Title | Beastly
Author | Alex Flinn
Pages | 304
Publisher | HarperTeen
Series | Beastly #1, Kendra Chronicles #1
Release Date | October 2nd, 2007
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon
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.
I’m digging back into the archives with this review today because today, I am reviewing Alex Flinn’s Beastly. After scrolling around on my Netflix, I rediscovered the movie adaptation of Beastly that was released in 2011. Like many movies, this one was something that launched a sense of nostalgia in me – it’s been many years since I first read Alex Finn’s retelling of the classic fairy-tale, The Beauty and the Beast.
Just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s good.
Now for anyone who reads my blog regularly, they will be aware that I hate finding faults in stories. A few months ago, I was asked why I write a book blog when I hate criticising stories, and that really made me think. There is hardly ever a time when I come across a story that is so bad, that I cannot think of anything positive. And while I can point out a few positive things with this book, it was in no sense perfect.
Those who don’t know how to see the precious things in life will never be happy.
Originally published in January 2007, Beastly is the rare book in Young Adult romance that follows the story of a teenage boy. I’d have said this was refreshing, but there were a lot more male protagonists in young adult stories during the 2000s. I’ll hold up my hands and admit that Beastly had a really good story to it – even if it is ultimately a retelling of a classic story. A modern-day fairy story, the book is a supernatural romance: a genre I generally avoid crossing into. I’ve always been a romantic, so I was routing for Lindy and Kyle (who calls himself Adrian once cursed) from the beginning. But I have to admit that the book definitely has its fair share of flaws.
Maybe we judge people too much by their looks because it’s easier than seeing what’s really important.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the story is the characterisation of the lead character, Kyle. He’s no stranger to popularity, he’s richer than beyond belief and has the personality of a plant pot. He just isn’t very relatable, even when he’s been cursed. And although the curse seems to give a sense of empathy at his desperation, his actions still did not soothe any bad feelings I had towards him. I personally didn’t see much growth in his character, even at the end when everybody seemed to be living the best life.
People make such a big deal about looks, but after a while, when you know someone, you don´t even notice anymore…
To give Alex Flinn something good, I did really love the other characters. Lindy was very much my favourite as she seemed the most realistic. I also liked Kendra – her actions and the spell she casts obviously makes the story of the book, but her reasoning behind it is brilliant. Alex Finn did a wonderful job with characters like Lindy, the house keeper and Kyle’s tutor, Will. They all did such an amazing job in the story, and really brought out Kyle’s humanity despite how he had been before.
She wanted to leave. I loved her too much to make her stay.
Beastly was also incredibly slow and drawn out – had the book been kept shorter and the story had of moved on a little bit, I feel I would have been able to stand it a little more. Sadly, the book was just not to my taste. I honestly didn’t appreciate the happiness at the end of the book. Stories in which have good endings are great, but there are just some endings that seem so incredibly stupid and unrealistic. For a modern-day telling, it should have had a much better message then everything becoming perfect in the end. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but let’s just say Shrek did a better ending than Beastly.
Magic. It was magic, and the magic is called love.
I hate to award a book such a low mark, but I honestly think Beastly deserves one star. However, I am open to read something else of Alex Flinn’s. I haven’t touched her work in ages, but I might check back in with her fiction at some point.
Still unsure as to whether this is the right book for you? That’s totally fine! Here are some more wonderful people who might be able to help you!
Mariana @ What the Hell is She Reading said “I think if you like the show Once Upon a Time or The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, you’ll like Beastly.”
Paris @ Reading Creations said “The book was good and I really enjoyed it.”
In a books lifetime, the rights may pass along different publishing houses or be adapted into other languages for international sellers. It then falls down to each publishing house to buy the cover rights, or produce ones of their own. This leads to different cover designs for the same book.
Here are the available covers for Alex Flinn’s Beastly.