Ever wonder what it was like for the Beast? When I first started reading this book, I planned to write a review describing it as "a refreshing, modern-day retelling of 'Beauty and the Beast' from the Beast's point of view." While that's essentially accurate, after finishing it I'm much more inclined to tell people that it's simply one of my "new favorite books." Alex Flinn is a new author to me, and I was fairly pleased with the way she handled this take on a classic story.
The son of a wealthy news anchor, Kyle Kingsbury is one of the "Beautiful People" at his high school. He's just about to be elected prince of the ninth-grade dance, and most people--including himself-- seem to think that he deserves it. He's gorgeous, after all. Unfortunately, Kyle is also a jerk. He asks a "fat girl" named Kendra to be his date to the dance-- all the while planning to embarrass her by ditching her when he shows up to the dance with his real date, Sloane Hagen, the hottest babe in school. Sloane is all for Kyle's ditching goth-chick Kendra, and is happy to go along with it so that Kendra will actually show up. Both girls want corsages: Sloane wants a purple orchid to go with her barely-there black dress, and Kendra wants a white rose. "For purity," she says. However, when the night of the big dance comes, the new maid has messed up and gotten just a white rose. Sloane is seriously ticked and refuses to wear it. Unsure what to do with it, Kyle gives it to the girl selling tickets at the door. (She's thrilled.)
Unfortunately for Kyle, Kendra turns out to be a witch-- and extremely good looking, even if she does have green hair. To teach Kyle a lesson, she transforms him into a beast. Since looks are all he values in people, he needs to learn what it is to be beautiful on the inside. Kendra tells him that because he performed one small act of kindness--giving the rose to the girl at the ticket booth-- that he can have a second chance. To break the spell, he must find a girl within two years that can look past the fur and claws and love him for who he is (and kiss him to prove it), and what's more, Kyle has to truly love her back.
When I first picked up Beastly, I was just planning to read the first few pages to get a taste of what I'd be in for. However, the presentation of the story was so intriguing and new to me that I couldn't put it down. (I think I finished it in about 3.5-4 hours, straight through.) I'll have to read it again to be sure, but I think I just might have to buy a copy of this one.