Thursday, 14 April 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: eBook
Published: Paperback: 10th May 2010
eBook: 6th October 2009
Number of Pages: 336
Book: Bought
Genre: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Mild Violence
No Sexual, Alcohol, Drug References, No Swearing (that I can remember)

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 spelll, 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.

I’ve seen lots of split reviews over this one.  It seems to be like marmite; love it or hate it.  Me, well, I love marmite and I loved Beastly.  From the minute I picked it up, I found myself completely hooked, unable to put it down for even a second.  I just loved everything: the world, the curse, the transformation, the romance, but most of all, the message.  It was the main theme for the book, and it was brilliantly done.  And that message was: It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are on the outside, if you are ugly on the inside.
I was amazed at how close Beastly stuck to the actual story: it was so beautiful.  There were no songs or old hags, instead there was a ugly Goth-witch who turned beautiful; a father who hid his son away because he wasn’t ‘perfect’; a second druggie father who gave away his own daughter to keep himself out of jail.  This is what Beastly was made up of, and I loved it so much.  It was amazing, and I couldn’t get enough of the magic and romance.
Kyle Kingsbury was a rich, selfish jerk.  He didn’t care about anyone besides himself, and even enjoyed embarrassing others.  Basically, he deserved the curse.
Now, Adrian – the name Kyle took after the spell – was amazing: I loved him.  He was sweet, thoughtful, smart, caring, and more beautiful inside than he had ever been on the outside as Kyle.  I felt so sorry for him it hurt, and he most certainly didn’t deserve the curse placed on him.
Lindy was bookish, intelligent, strong and brave.  She had a lot to put up with in her life, and was very mature for her age.  What I loved about her was that she didn’t judge Adrian by his looks, instead focusing on what he was like as a person.  Also she had a ‘posh’ voice, because she read so much – they were her only way to escape her life – and sometimes it didn’t sound particularly ‘teenager’.  Then again, I was always accused of speaking too old fashioned... Lindy’s book habits remind me a lot of myself...
I liked the supporting characters, Will (Adrian’s blind tutor) and Magda (Adrian’s maid-slash-guardian).  Kendra – the witch – was meant to be the ‘baddie’, but I actually quite liked her.  In my opinion the fathers were the real villains, in fact I’d say they were perfectly... beastly.  All of them were well padded out and believable.
I loved to see it all from the Beast’s point of view: it was so interesting to see what was going through his head, and it was amazing to be able to witness his inner change from a front-stage seat.  I noticed that as the book went further along Adrian’s voice began to match Lindy, only it was so subtle it was untrue.  
The only downfall about this book was that the timing seemed a little off: it was meant to be set over two years, but it didn’t feel nearly long enough... then again, that could be because I sped through it and just didn’t want it to end.  I didn’t see the final twist coming, and I just adored it as it sent me completely off-balance.
I recommend this to everyone: go buy it now, it was so amazing!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Beauty and the Beast (Both the Movie and the Fairy-Tale)
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright
Beauty by Robin McKinley

Challenges It's Taking Part In:


Shaylene said...

I loved this book! I heard of it because of the movie and so I had to read it! I found that it actually stays pretty close to the original french version too. Everything about this book was great :) Awesome review!

The Lovely Getaway said...

4 1/2? Must be good :) love your review! can't wait to get into this one, its next on my pile! even though technically i already cheated cause I saw the movie :\ but shhhhh! no one's got to know :)haha!

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Shaylene: Same here! I saw the movie trailer on TV, found the book on a friend's blog and thought: have to read that! I loved it too! Thanks!
The Lovely Getaway: Thanks! I hope you enjoy Beastly: I loved it! Then again, I'm a sucker for fairy-tales. And don't worry: your secret's safe with me! ;)

Thanks for you comments!

Anonymous said...

Omg! I love this book! Shaylene and I found it at the library and I consumed it in like two hours. It's so sweet!! ^^ Great review!!

Shaylene said...

Hi! I just wanted to say that I gave you an award on my blog, so be sure to check it out! :)

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Sonny: I think I read it in two sittings! Isn't it the sweetest? Thank you!
Shaylene: Thanks, Shaylene! I'm off to have a look now!

Thank you!

Jules (The Great, The Good and The Bad) said...

I've been undecided about this book! It does sound good thou....

Jules x

YA Vampire Books said...

Great review! I really want to read this book - and see the movie! :)

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Jules: It's amazing!
YA Vampire Books: Thanks! It's brilliant, and the movie looks great too!

Thanks for the comments!