BEASTLY by Alex Flinn [Review]

I recently became of aware of Beastly thanks to the trailer for the movie adaptation that’s coming to theaters in March (starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, Mary Kate Olsen, and Neil Patrick Harris). The movie looks great, so I decided to read the book before I go see it. Beastly is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale set in the modern world. In this version, which takes place in NYC, the beast is Kyle Kingsbury, son of a prominent local news anchor. He’s rich, snobby and generally obnoxious—which brings him under the unwanted attention of Kendra, a witch with the power to curse him. After Kyle attempts to humiliate Kendra at the school dance, she does just that—she curses him to look like the beast that he is. However, she does give him two years to break the curse…if he can find true love and seal it with a kiss.

I totally enjoyed this modern version of the Beauty and the Beast story. The author stays true to the original story, but, even though I knew what was going to happen, it was still interesting and engaging. I loved the NYC setting and the way Flinn updated the story. At the beginning of several chapters there are transcripts from a chat room for those who have undergone fairy tale transformation (moderated by a Mr. Andersen…Hans Christian?), and I thought this was a clever, funny device. The only thing that didn’t work for me (spoiler alert? I’m assuming you’re familiar with the fairy tale) was the arrival of Lindy, who much like Belle in the fairy tale, is sent to live with the beast by her father. This part felt forced and took me out of the story, which up until that point I thought was flawless. Still, I highly recommend Beastly to anyone who likes YA romance. With the upcoming movie, I can see Beastly becoming even more of a hit with teens and adults alike.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: HarperTeen | Pages: 304 | Source: Library | Buy on Amazon

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