Flinn, A. (2007). Beastly. New York, NY: HarperTeen.
In this re-telling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Alex Flinn tells the story from the point of view of the Beast, set in 21st century New York City. Flinn masterfully crafts and develops the story in a unique way, drawing readers in with well-crafted characters.
While some fairy tale retellings take place in the usual “once upon a time” land, Beastly, set in a familiar and well-known location, brings the magic to our world. The story is similar enough to the original story– well, to the Disney movie– yet is different enough to be a fresh take on a tale as old as time.
Beastly would appeal to anyone interested in fairy tales, but also to a general readership. Some people may say the audience is stereotypically female, but the male protagonist and action may also interest male readers.
There are no obvious or apparent weaknesses to Flinn’s book. I finished it in a day; it’s one of those books you can’t put down.
This book is definitely a 5. It is a great rendering that is captivating and enchanting while still chillingly realistic.