Monday, December 13, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

     Kyle Kingsbury is the gorgeous, perfect, popular kid of Tuttle (a prestigious NYC private school). His father is a rich and famous news anchor. He gets everything he wants, in addition to all that he needs. Kyle is not a nice person though, and he is far from happy. After a particularly cruel episode, a witch changes Kyle into a beast. To break the spell, he must find his true love...

     Basically, this is a retelling of the classic story Beauty and the Beast. Of course, it is much more than that. I absolutely loved Alex Flinn's writing.
     Kyle's transformation was amazing to watch. He went from being a conceited jerk to being such a sweet, caring person. The change was gradual though. First, he had to get past the fact that he didn't look like Kyle Kingsbury anymore. Sadly, that seemed to be the hardest part for him. It made me realize how fixated our society is on looks. His entire reputation was based upon his beauty, and the money obviously, but mainly his looks. When he lost that, he lost himself because without being Kyle Kingsbury, the guy every other Tuttle student looked up to, the guy who made fun of those beneath him, the guy who thought anyone who wasn't generically beautiful (blond hair, blue eyes, and especially thin) must be ugly, he was just Kyle. Kyle, whose mother left at an early age and whose father was busy with work.
     When he was changed into a beast, he didn't know what to do with himself. Now he was the 'ugly' one. So, who was he without being handsome? Thus, we are lead on his quest to find out who he really is.
     Along with Kyle, we meet some new characters that give some of my other favorites a run for their money. Will is blind, but extremely smart. He is great and he truly helps Kyle find himself. He is one of the only people who cares for Kyle, despite his appearance. Of course, Will can't see, so it can't possibly bother him! Magda is motherly, since his own mother is not there. She cooks food for him and talks to him. She is just generally there for him.
     I can't believe I've missed out on such a wonderful book for so long! Honestly, the only problem I had with the book was that it had to end. Flinn did a wonderful job delving into Kyle's mind and developing him as a character. Even before he was changed, he was still deep. He had more on his mind than you might have thought. The dialogue was spot on as well. There weren't any irregularities in their speech. It sounded just right every time. I also loved her descriptions. I could truly see the city streets, the house, the beautiful roses, everything!
     Rating: 10

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