Monday 17 May 2010

Beastly Review

“My dad’s a network news guy. He says people shouldn’t have to look at ugly people.”

I have to confess that Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney animation and one that I sheepishly know all the words to. I’ve even seen the stage show on Broadway and so when I found out about Beastly by Alex Flinn, I knew I had to read it. You see, Beastly is a YA version of the classic story Beauty and the Beast.

In Beastly, the main protagonist is Kyle Kingston, a teenager who leads a privileged life in the heart of New York City. He just about has it all – good looks, popularity and a rich father. I say “just about” because he is sadly lacking in the winning personality stakes. Together with his shallow girlfriend Sloane, they rule the school and treat anyone who isn’t beautiful like persona non grata. When a cruel prank backfires, Kyle gets a taste of his own medicine.

Beastly was a fun, quick read that I read in one sitting. I enjoyed the interesting take on the Beauty and the Beast story and I love how Kyle grows and develops throughout the book. In the beginning, he is not a likeable character but he definitely grows on you as the story unfolds. I think because the main protagonist was male, I initially thought that the author was a man until I finished reading and turned to the back of the book and saw the author photo. I realise this was a bit silly of me now but it was a subconscious thought and not one that I had any control over. Sorry Alex!

I really liked the supporting characters and I would have liked to have seen more from Lindy. This could only have been achieved however, by reading from her point of view.

I’m REALLY looking forward to the movie but I can already see why they will have to change a few details. I’m guessing this may be one of those rare times when I will like the film better than the book but I’ll reserve judgement on that for now until the movie comes out in July. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is in all it's glory (just remember to wipe up your drool after watching.

Alex Flinn is the author of several books but Beastly is the first of her novels to be made into a movie. You can visit her website by clicking here.


  1. I thinkt I'm really going to enjoy this as Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney movie too. Belle's library... *sigh*

  2. oh I know, I'd die for that library!! x

  3. It must be a thing like all girly book people loving stationary too because I love Beauty ad the Beast. It is my second favrite film of all time. My favourite being You've Got Mail. Okay so it is true I am a sucker for Hollywood smuck. Add in a bookish heroine and I'm sold. Anyway, I'm thinkin I might just see the film first and then decide if I want to read this. Great review!

  4. I love Beastly. I dithered about buying it ages ago so when I succumbed, it was a one-sitting-book-too.

    I think I will no doubt love the book more than the movie. But I'll still go and see the flick.

  5. I love your review. I have Beauty and the Beast memorized too! I can sing along without even thinking about it.

    I've reviewed Beastly too:

  6. Oh wow ! Great review ! I probably will be buying this one this weekend ;-)
    If you want to read the Rachel Vincent ones, give me a shout (and your address) and I will send them to you !

  7. Thank you for your comments guys!

  8. I'm a bit behind on posting. I saw the movie first and have been thinking of picking up the book. I not only love Disney's Beauty and the Beast, I love virtually any Beauty and the Beast retellings. It is one of my favorite fairy tales and I am willing to go for anything it is based on. I'm already watching the movie over and over again, so I guess it is time to buy the book!

  9. Ages later--bought the book. Wow. What a come down. I almost never say this, and for once I'm sure it isn't because I saw the movie first. The movie destroys the book in class, characterization, and dialogue. I appreciated the books attempt to keep close to the old fashioned fairy tale, but if you are adapting something, you need to adapt for God's sake. Kyle lacks multifacets and does not change in voice as he grows older and changes. In the book Linsey's father is such an asshole, I would her down before I let her go back to him. Compared to the intelligent sass and independence of Linsey in the movie--a girl you can believe would save someone--Linsey of the book almost feels like a prop. And the end--climax way more meaningful in the movie.

    I'll shut up now, but if you want to read more on my comparison, give a scroll through my blog: