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review: “crazy beautiful” October 28, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.
Houghton Mifflin // Hardcover // 208 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

After a chemical experiment gone horribly wrong, Lucius was left without his hands. Instead of getting prosthetic hands, he choose hooks…to set himself apart, to show everyone how different he was now. Aurora prepares to start fresh at school this year, after the death of her mother. Both teens struggle to find acceptance and happiness. But what if what they really need is simply each other?

[I’m assuming that everyone knows the ending to “Beauty and the Beast” and won’t be bothered by spoilers, but if you are, turn back now!]

In a modern re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” Baratz-Logsted creates both a sympathetic Beast and Beauty. Told in alternating chapters, readers are given a glimpse into both Lucius’s and Aurora’s individual reactions and points-of-view. This decision will only bring teens closer to the characters and their story and utilized as a strong device.

The biggest deviation from the traditional tale is obviously the lack of magic. That is so beyond fine with me. I love magic and fantasy, don’t get me wrong, but setting the story in real life makes it automatically more accessible for today’s teens.

The supporting characters are a nice addition. Our Gaston really annoyed me, but that’s completely in his character. But I really liked seeing the involvement of parents in YA! I know, it’s almost blasphemy to include parents in YA, but they exist.

I did a small problem with the book — that it wrapped up too quickly. I wanted to see more about the fall-out from their decision to be together. It wasn’t enough for me to just end the book on a happily ever after note. I cared about these characters and I wanted more. Someone should tell “Beauty and the Beast: The After Story.” Seriously.

Great solid buy for libraries. Definitely get it in stock before Alex Flinn’s “Beastly” makes it to screen and your teens are clamoring for more re-told fairy tales.

SWAN catalog
Lauren Baratz-Logsted




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