When you have 172 ¼ books on your reading list as I do ( I count them now and then), you make it a rule not to read books twice until you’ve finished all the others. But for Beastly I had to make an exception. That’s right; it’s that good.
Spoiled Kyle Kingsberry is an ass. He has everything handed to him on a silver platter- his good looks, his father’s money, the title of school prince, and the hottest girl in school. Not only does he expect it, but he likes to rub it in the faces of everyone else. When a ‘Goth fat chick’ (his words, not mine) criticizes him in front of his class, he invites her to the dance as a prank. But the Gothic girl turns out to be a witch. You know the rest. His dad banishes him to a house in Brooklyn, he gets a tutor and has the maid. A druggie breaks in, and what do you know, he has a daughter that he’s willing to barter to escape jail time. The girl hates him at first but then her resistance breaks down, etc, etc.
I have a soft spot for Beauty and The Beast already. You can see on my blog Lover’s Quarrel that I love the idea with both Beauty and the Beast and with Mine for Tonight. but Alex Flinn made it come alive again with a modern, yet still charming feel. There was plenty of humor, especially in the online chat group (support group for people and creatures who have undergone transformations). I could feel for Kyle even when he was a jerk because of how much he wanted his dad’s attention, which is essential for a love interest; your dislike for him can’t be too much to overcome, a mistake I’ve seen in other tellings of this story. The scenes between Kyle and Lindy (the junkie’s daughter) are sweet but not sappy, which is always a plus. Sap has never really done it for me. At the end, Flinn ties in how much Kyle has changed by him going back to his old school and showing how he can see through his friends’ fake smiles and how much he hated his old self. It’s an excellent story overall, and one that I’d definitely recommend to any teenage girl (or gay guy for that matter). Beastly is proof that classic stories can’t really be beaten to death when they are done right ;-).