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 a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
This is a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The premise is that high school student Kyle Kingsbury, the most popular and best looking boy, is turned into a beast, revealing on the outside his ‘ugly’ inside, to teach him the lesson that what is on the inside is more important than looks.
He has two years to find true love to lift the curse, or Kyle will remain a beast for eternity. It is a funny, sarcastic, and touching story, where one both sympathises with and cheers for Kyle, but at the same time is disgusted by him.
Keeping in mind that this is a very young adult story, I did enjoy it, even though Kyle’s maturing, accepting of his curse, and desire to sacrifice himself for love happens a bit quickly for a 16 year-old boy.
This is a very quick read – I finished in a couple of hours – and if you enjoy or semi-enjoy the novel, check out the film version, which (may the gods strike me down) is much better than the novel.
Beastly (2011) – Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens