Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beastly (fiction)

Shhh... it's Sneak-In Saturday, so I'm bringing you a book that swooped onto the bestseller and award lists before I could get it to you!

And darned if they didn't go and make a movie of it, too... The book is much better, of course, as your mind's eye visualizes Kyle's transformation into a hairy beast and his sudden downfall from Mr. Popular to freakish recluse.

This modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast includes chatroom transcripts of a support group for the "unfortunately transformed" and roses in its symbolism.

Alex Flinn has updated other classic tales and also writes completely 'contemporary' teen fiction - check her website for full list. And don't be Beastly to anyone, okay?

Book info: Beastly / Alex Flinn. HarperCollins, 2007. [author's website] [author interview] [publisher site]

Recommendation: Kyle’s on the ballot for Prom King – no surprise since he’s the best-looking guy at school. But someone looks past the handsome surface to see his shallow, uncaring soul, and is going to make him pay for every insult.

When Kendra (the new girl with crooked teeth and the ugly non-designer clothes) protests about electing “royalty” just based on appearances and calls him a beast, Kyle tunes her out. Why should he worry about that loser when he’s taking the hottest girl at Tuttle to the prom? His dad, the television news star, says that no one should have to look at ugly people anyway.

Just for laughs, Kyle pretends to ask Kendra to the prom, knowing that he’ll dump her at the door as his friends mock her. Limo for his real date? On dad’s credit card, like the orchid corsage that the maid will get for him. But it’s a white rose waiting when Kyle’s ready to pick up Sloane, and she throws a fit about it, as he knew she would. The scholarship girl taking tickets admires the rose so he gives it to her – easier than walking over to the trashcan. As he and Sloane are crowned Prom King and Queen, Kendra arrives in her outdated dress and is snubbed by the popular crowd. Prom night, Sloane’s parents are away, Kyle gets home just before sunrise – to find Kendra in his room!

She puts a spell on him – his outside appearance will mirror his beastly inner nature, unless he finds someone who’ll kiss him for love of his true self. If he doesn’t find true love in two years, he’ll be a beast forever.

After medical experts can’t cure him, Kyle is dumped by his dad in a house on the other side of New York City, given a tutor and the maid to stay with him. He tries to find answers online, in books, anywhere but in his own heart.

Will Kyle ever find a girl who will even look at him, let alone love him? Is he doomed to live alone with the rose garden that he and his tutor create? A clever retelling of Beauty and the Beast with modern twists, be sure to read it before you see the movie! (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.


  1. We'll have to try the book. We were so looking forward to this movie. My daughter because Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical was in it, and I loved Beauty and the Beast. It was so slow! Books are almost always better!

  2. @Tia - looking at the movie promo pix, I can't believe that they didn't make Kyle "a hairy beast" = what were they thinking? Yes, the book is better!

    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove


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