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.
Beastly is a book that has been on my radar for a while, but I had never gotten around to reading it… until now! I just wasn’t positive whether or not I wanted to invest in a book that could be a wonderful modern fairytale re-telling but could equally be a cliche, poorly done teen love story. So when I found a used copy at the thrift store while buying books for my classroom it was the perfect excuse to finally get it.
I was pleasantly surprised. I expected that I’d at least somewhat like it given that fairytale re-tellings are my jam, but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Our beast, Kyle, starts the book a terrible person, but after he is cursed and must learn to start living as a beast, he radically changes and I loved reading about this process. The whole kidnapping of the beauty part is still a little weird but made a little less weird because the beauty’s father was abusive and terrible so it was kind of saving her? (But also still weird. It’s one of those moments where I had to remind myself that it’s a fairytale don’t think about it too much).
The romance developed gradually which I liked, and I liked that they read and talked about books as they were getting to know each other. This section could have actually been expanded even a bit further in my opinion because I liked seeing things build. What I really liked though was that even though the romance played a large part, the book was still focused on Kyle’s personality transformation as he became a better person, which made it a much more interesting read than if the author had just written a straight up teen romance.
I really have nothing profound to say. This was my version of a beach book and I happily read it, even staying up a little late to finish it last night. If you like fairytale re-tellings, but are hesitating I’d say give it a try! I was glad I did.
Stay magical readers!