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OBS BOOK REVIEWS: BEASTLY BY ALEX FINN

by Dawn, December 1, 2010

Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn

Brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz

Synopsis:

I Am A Beast

A beast. Not quite wolf or gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature with fangs, claws, and hair springing from every pore. I am a walking monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. And I’ll stay this way forever-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 who you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, the perfect girl, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Review: Kyle Kingsbury is popular, wealthy, arrogant, and beautiful. He’s the kind of bad boy most mothers warn their daughters about staying away from and the kind of bad boy most girls date at least once in their lives. But Kyle’s life is turned completely upside down when he meets Kendra. Since Kendra ends up embarrassing him in class, Kyle humiliates her by inviting her to the school dance only to take another girl. But Kendra turns out to be a witch and she places a spell on Kyle: “You will know what it is like not to be beautiful, to be as ugly on the outside as on the inside.” She transforms Kyle into a beast with claws, hair covering every inch of his body and fangs. Kyle’s father, not being able to find any doctor who can help rid his son of the curse placed on him, locks Kyle up in a house, where Kyle hides away from the outside world.

One night a man breaks into Kyle’s apartment, he’s strung out on drugs and Kyle catches him. The man says in exchange for his life and freedom, he will give Kyle his daughter. At first Kyle is disgusted, how could a man sell his daughter for drugs, but he decides to take Linda (the daughter) because he feels she’s better off with him than her drug fiend father. A week later, Linda moves in and her father takes off. Kyle’s journey to understand the power of love begins.

Beastly follows Kyle as he learns to find the man he has always wanted to be and to forgive his father for the man he could never be. Kyle goes through outrage, denial, self-pity and finally acceptance for what he is. He spends his days creating a rose garden and his nights being tutored by Will Fratalli, a blind teacher his father hired. I truly enjoyed the way the author vividly portrayed Kyle’s emotions and his fight to become a man of strength and kindness.

Will and Magda are very loving characters. They are Kyle’s only friends and understand him better than anyone else. They give him his space to grow and find himself yet remain close enough to guide him and show him how. Magda is so sweet and so caring. I just wanted to squeeze her! Will is wise and bluntly honest, never letting Kyle slide with anything.

Beastly was written very interestingly. Told from Kyle’s perspective and through instant messaging in some areas. There are not many young adult, fantasy novels, told from the only the male perspective. I really liked the switch.

Even though the book was written from modern day point of view, Beastly still carries the air of something ageless and beautiful. You really get to see into Kyle’s heart and go with him through his heart wrenching journey. Beastly is a small book, only three hundred and four pages, and is filled with both modern day technology and old fashioned courting.

And of course Beastly is the story an age old lesson that must be taught to every generation: judge people with love, from the heart and the soul, not only based on how they look and learn to love yourself for who you are so you can learn to love others just as they are.

A book every romantic will truly enjoy reading! And check out the movie adaptation coming out in March 2011.

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