Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Monday, January 24, 2011

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
Series: -
Book #: 1
Release Date: October 1st, 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Page #: 304

I am a beast.

A beast!

Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. 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.

Fairytales. What do you think of when you hear that word? I think of castles, princes, flying dragons, and witches. Maybe a little singing in the woods. All of my perceptions of regular fairytales were altered after reading Beastly, a modern take on the age-old tale of Beauty and the Beast. Alex Flinn takes a fantastically good looking and rich boy, and turns him into the Beast to teach him a lesson. His reaction? Very unhappy indeed.

Although there is no singing involved, the story was great. The way the author combined modern-day News York City and the fairytale magic was both interesting and hilarious. She also included a chat room where "Beasts and Monsters" could go to talk to each other that involved fairytale creatures from other well known tales.

Kyle was a hard protagonist to like in the beginning of the novel, but after being changed into a beast that had two years to find love, he became a different person. The way he acted after the transformation made me feel sorry for what the witch had done to him, but also a little pleased because it had caused the change. By the end of the book, not only was Kyle different on the outside, but also on the inside. He had learned how to be a better person and not to take his life for granted, which are important morals throughout.

I'm sure some of you are thinking, "this is going to be exactly the same as the original...what's the point in reading?". Actually, although the main storyline is similar, the plot turns in unexpected ways. The main story has echoes of the original, and sometimes you can point out the same scenarios, but most are different.
Before I read this book, I thought it would just be a cute, romantic book, but it wasn't. There was romance, and the book was cute, but it also caused me to sit back and really think about my life. I thought about the underlying moral issues and wondered if I was good enough. Am I kind enough to the kids in my school who don't have many friends? Do I act like a snob? I think, and hope, the answer is no, but none of us are perfect. This is what the book underlined for me, and this is why I am giving it a four mask rating.


  1. Wonderful review! I loved the first paragraph. "Singing in the woods" haha. Anyway, I agree. This is an awesome retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I'm kind of worried that the movie will be an awful interpretation of such a great book :/

  2. Me too! The trailers look like the movie is going to be a lot different from the book :\ I still want to see it though :D


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