Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright--a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. 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.
I suspect that many readers of this blog will have read this book years ago since it was published in 2007. I heard about this book when I began the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer and I was fascinated by how many other books re-tell classic fairy tale stories. In fact, I posted a discussion question on this very topic on November 8.
I read this book over the Thanksgiving holidays and I actually finished it in a single day. I'll admit I was in a car for three hours and staying in a cabin in the woods but still, I rarely read a book this quickly except if I really like it and if the author keeps the story moving.
This book is completely from the beast's POV and it works for me. I really enjoyed this version of the story because I understood why the Dad gave the daughter away and why she would choose to stay when given the chance to leave. I also LOVED the fact that the beast is not as verbally or emotionally abusive as he is portrayed in some stories and that we never hear the girls POV where she thinks she can "change him." Something unique to this story was the perspective of the witch who originally casts the spell and another part of the story I truly enjoyed.
I haven't read anything else by Alex Finn but I am definitely going to check out more of her books in the future. I would highly recommend this book if you are in the mood for a classic re-tell!