Author: Alex Flinn
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2007
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.
Imagine the modern-day Beast, before he became beastly – a handsome young lad, wearing a school uniform, with gray eyes, curly blonde hair and jaw dropping physique. His name – Kyle Kingsbury, son of a dynamic TV news personality who only had eyes for beauty. Kyle only entertained people who had “pleasing personalities”, as he was way beyond himself and was a total jack-ass, if I may say so.
Then Kyle met an ugly, disheveled and haughty-looking girl named Kendra. He played with her emotions and stood her up on the Spring Dance Ball. The white rose he was supposed to give Kendra was given to the ticket girl instead. Little did he know that Kendra turned out to be a witch and then… Bam! She put a spell on him. The most handsome boy in Tuttle High School grew some fur on his hands, feet and all over his face. In short, he turned into a BEAST. The only way Kyle would go back to his old gorgeous face and lifestyle is to make sure that someone would fall in love with him with his beastly look and kiss him, and that it should happen within two years. Else, Kyle would turn into a Beast forever.
Now, there was this not-so-pretty girl who got a white rose on the Ticket area during the Spring Dance. That little gesture made Lindy starry-eyed for a moment about Kyle, but when the weekend was over, everything about Kyle was forgotten because he has stopped going to school. Only his dad, house maid and blind private tutor knew what happened to him and Kyle was never seen again. When Kyle foresees that no one would ever love him for his ugliness, he decided to change his name to Adrian – the Dark One.
One thing that made this story original is that, the girl who was supposed to be called Beauty was not really a .. real beauty. As we all know, the character Belle, as indicated on many Beauty & the Beast adaptations was someone who had striking good looks. But in Beastly, Lindy did not really come up to your expectations, but in the end, you may like her for who she was. Although in the story, her father gave her over willingly to the Beast in order to save his own life and to be able to get his hoard of drugs, Lindy was a martyr and stayed compassionate to his father, so yeah, that was a little too much of her, I think.
This book tells you about inner beauty and social interactions in life. It tells us to look beyond those blue eyes, but to look deeper into the soul. No matter how ugly a person is, you should not judge him the way you see him, but on how he treats everyone around you.
I actually read this book first before I learned that it was made into a movie. When I got the chance to watch the film adaptation, I was disappointed. I thought Lindy’s character was a ripoff and Kyle aka Hunter did not fit the bill for Beast. Where were all the furs and claws? Just goes to show that nothing really beats the book! Alex Flinn, however, made sure that this retelling would also be loved by modern-day readers.