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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

TITLE: Beastly
SERIES: Kendra Chronicles, Book #1
AUTHOR: Alex Flinn 
PUBLICATION DATE: February 8, 2011 (first published 2007)
FORMAT: Paperback, 304 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780061963285
Love is never ugly.

Now a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer.

I am a beast. A beast! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. 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.


This book has won a couple of literary awards, namely: 2012 Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee and 2007 VOYA's Editor Choice.

I love fairytale retellings, and Alex Flinn’s books have been on my TBR list for a long time! I was a little bit worried when I started the book because I just hated the main character, Kyle Kingsbury. What a jerk! I soon learned that he is supposed to come across that way, and his attitude is the reason why he’s been cursed.

Kyle is a 16 year-old teenage boy that every girl swoons over: He’s rich and good-looking. Unfortunately, he feels that this gives him the right to act like a Class A jerk. The sad news is that he usually gets away with it. This time, however, Kyle has picked the wrong girl to mess with: A goth girl named Kendra Hilferty. He acts as though he likes her and invites her to the dance, telling her that he will buy the tickets and meet her there. All the while, his intention is to take the prettiest snob in the school, Sloane Hagen. News spreads like wildfire all over the school that Kyle is taking Kendra to the dance, and he lets Sloane in on his secret plan.

At the dance, Kendra is waiting for Kyle in the lobby. He sees her, and he kisses Sloane in front of her. Kyle and Sloane laugh at Kendra’s expense, humiliating her. Kendra doesn’t seem shocked, however. That night, Kendra appears in Kyle’s bedroom and morphs into a gorgeous girl. She puts a curse on Kyle, telling him that he will become as ugly on the outside as he is in the inside and that he has two years to break the curse or remain a beast forever. He must fall in love, his beloved must fall in love with him, and their kiss will break the curse.

Kyle’s father, a news anchorman, is too consumed with own looks (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!) to care much about what has happened to Kyle. After taking Kyle to the obligatory meetings with specialists to see if plastic surgery or other treatments can revert him back to the way he looked before, he realizes that any attempt will fail and ultimately dumps him off with a maid and a blind tutor in a five-story brownstone. Talk about cold-hearted!

Wow, I loved this Beauty and the Beast retelling! I really hated Kyle in the beginning and was glad to see his comeuppance. As time went on and his personality began to change, I really started to feel sad for him. This just shows how brilliant Flinn is, when she can make someone first loathe and then love the protagonist! The unconventional romance built slowly with first a foundation of trust and friendship.

This book has turned me into a huge Flinn fan, and I will definitely be reading more of her books! I can’t wait to start on the next book in the series, Beastly: Lindy’s Diary, which was released in 2012.

Thoughts on the movie: [I’ll add this in later after I have watched it.]

#19 for my Monthly Mix-up Mania: 2013 to 2015 Edition     
#7 for my What An Animal Reading Challenge VI  
#3 for my Take Control of Your TBR Pile: March 2013
#1 for my Spring Reading Thing 2013

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