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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Gossip Girl meets Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and surprisingly, we have some pretty entertaining results. Told from “the beast’s” point of view, a familiar story has quirky contemporary twists, plenty of parental angst, and some happy feel-good moments peppered in. Fairly predictable (but hey, it is a re-telling of a well-known fairy tale), and a bit of a stretch fitting in the magical elements, but overall, very enjoyable. I read the book almost entirely in one sitting, and it kept me interested and compelled to read on. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale re-telling, but I would be surprised if it won the Beehive Award. Here’s why: although the protagonist is male, I have a hard time picturing the young adult male audience really getting into this book. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that it satisfied my inner Disney Princess. This is not to say that males can’t enjoy a good fairy tale as much as anyone (or that males can’t have an inner Disney Princess too…), but in my heart of hearts I have to say that this was a satisfyingly girly book, despite all efforts to make it otherwise. Sorry Alex Finn, excellent writing, but not quite there yet!

3 comments:

  1. This was Ms. Flinn's first foray into something other than gritty teenage realistic fiction dealing with issues like sexual abuse, abusive boyfriends, AIDS, etc.; I think she did a pretty good job in that sense.
    It was not, however, nearly as good as most of her other books.

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  2. Interesting, Ink Mage. I did not know that. Love the cover of this, I have to say. Maybe I'll have to read it.

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  3. I'll have to check out some other Flinn books when I'm done with the Beehive Bang and see if I agree with you Ink Mage.

    Incidentally, I just found out that plans are in the works to turn Beastly into a film...starring Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical Fame. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this. I'm leaning towards 'not good'

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