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Beastly Hardcover – October 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: AWARDS: Missouri Gateway Readers 2009-2010
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060874163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060874162
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (436 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8-10–Privileged, popular, and proud, high school student Kyle Kingsbury knows he can get away with virtually anything because of his good looks and his father's money.  But Kyle goes too far when he sets out to humiliate a mysterious and unpopular girl at the school dance.  The girl turns out to be a witch who casts a spell on Kyle, turning him into a beast who is now as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside. The only way for Kyle to break the curse is to fall in love with someone who will look past his appearance and love him in return. Alex Flinn's modern retelling (HarperTeen, 2007) of Beauty and the Beast is performed by Chris Patton whose believable, youthful voice helps listeners identify and sympathize with the Beast as he starts to transform from arrogant, selfish, and cruel to caring and kind. His nuanced narration gives the main characters individual personalities, including the occasional beastly growl he adds to Kyle's voice and the chat room conversations with other victims of magical transformations. Listeners will be satisfied with this tale of personal growth and love that also addresses the larger issues of society's fixation on beauty and popularity.–Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Teens will race to see if the beast get his kiss, lifts the curse, and lives happily ever after.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“[An] engrossing tale that will have appeal for fans of fantasy and realistic fiction” -- VOYA. (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“a must-read for fairy-tale fans.” (School Library Journal)

More About the Author

Alex Flinn was born in Syosset, New York. She learned to read at three and wanted to be a writer at five. She received her first rejection letter (from Highlights magazine) at eight. At twelve, her family moved to Miami, Florida, where she had a really hard time making friends, due to congenital shyness and a really bad haircut. So she read a lot and tried to write a novel but never finished because she had no idea what to write about.

Flinn attended a performing arts high school program, similar to that portrayed in her book, Diva, then majored in vocal performance in college. Panicked upon realizing that there weren't a whole lot of jobs for opera singers, Flinn went to law school.

Law school was, it turns out a really good place to learn to write for teenagers. Writing for teens and writing for judges are very similar because both judges and teens have a lot of demands on their time and minimal time for reading. Also, Flinn interned at the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, trying many domestic violence cases, which were later the inspiration for her first novel, Breathing Underwater.

Breathing Underwater was published in 2001. It received many honors, including being chosen a Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. It was followed by Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, Diva, and Beastly. Beastly is soon to be released as a motion picture. Her newest book is A Kiss in Time, a modern Sleeping Beauty.

Flinn still lives in Miami with her husband, two daughters, a dog, cat, and African Spur-Thighed Tortoise. She enjoys performing arts, biking, and travel.

Customer Reviews

I loved the characters, the setting, the changes in Kyle/Adrian, the story telling voice.
Reader 200
Overall, I loved this modern day version of beauty and the beast, and I also quite enjoyed all of the other fairy tale references that Alex Flinn included.
Crystal Allison
I was really surprised because I was kind of expecting not to like it, but I wanted to just read it before I watched the movie, and I ended up loving it!
MiniTigerBookworm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 90 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Kyle Kingsbury, you are beastly."

That's what Kendra said. Beastly. But Kyle had it all: popularity, good looks, money, and any girl he wanted. Kyle never missed an opportunity to let the inferior people know just how far beneath him they were, including his best friend, whose dad was merely a doctor. Kyle's dad was the nightly New York City news anchor. At Tuttle, an elite school for the richest of the rich, Kyle was a somebody.

Until the school dance. Until his stupid maid bought his girlfriend a rose instead of an orchid for her corsage, which Kyle tossed to a scholarship student. Until he deliberately set up Kendra to be embarrassed and humiliated when she realized that he, Prince of the dance, already had a date and never intended to be her escort.

Until Kendra appeared in his bedroom and he received his "comeuppance."

"You will know what it is like not to be beautiful, to be as ugly on the outside as on the inside..."

The clock struck midnight and Kyle was left a beast, with only a magic mirror for company.

Kyle's famous dad vows to spend whatever it takes to cure his son's affliction. When he realizes even his money isn't enough to find a cure, he banishes his son, with their maid and a tutor, to a New York brownstone.

Will Kyle ever be able to break the curse? Will he find true love's kiss or be forever doomed to roam the New York City streets in the dark of night, hidden as the beast?

BEASTLY, by Alex Flinn, is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This novel is just plain fun . Ms. Flinn creates the perfect romantic tension when Kyle finds his true love and then has to let her go. Like the fragrance of the perfect rose, BEASTLY will linger with the reader, leaving the feeling that life is indeed good long after the pages of the book have been pressed closed.

Reviewed by: Cana Rensberger
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Kaye Rose on April 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kyle Kingsbury is rich, good-looking, has a celebrity father, and is elected the prince of popularity at school. Influenced by his neglecting father, who teaches him that the only person who will ever love him is himself, he lives his life in an arrogant, cruel manner, getting thrills out of hurting others. When he deceives a girl at school with the sole purpose of humiliating her, and the girl (who happens to be a witch) retaliates, he finds himself under a beastly curse until he can learn to love and is loved in return.

The most interesting part of the story is the great transformation of Kyle. In the beginning he is truly selfish and vile and undergoes a substantial physical change which leads to a deeper, inward change that is believable. Lindy is not as compelling a character as I would have enjoyed. She needs more wit or cleverness to make her truly something unique. He seems to fall in lust with her more than love (thinking of running his hands over her thin dress, etc).

Warning for YA readers: There are references to sex with girlfriend at the beginning of book, alcohol use, mildly offensive language, and general sensuality.
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I think I would call my reaction to this fairy tale retelling "mildly enthusiastic," though I suppose that's an oxymoron.

The story flows smoothly and believably, and does not suffer at all for being set in modern times. Too often when fairy tales are modernized, they lose a bit of their magic, but Ms. Flinn did a very good job.

Two things prevented me being wildly enthusiastic for this book. The first could have been avoided, but the second I thought Ms. Flinn handled very well. First, the transformation help group internet chat logs interspersed throughout the story were an intriguing idea, but I think overall I could have done without them.

Second, for those who, like me, read fairy tales mostly for the romantic themes, it might be hard to be entranced by the male viewpoint. Much like Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Phantom of the Opera" (with whom our beast identifies), however, you find yourself really rooting for the monster, even knowing what a jerk he was before his transformation.

I expect this story to improve with a second reading, and have decided to add it to my bookshelf.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Rivera on March 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
'Beauty and the Beast' has always been a favorite fairy tale for me. Therefore reading this had me quite exciting. I had already seen the movie and enjoyed it and I was pleasantly surprised when I learned about the book.

This retelling takes place in a more modern day world, and starts with our "Beast" - Kyle. A rich, spoiled, popular pretty-boy who seems to have it all. When he plays a prank on the wrong girl he is cursed into a beast and we quickly learn this guy had nothing. He is moved to a private apartment, hidden away from the rest of the world. While at first he comes off as selfish and shallow (and in many ways is) it is quick to learn where his habits come from. His desire to change and grow after awhile impresses me. Especially his love toward his garden.

One huge difference between the book and the movie is that in the book he is truly a beast (hair, claws, etc) yet the movie adds hair loss, tattoos, scars and metal grafting. While I am okay with this difference I do not feel they should have EVER used the movie cover on the book. Very misleading.

One annoyance in the book that bugged me the most was the chatroom stops throughout the book. While amusing it doesn't fit. Especially since they are not mentioned in Kyle's actual thought. No reference to his chat with others about curses, love, etc. While the chats were somewhat amusing I overall though it to be a waste and took too much time from the real story.

Kyle really grew on me. At first annoying but about halfway though we start to see that heart of gold shining through. His caring for his companions to his love for his garden. Heartwarming. True to the tale, we are stuck waiting until the last minute for any resolution to his curse.
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