Let’s get this taken care of right off the bat. Simply put, this is Beauty and the Beast in New York City. Kyle Kingsbury is a jerk, and that’s putting it kindly. He asks an “ugly” girl to the prom only to have plans to embarrass her by ditching her. Of course, this chick is a witch who curses him with ugliness by morphing him to a big, furry werewo-err I mean beast. There is one hope. If he can learn to love a girl who can love him in spite of his features, the spell will be broken. Chances are, the reader will already know how this ends, but the take on this classic tale is refreshing and charming enough to warrant a look. I particularly enjoyed how the perspective was mainly from the Beast’s since I’ve always found him to be the most intriguing character. The supporting cast is likeable, especially Will. He acts as a tutor for young Kyle (later called Adrian) throughout most of the novel and isn’t scared off by his employer’s looks because…he’s blind. He has snarky wit and serves as clever comic relief if Adrian’s dour outlook is too overwhelming. Between every few chapters is a sort of break from the story. They’re merely short chapters that appear to be a chatroom for other iconic characters to hang out and discuss their various predicaments and seek advice. Namely, Ariel, the frog turned into a prince, and a few others make appearances and are mainly used as a retrospective of what’s happening and show the changes going on to and around them. However, a love story wouldn’t be any good if the romance wasn’t quality. Fortunately, it’s not insufferable, actually quite enjoyable. Lindy isn’t easily won over, but is a good enough character to not hurt her overall appeal. A few changes have been made. The “witch” takes a more active role in the plot, rather than showing up at the beginning and disappearing until the end. This offers more insight into her inner workings, and therefore, puts to light even further her motivations and reasoning behind her actions. In the grand scheme of things, it’s an excellent read that I found difficult to put down. It’s also short enough that there’s no reason not to give it a try. I award Beastly by Alex Flinn four stars. ****
Review by Alisa Heskin
I would like to note that a cinematic adaptation of this novel will be hitting theatres in the near future. First impressions are somewhat optimistic. Neil Patrick Harris will be playing a role as Will, the blind tutor, which raises my interest tenfold. Alex Pettyfer looks promising as Kyle/Adrian, although, I’m wary of the design of the Beast. He’s not furry, no claws, no fangs, or anything. I’m quite disappointed, but what to do? He looks more like a hardcore gangster/biker who lost a fight to a lawn mower. Perhaps they didn’t want to confuse him with Jacob from the ridiculously popular behemoth that is Twilight. Ah well, mind open for possibilities and awaiting the, no doubt, entertaining performance courtesy of the legen*wait for it*dary NPH.