Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn.

Beastly Movie Poster.
I bought this book because I happened to see the trailer for the new movie coming out, with Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer as the leading roles.
I didn't think much of the trailer (especially upon learning that the weird wiry tattoo things were supposed to make Alex Pettyfer look like a beast instead of fur, and the fact that he has to put on an American accent) but as soon as I knew it was a book I was there.

You see... I'm a massive fan of the fairytale genre. Especially the revamped fairytale genre.
Now I've read Neil Gaiman's 'Stardust', Gregory Maguires 'Mirror, Mirror', 'Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister' and 'Wicked' series (although, yes, those aren't really fairytales, just reworkings) and John Connolly's 'The Book of Lost Things'. All of which contain sometimes very dark interpretations of fairy tales.

And that's the way I like them.

Beastly Book Cover
So Beastly was a surprisingly small book. I ordered it from Amazon and surprisingly it came a couple of days later at a bargain price. The blurb on the back says: " I Am a Beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dogbut a horrible creature who walks upright - a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a Monster." And this is how Kyle Kingsbury, an ex popular guy who had it all (looks, money, popularity :/ ) now looks. Which is great. Because he was a right ass.
So yeah, a witch turns him into the beast and he now has 2 years to find true love.

I think what I liked most about Beastly was the way that it told the tale of Beauty and the Beast in the Beasts point of view. Sure, we all would know what it's like, but you never knew before what the Beasts life was like beforehand, how being a Beast, and falling in love, changed him.
And this story does just that.
Obviously aimed at teens and young adults (but I'd recommend it to anyone) Beastly plays out a beautiful friendship and romance and I'm sure a character or two might live in your heart for a while. Kyle's tutor was a favourite of mine. (Who, in the film is played by the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris.)

Something I didn't find quite so great though, was the way that Alex Flinn tried to incorporate other fairytale. Sure, It works for some books, but to me the chat room and other obvious fairytale characters in it wasn't needed. Sure, it made it modern, but it already felt modern to me. One thing it does do is highlight a flaw of Kyles- self-centredness. I'm not so sure this was supposed to happen. So I've taken a point off for that.
And because it's just a little bit too teeny for my liking, another half point.

So I give Beastly 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Either way, lets just say, I've found a new love of roses.

1 comment:

  1. I heard the book was ok and not great but I'm sure with the movie it will get a lot of buzz. I think I would still like to read it before the movie.