I’ve heard about Beastly a couple of years back but I haven’t been able to find a copy. I’ve always been curious though. Thanks to muntingprinsesa who gave me the book, I finally got to read it.
Here’s the summary from Alex Flinn’s website:
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 a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
I’m always curious about Beauty and the Beast retellings. This is different from the other retellings that I’ve read because it’s set in modern-day New York City and told from the point of view of the Beast. The only other retelling narrated by the Beast that I know of is Beast by Donna Jo Napoli. This is unusual because the story starts before the transformation. So readers get to find out what the Beast did to deserve the curse as punishment. In Beastly, Kyle Kingsbury is popular, handsome, has a rich dad and knows that he’s living the perfect life. He’s also a snob, looks down on people who he thinks doesn’t deserve his attention and judges people based on their looks. A witch in his class wants to teach him a lesson so she casts a spell on him. Unlike the Beast in other retellings, Kyle only has two years to find a girl to love and break the curse. Depressed that he lost his so-called perfect life, Kyle moves to a huge Brooklyn house with just a blind tutor and their housemaid. He even changes his name to Adrian, which means darkness.
I liked the modern setting of the story and that Kyle/Adrian is just a teenage boy. During his isolation, he watches DVDs and goes online to chat with a transformation support group. These chat logs in between chapters are pretty funny. One common thing that I noticed is that in these retellings, the Beauty of the story always likes to read books. Lindy, the Beauty in Beastly, is no different. I just wish there were more anecdotes on the interaction of these two characters. I didn’t feel like their relationship was fully developed. All in all, it was still pretty interesting to read a different kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling. I recommend this for fans of fairy tale retellings.
Check out Alex Flinn’s website for an excerpt of the book. The prologue and the first chapter is there. There’s also a preview of the movie. I hope they show the movie here when it’s released. I want to watch it. The cast of characters is pretty interesting though. Alex Pettyfer plays Kyle, Vanessa Hudgens plays Lindy (the Beauty of the story), Mary-Kate Olsen plays Kendra (the witch) and Neil Patrick Harris plays Will (Kyle’s tutor when he becomes the Beast). Isn’t Lindy supposed to have red hair? And it’ll be interesting how NPH will act in this movie.
This book is one of my entries in the Once Upon a Time challenge.