Feb 1, 2011

Beastly, by Alex Flinn

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian standpoint. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

A meander by the "coming soon to theaters" book-stand is always dangerous. I have a weakness for wanting to read books before I see the movie-version, even if I'd never heard of the book before.
Beastly, by Alex Flinn, had a neat cover (another weakness...clearly). Simple. I didn't plan on sitting and reading it, but two hours later I was 1/3 of the way through and realized it's not for me. Not for anyone, really, if they want a clean book.

Main character, Kyle Kingsbury, is a jerk (to put it mildly). Handsome, spoiled, self-absorbed...he needs to change if he's ever going to really be loved. A witch, masquerading as a student at Kyle's up-town expensive private school, outwardly transforms Kyle into what he already is inside--beastly (hence the name). This might as well be doomsday or Armageddon for Kyle who's lived in a life where being handsome and good-looking is everything (a life he built for himself).
Now, a furry Chewbacca holed up in his own house for safekeeping by his newsreporter dad, Kyle has exactly one year to fall in love and find someone who loves him back. Sound familiar? Pop in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (my favorite Disney movie) and you'll see a similar story. ;)
Beastly is a modern-day Beauty and the Beast, a nice breather from all the modern-day Cinderella movies/books out there. Unfortunately, it's not on my recommend list.

To be honest, I never even finished the book. The writing was simple--fair quality, but not thought provoking--and I found too much crude description. I understand that, being a rich good-looking high-schooler, it's important to Kyle to "get some lovin'" from the hottest girl in school, but the narrator just states some things a bit too bluntly, or maybe I'm just partial to no sexual insinuations or focus whatsoever. I didn't find this book worth pushing through all that (which spattered 1/3 of the book already). So I won't recommend that anyone else try and push through. Some readers are immune to that sort of writing or that topic--"toughened". I'd rather remain reactive. I never want to grow immune to things that displease God. Sometimes it happens without my consent, but if I see a chance to avoid it, I will. Beastly is a chance to avoid. So I give it a wide berth, even if my reaction considered a bit over-sensitive.

I am certain there are many good qualities in the book and in the transformation of the character, but we (as Christians) are already in a constant battle to keep our minds pure for the Lord (and for our own benefit!). Is it really worth reading 1/3 garbage to get to the "good message" in a book? Is it really worth smashing our thumb with a hammer to feel the relief when it heals?
Wouldn't you rather have an uninjured thumb? I would.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases 2014 from Marcher Lord Press. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at http://nadinebrandes.com.

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving the Chewbacca reference at the moment. (laughs)

    Personally, because of the book concept rips off Beauty and the Beast, my inner child refuses to try this book for now. After this review it really wants to stick with that notion.

    I have an ulterior motive for dropping by your blog, too. I'd like to give you the One Lovely Blog Award! Check out that link for instructions. If your not interested feel free to ignore this comment. Congratulations either way. :)