Dude, that’s BEASTLY
February 28, 2011 • Nikki Culver, Editor in Chief
Filed under Book Reviews
A “tale as old as time” was remade in the Beastly by Alex Flinn. A modern take on the classic Disney tale, Beauty and the Beast, this book was…well…beastly.
Beastly starts out slow, with different fairytale characters in a chat room, talking about their problems. If you can get past the chat lingo without wanting to gouge out your eyes with a spoon, the book turns into a familiar story.
The book follows the plot of the movie, but instead of being set in 18th century France, it’s set in modern day New York city. The prince of popularity at his elite private school, Kyle Kingson (an ironic name, readers will find out) has it all. Money, a famous father and a smokin’ hot girlfriend.
His quest for power goes a little too far when a practical joke gets a little out of hand. In an attempt to embarrass one of the unpopular girls, Kyle only embarrasses himself when she turns out to be a witch that casts an evil spell on him. The curse takes away his good looks, turning him into a beastly eyesore.
Now, for his romantic interest. The heroine is the daughter of a heroine addict, Linda, is traded in by her own father for his freedom after being captured trying to break into the mansion Kyle (who now calls himself Adrian) lives in. Linda is a shy, introverted girl who’s unwelcoming to the idea of trusting her captor. Kyle/Adrian is forced to observe her from afar until she’s willing to let him into her thoughts. The character herself is a little flat with a classic sob story past and nothing like the original Belle, but necessary to the story nonetheless.
Kyle/Adrian’s father hires a blind tutor, named Will, to help him keep up with his studies without being judged for his appearance. Will is the caring and sarcastic motivation that helps Adrian get out of his self made pity party. The tutor acts almost as a mix between a father figure and an uncle to his student. Let’s just say that Will is to Adrian what Sirius is to Harry. (Deathly Hallows part two this June, oh yeah!)
The one major character missing from the story is Gaston. With Linda being such a shy girl, she has no one pursuing her relentlessly to marry him. I always thought Gaston was a jerk, but brought a small amount of comic relief to the movie, but in Beastly, Flinn left him out. I’m still not sure whether or not I’m sad about him not appearing.
Eventually, the two begin spending a lot of time together and ultimately fall in love. When Linda spies her father in need of her help with the use of a magic mirror, Adrian can do nothing but let her run to his aid, just like Belle runs to save her father in the Disney version.
In the end, the two are reunited when Adrian dashes off to help Linda escape a fate her father is trying to use her for.
The retelling of the old story that we all know was beastly. Flinn didn’t bring many new ideas to the story, but her writing made the book. Most of her characters have depth and are relatable. If you loved “Beauty and the Beast,” you’ll love Beastly, soon to be a major motion picture early March 2011.
If you liked this book, you should also try: A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn and Cloaked by Alex Flinn.
Author: Alex Flinn