Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Reads: Beastly

Beastly by Alex Flinn was one of those surprisingly good books.  It could be described as light fairy tale fluff, but really, what's wrong with that?

Synopsis: (click here for an excerpt)
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.
First Sentence: First section starts as a chat group.  "Mr. Anderson: Welcome to the first meeting of the Unexpected Changes chat group."  There are four or five of these chats that go on throughout the book, and you get to see Kyle interact with other fairy tale creatures undergoing changes: Little Mermaid, Frog Prince, a wolf guy I haven't quite placed yet (Little Red Riding Hood maybe?).  These chats are hilarious, but also heartwarming.  They aren't vital to the story or to forward the plot, but you get to see another facet of Kyle and the world at large.

Beefs: Like I said, it's fluff.  But good fluff.  It was a nice light read that brought me another take on Beauty and the Beast.

Brownie Points: The concept.  Beauty and the Beast told from the POV of a 21st century rich, privileged boy.  POV of the Beast.  And that's delightful.  Truly, truly is.  Rather than a reluctant father who gives up his daughter, you've got a drug addict seeing a get-out-of-jail-free card.  Rather than a castle, you've got a Brownstone in the Bronx, famous ashamed father, blind tutor, and a sweet maid.  Flinn has a way of taking familiar elements, adding updated new familiar elements to it, to make a familiar book we haven't seen before.  If that makes any sense.

Ending: Loved it.  Turns out how you'd expect.  Though through the last chat session, you get a feeling of unease in the fairy tale world.  Where's SilentMaid?  Do I smell a sequel in our futures?

Recommendation:  Love fairy tale rewrites?  You'll love this one.

Would I represent it? Probably not.  I'm not actively looking for fairy tale rewrites.  There are a lot out there, and it has to be spectacular to stand out.

Happy reading!


Karen Baldwin said...

The synopsis hooked me, though I don't think I'd read it. But I would go see the movie. Love great trailers.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I'm with Em-Musing. Loved the synopsis. And, yes, I'm a sap for all that's love and gooey. I'm sure this read would keep my attention. ";-)

Unknown said...

It sounds great, but I'm not sure I would pick it up. My tastes trend towards the darker storylines.