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.”

I picked up Beastly because I really liked A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn, and because I’d heard really good things about it. There’s a movie now as well, which I’d like to see. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was really unrealistic, I realize that it should be, it’s a modern Beauty and the Beast (A fairy-tale!) but at the same time I thought it’d be a bit more realistic anyway. The capture that wasn’t a kidnapping, despite the good intentions of keeping HER (no spoilers) from her father, I didn’t think that was real at all. No matter how it seemed the Beast wasn’t going to hurt me or something, I wouldn’t have lived like that! I would’ve jumped out a window! Or maybe stolen the phone, it probably wouldn’t have been that hard!

I digress though, despite the unrealness of the book, it was very good. The transformation of Kyle was amazing. Lindy was really cool. I really liked Will for some reason, he just seemed cool. The way it turned out who Magda was in the end was really epic, I didn’t expect that. A lot of the book was predictable, partially because it’s loosely based off the fairy-tale so you vaguely know how it will end of course, but there were still some twists and turns I didn’t forsee.

Beastly is written in first person and is a male narrative by Kyle/The Beast/Adrian (the main character) and I don’t think this book would have worked any other way.  A lot of the book is Kyle’s inner battles with himself and his personality. Who he thought he was, who he was, what he wanted to be, his cold realizations about the way he was or still was at the time acting; they were all a big deal. I liked that because that created a good emotional connection and understanding with the lead character for me. I also adored the ongoing theme with the roses, Kyle’s attachment to them, Lindy liking them, and how they were there for most of the story. ’twas great.

There’s also the best theme of the book, the one that underlies through the whole thing, that beauty is only skin deep (or the movie tagline: LOVE IS NEVER UGLY, but that’s different!). It’s a lesson everyone learns/should learn, so that’s always good.

All in all, a good take on Beauty and the Beast set in modern day New York City! 

(By the way; if you can’t get enough re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast, Angela reviewed “Beast” by Donna Jo Napoli, and I haven’t read it but it looks good! It seems the opposite other then focusing on the Beast, so check out her review here. )