review: “beastly” June 26, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: 48 hour book challenge, fairy tales re-told, teen book club
Beastly by Alex Flinn.
Harper Teen // Paperback // 336 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Kyle Kingsbury pissed off the wrong girl. Well, she’s not really a girl — Kendra is a witch. And she’s now turned him into a beast. Kyle only has two years to find the girl who will love him as he is. Without his friends or his family, Kyle begins to lose hope. That is, until he sees a girl in the mirror Kendra gave him. Can she be the girl to set him free?
I thought this book was clever, and a really good read. Of course, I knew the story of “Beauty and the Beast,” but I wasn’t concerned about the ending of the story. This book was all about getting through the journey and to the ending. Which is why I think some of my teens didn’t enjoy it as much as other teen book club books. A lot of my teens read for the story, and they already knew how this one was going to work out thanks to Disney.
I, on the other hand, love re-tellings of fairy tales. I’ve already read Flinn’s follow-up “A Kiss In Time,” and I have to say if you’re going to pick one to read, pick “Beastly.” The narrator, Kyle, got under my skin so quickly that I was ever feeling sorry for him before he had turned into the beast.
A very interesting part of the novel were the chat sequences between Kyle and other fairy tale characters. I loved this aspect and I know other readers were on the fence about it. It was a good hook for today’s text/chat heavy teens and I think it served as a good vehicle to move the story along. I could see Flinn writing the other characters’ stories one day, too.
And finally, no review of “Beastly” can skip mentioning the fact that the movie has just started casting. I had a hard time picturing Vanessa Hudgens as Linda Owens, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the movie will be done right. After all, Flinn has already reviewed the screenplay and given it the thumbs up.