REVIEW: Beastly by Alex Flinn
by Alex Flinn
Kendra Chronicles, Book One
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 THOUGHTS: 4 OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Kyle Kingsbury is the crown prince of his high school–and he knows it. He is unnecessarily cruel and arrogant. But one night he crosses the wrong girl. She turns out to be a witch who curses him to live as a beast. He can only break the curse by finding his true love.
As Kyle passes several months in the dreary, castle-like home where his father has hidden him, he loneliness becomes overwhelming. He is sure his curse will never be broken–until chance brings him Lindy, a girl he never would have noticed in his other life. Can she come to love a beast?
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie ever, so of course I had to read this retelling. I was really pleased by it.
Kyle is such a horrible person at first. One has to wonder how much of his personality has been influenced by his father, who is a workaholic and can’t really be bothered with his son. Kyle’s mother is gone, so he really has no one to act as a role model for him. Not that these facts excuse his cruel actions, but it’s something to think about.
The changes that Kyle went through are nice to watch. The further removed he becomes from his old life, the better person he becomes. It’s telling by how selfless he becomes–not only wishing for good things for himself, but for those close to him as well.
I was a bit disappointed that Lindy didn’t come into the story until past the halfway mark, but I suppose it was important to get a real feel of the extreme despair that Kyle was feeling. But since she didn’t come into the picture until so late, the romance felt a bit rushed to me.
Overall, I thought Beastly was a fun modern retelling of my favorite childhood fairy tale. All of the important symbolism from the original tale was there, spun in a cool new way.