Author: Alex Flinn
Publication: 2007 by HarperTeen
I am a beast. A beast! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. 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.
What I Thought About It . . .
Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairy tales, and the Disney film is something I can watch and be just as enthralled as if it were my first time. Oh, Disney has a lot to answer for! And Jean Cocteau will share the blame as well! Anyway I was rather pleased to read that the author based her version of Adrian upon the Beast in Cocteau’s classic film. So a modern retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales was a major appeal for me. I ended up seeing the Beastly film before my request for it at the library reached me, but I liked the movie enough that I wanted to read the book. So I ended up buying the book when I seen it on the shelves at the store.
This is a young adult book so it’s pretty easy to read. Since it is also told from the perspective of Kyle (our Beast in this tale) we see just how cruel and vicious he can be. His obsession with physical beauty and perfection make him the type of guy whom I would hate in real life. And due to my own inability to conform to society’s view of what is beautiful, I have met a few real Kyles over the years. Anyway the point I’m trying to make is that I’d love to beat him with my Keyblade in the beginning of the book.
I was rather amused how Adrian’s speech was altered from reading all that literature. And even he noted it was perhaps due to the same reason. I’ve noticed such things happening myself when I finish books, though it generally has a greater influence from the classics. Still there aren’t a whole lot of surprises when reading this book. We’re merely told all the familiar trappings of the classic fairy tale in a modern setting… so it may be interesting to see how those are handled in such a society as we have today. This is also one of those times where the movie-tie in edition of the book doesn’t really suit the book’s descriptions because Kyle/Adrian actually becomes a hairy monster with fangs and claws as opposed to the tattooed deformity that movie-Kyle endures, and that makes me wonder that the film takes more of a Phantom of the Opera approach without all of the homicidal mania, of course. The ending had a nice twist though and Kendra probably is my favorite character in the tale at this time. Future readings may change that naturally but for the moment the witch intrigues me the most. Although I admittedly like the film adaptation a little better than the book, but I don’t think that it’s because that happened to be the medium that I first became acquainted with it.