Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Audio CD
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged; Unabridged
Pub Date: June 22, 2010
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1441849661
ISBN-13: 978-1441849663

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 urn 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.

Review:

Beastly is the story of a little rich boy that got punished for being so selfish and self-absorbed, that he had to find true love in order to transform back from beast to handsome, young man.

In the beginning, after the impromptu chat with the other fairy-tale creatures and Mr. Anderson in the chatmroom, I came to realize that most of the characters, as they were being introduced throughout the story, were a bit one-dimensional. If you were to see them in real life, you could instantly tell the roles they played in this fairy-tale retelling. I wanted them to have more depth and read about their own interpretations of the tale as the story went on. However, soon after Kyle's transformation into Beast "Adrian", I soon saw more shades of the characters closest to him, Magda and Will, even Kendra.

While the pace was by no means slow, it did have its dull moments that also seemed to be counteracted by brief instances of familial interaction. In a sense, I got used to hearing about these characters so much so that I was pretty much finishing the narrator's sentences at times. What that has to do with the predictability scale is not much but if you've been exposed to the movie because it has been advertised so much you might not consider going back to the book. Some of the events were probably too convenient to progress the story line.

The significance and symbolism of white roses created part of the tender atmosphere when I heard about "Adrian" speaking his mind about the many books he'd read, and the greenhouse he built. As the year passed on, and the countdown for Adrian to find a girl to love him continued, his "voice" and sense of self became beautiful. The way he described the finishing touches preparing the rooms for comfort, the garden of roses, portrayed so much maturity that I could tell in the months that passed he'd grown to love the simplest of things.

His relationship, as it developed, with Linda was a tad superficial for my tastes. At most, I liked hearing about what he got out of it. New appreciations that would never have happened without her help. As a character, Linda was stereotypical but could sympathize with Adrian probably better than anyone else internal-issues-wise. Flinn's writing was heartbreaking and had its funny moments but overall it tied up all the loose ends and was a generally satisfying retelling.

Grade: B-/C+

Source: Won

LiLi