A while back we shared our review on Towering, by Alex Flinn, which we kind of enjoyed. There’s still a month left in the summer – still more time for summer reading. What have been you been reading? Kelly and I have both been on a YA kick lately. After reading (well almost reading) Towering I wanted to go back and reread a good Alex Flinn book so I picked up Beastly and found Bewitching as well.
Beastly is just what it sounds, a modern take on Beauty and the Beast. I love this story, I really like this take on this story. One of my favorite parts of this book is the periodic chat sessions between the “beast” and characters from other fairy tales that have been transformed or in the case of SilentMaid are thinking about transforming. Moderated by a human who has studied fairy tales extensively this group talks through several fairy tales: Little Mermaid, Princess and the Frog, and Snow White Rose Red (btw if you’ve never heard of this story go look it up, this is not that Snow White it’s a different one but it’s really good story).
Kyle Kingsbury is a rich handsome teenager used to getting everything he wants because of his money and good looks. He disparages those that don’t look as good like the mysterious Kendra, big mistake. He “asks” Kendra to the big dance and naturally takes someone else. When he gets home that night Kendra is waiting in his room no longer fat and ugly, she is thin and gorgeous and Kyle is in shock. She casts a spell to turn him into a beast, he has two years to find someone who loves him for who he is on the inside or he will be a beast forever. Pretty standard telling of the tale and Kyle goes through the pretty standard stages of grief for his former self before coming to some level of acceptance. One night a robber breaks into his yard when caught the man offers up his daughter as a way out of trouble. Kyle now Adrian takes him up on his offer and the story really gets going. This is definitely a book worth reading.
Bewitching is a sequel/companion to Beastly. This is Kendra’s story and other fairy tales as well. At first I was bothered by the fact that this wasn’t just Kendra’s history, that was what I was expecting but she is telling you (as the narrator that is) more about herself and her history through the stories of others she has helped/tried to help. The one big problem I had with this book is that she tells of helping the Little Mermaid just after the sinking of the Titanic so 1912, yet the author used LM in Beastly. Really two different mermaids fall in love with human males and give up their voices to get legs? This really affected my suspension of disbelief. However the “Princess and Pea” and “Cinderella” stories are good adaptations. I especially like the fact that I didn’t see the end to the Cinderella story happening the way it did. The story varies from the traditional but that’s good, it makes it more interesting. Another book worth reading!