Published: October 2nd, 2007
Read from March 29th to April 9th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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'd been wanting to read this book since I learned about it back when the film was coming out. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, and I was excited to read an adaptation of it. I have to say, that this book is really similar to the Disney version of the fairy tale except more modern. There are differences, but once Kyle had been cursed, I could easily follow along with what was happening and it seemed to follow the plot of the Disney version fairly closely.
It took me a bit to get into the book because of it being told from Kyle's perspective. Since he is the beast, it is no surprise that Kyle is not at all a likeable character at the beginning of the book. I'm not someone who thinks characters always have to be likeable, but he was someone very frustrating to read about for quite a while. I stuck with it because I knew that was the point of the book and he was likely to grow over the course of the novel. And he did. I actually think the author did a great job with that. The progression happened at a nice pace, and it was gradual. He wasn't suddenly a better person. He gradually realized how horrible he had been and it was a process in order for him to become a better person.
I have two somewhat negative things to say. The first is that there were occasional parts of the book where there would be awkward wording. A lot of it was in how Kyle talked after becoming the beast, and that was even acknowledged at one point when Kyle said something about how Lindy made him talk like a romantic lead from one of her favorite books. I didn't like that at all. It felt extremely out of place and unrealistic. I think it might have been an attempt to make things more fairytale-esque, but it didn't work for me. Most of it just seemed off, and I don't think it gave off whatever feeling the author was trying to create.
The other part I didn't like that much was the random chat room sections. I didn't think they were necessary, and the book would have been better off without them. They didn't connect to the rest of the story, and you would never know Kyle was visiting a chat room if it weren't for the actual chat room sections of the book. It felt like they were just there to throw in other fairy tales to the story, and I didn't like it at all.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. It definitely gave off a similar feel to the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. I'm not familiar enough with other Beauty and the Beast stories to say how it compared to those. It was a cute story though. It wasn't realistic, but I was expecting that going into a book based on a fairy tale. I thought it was fun and enjoyable.