Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)
It’s a tale as old as time…but not like this!
In a story we are all too familiar with, Beauty finds a magical castle in the middle of the woods, where she sacrifices her own freedom in order to save her father from imprisonment. A beast looms in the castle, a creature of legend that strikes fear into many. But is he really as bad as his exterior? Or is there a soft individual hiding beneath it, who loves books and wood carving? Beauty is on a search not just for answers about the magical castle, but about who Beast really is. But can she uncover the truth before time runs out?
Once again, we have ventured into a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And what a retelling it is! Beauty has agency, a bit of snark, and curiosity fit for an adventurer. Beast, on the other hand, is equally cheeky, with a rough sort of charisma that will make anyone love him, despite his exterior.
Or so you would hope.
Most people don’t look past his monstrous side…which is why he fittingly gives himself the name “Beast.”
What I love most about this retelling is how it avoids the issue of beastiality (which has always been the downside to my favorite fairytale) without sacrificing the fact that Beast is a indeed an animalistic beast. I won’t tell you how it does this, but the conclusion was satisfying and made smile all the way through. Beauty and Beast’s love for each other is not just out of circumstance; they are one in the same, after all. Beauty has a “beast” side to her, and Beast has a beautiful side. Their conversations are not awkward or forced; they really do belong together.
But with a twist that I won’t give away.
Emily Poirier is an amazing writer, who I really do think more people need to read. The way she can define characters through dialogue and actions, without anyone feel too flat, is striking. Her words whisked me away, and every time I had to put this book down it was with an angry huff…similar to how Beauty reacts to people interrupting her reading as well.
As with any retelling, it will help if you enjoy Beauty and the Beast, otherwise the story might not appeal to you. But don’t expect this to be like Disney or other retelling. Poirier puts her own twist on it that definitely makes it stand out on its own.
Beauty and Beast comes out on February 10th. I definitely recommend everyone check it out!
Note: I received a copy of this book at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
What’s it about?
Who could love a beast?
Plucked from her high society life, Beauty finds herself well-suited for the solitude of her new, humble home. However, when her father steals from an enchanted castle in her name, Beauty is left with a choice: marry her self-absorbed suitor while her father wastes away in a dungeon, or take his place as the prisoner of a beast. She chooses Beast, hopeful that his keen, human eyes mean that he can be manipulated like any other man. She doesn’t realize that he means to keep her as a guest rather than a prisoner, and as her manners slip away the castle starts to feel like home.
But Beast’s curse is closing in, and everyone has an angle. Can Beauty find a way to keep her newfound happiness and freedom, or will time run out and destroy everything she loves?Beauty and Beast is a cheeky standalone retelling of the classic fairytale.