As you may be aware, the movie adaptation of Alex Flinn’s Beastly will be released on March 4th. Since I want to see this movie, I simply had to read the book. Honestly, it’s a bit surprising–even to me–that I had not read Beastly before now. Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney movie. I may have mentioned this before, but I really like it when the Beast gives Belle her very own, totally awesome library. Best. Gift. Ever. Anyhoo, I finally got around to reading Beastly this week, and I really enjoyed it. It transplants this famous fairy tale into modern Manhattan and tells the story from the beast’s point of view. It’s nice to get a glimpse of what he is thinking about his drastic transformation…
Kyle Kingsbury has it all. He’s gorgeous, popular, and everyone wants to be around him. Well, almost everyone. See, Kyle is kind of a jerk, and he makes it clear to everyone that they’re only important to him if they’re beautiful (a little something he picked up from dear old dad). He makes fun of those he thinks are inferior, and he thinks nearly everyone is inferior to him, especially the weird girl with the green hair who doesn’t seem all that impressed with him.
In actuality, the weird, green-haired girl is a witch, and she thinks it’s time that Kyle learned his lesson. That lesson comes in the form of a most unwelcome and unexpected transformation. The witch, better known as Kendra, takes away Kyle’s beauty and transforms him into a hideous beast…but there is a way to reverse the spell. He has two years to find someone to fall in love with him. The trick is that he has to truly love her to. If this mystery girl will kiss him–and show that his appearance doesn’t matter to her–the spell will be broken. Simple, right?
Kyle is convinced that no one could possibly love the monster he’s become. His own father can’t even bear to look at him. How can he expect anyone to fall for him in his current condition. Since his condition seems hopeless, Kyle isolates himself from everyone except Will, his blind tutor, and Magda, his housekeeper. In his isolation, Kyle transforms into a boy whose only solace is in tending to his roses, reading, and watching the world go by from his fifth floor window.
One night, though, everything changes. It starts with a junkie breaking into Kyle’s precious greenhouse. In exchange for Kyle’s silence, the junkie agrees to bring his daughter, Linda, to live in Kyle’s house. Kyle knows that this is his one and only chance at finding love. But can this girl ever love someone so hideous, especially since she considers herself to be imprisoned by him? And can Kyle grow to love someone other than himself? Is there any real hope of breaking the spell, or is Kyle doomed to be a beast forever? Relive the fairy tale when you read Alex Flinn’s Beastly.
Even though I knew what was going to happen in this book, I really enjoyed the journey the author took me on. I really enjoyed reading about how Kyle changed and the similarities between Kyle and Linda’s father issues. They really created a sense of connection between the two main characters that moved their love story along. I also thought the ending was great–how Kyle stopped caring that he was a beast and only thought of what was best for Linda. Beastly is truly heartwarming and totally lived up to its source material.
I hope you’ll read Beastly before you see the movie version. It’s been my experience (most recently with I Am Number Four) that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. If you’d like more information about Beastly or author Alex Flinn, visit http://www.alexflinn.com/. Happy reading!