War I.

The very beginning had me a bit skeptical. The set-up was necessary, but I got a little bored. Now that I’ve finished it, though I’d like to go back and re-read it, just to see if the same is true. At the time, I really wanted to just get past the set-up and get to the good stuff. I was more curious about how she did the “invisible servants” and the Father giving up his daughter (cause in our society that is just not ok).

The wait was so worth it. I got to the “good stuff” and I just could not put the book down. I think I read straight from 7 pm to 11 last night just to finish it. I loved the way Flinn got around the “magic” in modern day, though of course it couldn’t be avoided completely. I loved the characters, once Kyle got past his hoity-toity attitude. Will was especially one of my favorites. I had a very vivid picture of him in my mind, better than any of the other characters, even Adrian.

Interestingly, the imagery was much more vivid for the house and garden. I wanted to be Lindy, discovering the huge library, walking through the gorgeous greenhouse full of roses and playing in the snow at the house in the mountains. Maybe I’m being a little superficial, but the imagery was so vivid that I wanted to be there. I enjoyed the bits I was supposed to enjoy, and I was on the edge of my seat when I was supposed to be. The suspense was held right up to the end, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My only complaint was that between each section, Flinn broke it up with “transcriptions” of IM conversations between various modern fairytale characters. I would guess that a majority of them are from her other novels, though I haven’t read any other of the characters that were included. I can see why she did it – it’s an easy way to advertise for her other novels, and it keeps the setting firmly in the present. But it bothered me, and by the end I mostly just skipped those couple of pages. I didn’t feel they were necessary to the plot, and I just wanted to keep reading the actual story.

Honestly though, that wasn’t too much of a detriment. I plan on buying a copy of this as soon as I can, and I’m so excited to re-read it someday!

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