Publisher: Harper Teens
Published: MArch 14, 2017
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
My Rating: 5 Stars
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast
I am new to the fairytale retelling trend in YA lit. To be honest, before starting this blog I was unaware it was a thing outside of the Cinder Chronicles, which as I mentioned in my post about Cinder, I was anxious about reading because I didn’t want to be disappointed by it. When this book appeared in my uppercase book box in March, I was nervous about it. Beauty and the Beast is such a huge thing in the first quarter of 2017 with the live action movie and such. But then I started to see the reviews by my fellow bloggers, and I was less nervous about this book.
What I loved is that it doesn’t follow the Disney version of the story that is so well known. I listen to the Myths and Legends podcast (side note if you are interested in old stories and origins of myths and stuff listen to this podcast it’s really fun) and a while back he covered the Beauty and the Beast origin stories. This story is truly a tale as old as time, it has origins from all over the world. Spooner’s version focuses mainly on the Russian version but has elements of the French version, which for the most part is the version we are familiar with.
Because of the Myth and Legends podcast, I have learned a lot about Russian Fairytales: the stories of Prince Ivan and his brothers. Russian fairytales are very different than western stories, Spooner intertwines them into her story seamlessly. It was one of my favorite elements of the book.
Another thing I loved were the journal entries by the Beast between chapters. For the most part, the story is told through Yeva’s experience, but through these little half-page entries, we learn about the Beast from the Beast. It was a very interesting way to show his character development as the story continued.
I did feel that the ending came very quickly. The rest of the story is slower paced, but when we get to the last third of the book, everything happens very fast. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, and it was still highly enjoyable– one of my favorites this year– but I think that it could have benefited a little from more at the end.
Overall, I found this book extremely well written and told a beautiful story about acceptance and love. It is worth picking up if you haven’t already.
Have you read this one? What did you think?
Until next time Internet,