Langston, L. (2014). Hot new thing. Victoria, BC: Orca.
When Lily gets her big break in a Hollywood movie, she is swept away from her high school life in Vancouver to the luxurious lifestyle of a hot and young actress. But, when she gets to Los Angeles and starts to work on the movie, she realizes that there is a lot more to Hollywood than acting, nice clothes, and pretty faces.
Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be a celebrity? Readers get a chance at finding out what this is like by living vicariously through Lily. The story wastes no time in roping in readers, and they’ll be left flying through the pages to find out what happens to Lily. Anyone interested in the lives of the stars and looking for a short and entertaining read should check this novel out.
The teaser of the text left me expecting a generic and clichéd story. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this novel. The concept may have been done before, but Langston offers a unique and engaging take on it. In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I would give it a 4.5.
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.