I could feel everyone looking at me, but I was used to it.
— Beastly (Young Adult Fairy Tale adaptation of Beauty and the Beast)
I was digging through the Amazon Prime movies to watch, and saw this movie suggested. Apparently me watching the Young Adult movie adaptation of Mortal Instruments: City of Bones the other week.I read a few of the reviews and immediately searched for the book. As many of you know, I have been away for the last few months. I have had a hard time reading anything due to some things both health related and lifestyle change, but… I ended up staying up most of last night reading it, and this morning watched the movie.
Growing up as a smart, wholesome beauty (though i felt i was ugly because of boys like Kyle) I had low self-esteem. I knew a lot of boys like this, and I was that girl. I loved Beauty & the Beast as a child, always wished I was as good as Beauty, and as fierce. Apparently I am, just like Lindy, FIERCE, and with the ability to Rawrrrr.
This tale is from the perspective of a boy, a very privileged boy who was not just pretty, but had it all handed to him on a silver platter. The original tale of Beauty and the Beast is pretty focused on looks. We are not supposed to think that, but the time it was written was different. Objectification of those who are “pretty” was the norm, and teenagers today do face this, but I think it is important for them to have examples such as this to look too. A different perspective. The book also has had another POV written, from Lindy’s POV. So your teen can get both. Alex Finn is brilliant blending the fantasy of the fairy tale/fable with modern-day social construction for our young adults.
Kyle Kingsbury, our beast who begins as a gorgeous high schooler, learns that beauty is not just what he seen in the mirror, that it starts from somewhere deeper inside. He never thought Lindy was pretty… but he was intrigued by her. He had a spark of awe (which is where my attention was really caught) before the teenage witch casts a curse. *movie note: I am glad they portrayed Kyle as being older than the freshman he is in the book. It makes it more approachable for preteens and teens across the board*. Kyle is a cruel entitled asshole. The boys who gave girls like me hell during school. The witch is (who one of the Olson twins – Mary Kate Olsen – in the movie and WOW did they hit a home run with that casting.) BEST EMBRACE THE SUCK… as in embrace what we live with every day because of boys and girls like you.
I think one of the things I liked most about Beastly is that Kyle learns that beauty is not in looks, but that it is something deeper inside a person. He never thought Lindy was that pretty and would never have given her much of a glance at school, but the Beast had a chance to see things differently.
Transformation is really a central theme, not just finding the beauty within. Everything transforms in this, not just Kyle and Lindy, but the seasons, the environment, the atmosphere within the tale. Alex was able to draw me in that I read it front to back. For a tale that goes back more than a century, it is one that is completely ageless. The times change, the science changes but we all need to have a bit of magic in our lives. Good or bad, and this book has all of it. I don’t care if anyone calls this predictable, it is a tale we all need to hear and be reminded of.
Any adults, especially all you Twilight Moms smiling, this is the second review I have written in over six months and became moved enough to take the time to do so. If you love fairytales and still believe in magic and young love, please I urge you to pick up this amazing Young Adult tale.