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 the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.
I have mixed feelings about this book....We put this month's book club pick to a vote and this is the one I voted for.
It was actually quite slow at first. It just wasn't what I was expecting. In the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, you get the little 60 second rundown of history on the beast-- He is a handsome prince that is rude to some old hag who really turns out to be a foxy witch who turns him into a beast to teach him a lesson on seeing "inner beauty", blah, blah, blah, and then it cuts to Belle and it's focused on her story. That's the only way I've ever thought of Beauty and the Beast.
This retelling is ALL about the beast. What his life is like immediately after the transformation, how it changes for the worse or for the better. His dad, who wasn't ever around anyway, buys him (the "beast" is 16) a "castle" in another city and cuts off all communication. He pawns Kyle off on a blind tutor and a elderly maid. Sad.
The book does have a few random "chat sessions" which I thought were a little... lame. But the book gains major potential when a junkie breaks into the "castle" and Kyle catches him. In exchange for not turning him in to the police, he offers Kyle his 16-year-old daughter. Seriously. Like a payment. What is it with these parents?? However, his daughter doesn't turn out to be a stranger. Not to Kyle anyway. It takes a long time to find his "Beauty" but once he does the story picked up the pace quite a bit. Overall, I liked this book. It tied up loose ends nicely by the final page, even if it was a little cheesy. It's not one I would buy--I wouldn't read it again and again, but the library should have plenty of copies.
This is a fun retelling of a story everyone knows from a viewpoint few think of. Enjoy!