Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

I was told I just "had" to read this book. So I did! I have always loved Beauty and the Beast (the Disney one, of course!). It didn't take much convincing to get me to read this once I realized it existed.

This book, uniquely narrated by the male lead, Adrian, is incredibly well written. I enjoyed seeing the beginning of the story and the transformation in more detail than you do in the Disney movie, which just brushes over it. It was also nice to get the inner thoughts of the beast as he deals with his transformation and trying to win over Linda, the book's version of Belle.

Perhaps my favorite part of it all, however, was how Flinn transformed the story into modern terms and changed the way a lot of the magical elements operated. She also changes the circumstances under which Linda/Belle is brought to and forced to stay with Adrian/Beast. That took a lot of thought and creativity, and ultimately lead to me not being able to put down this book!

5 Stars Photobucket
This book has now become part of my foundation and is an extension of the very essence of me...I laughed, I cried [or some other emotion] and am sad this reading is over...gush, gush, gush...

From Stephanie:
         Frankly, I wished I would have gone into the movie a little blind. The book is lovely and I can already tell that the movie will pale in comparison. Kyle Kingsbury is a jerk, and Adrian is the perfect beast. If I met Edward Cullen or Kyle, I'm not sure which I'd chose. Lindy is, hands down, the best YA heroine I've seen in a long time. I'm pretty sure that she does not, not even one time, cry over a boy...over the loss of her freedom and her father, yes there are some tears, but no tears for the loss of a boy. In this book Kyle/Adrian gets to be the crier and he gets to be the one who laments, hoorah! Sensitive guy, strong female (I knew there was a reason that I've always liked the Beauty and the Beast story). There isn't any way that they can possibly have all the wonderfulness that I imagined while reading...I was in it, in it, people...ask anyone who tried to talk to me during my planning period or tried to get me to eat lunch or do hall it.

Unfortunately, Vanessa Hudgens, is not in anyway how I imagined Lindy would be. I'm not going to spend time bashing Ms. Hudgens or her acting or singing ability...I am in no way her target audience, so what I think isn't going to do anybody any good. I just imagined Lindy acting a little less like Gabriella and looking a little more like this (you know a beautiful red head who has the ability to not look so pretty to the shallow of heart) with the acting chops to boot.

          This is the same way I felt about the Twilight movies. When they first came out I thought, OK, these movies may blow chunks...however, I may be able to tolerate them if...they don't screw up the baseball scene (which, with Muse as background music how could they?) and the vampire sparkles (which were done exactly how I imagined them)...first movie was a win, the second movie was so badly a loss that I haven't watched the third.
          Back to Beastly, I like this book because it allowed me to truly imagine the beast from his point of view. I think it's lovely that we don't officially meet the girl who is supposed to save everyone until 100 pages or so in, but we do meet Kyle and we do see him change and we do see how he is that attractive, popular boy that we all dreamed of, but was definitely too shallow and mean for us to like. I think every kid could learn something from his transformation...humility, what it means to be prideful, how and when to be stubborn, why we shouldn't blame our absentee parents for our problems, but rise above them and so on. I suppose that will all play off in the movie even without a redhead as Lindy.
          Hmmm...I guess I'll be OK, as long as they don't screw up that scene with the green dress.

5 Stars Photobucket
This book has now become part of my foundation and is an extension of the very essence of me...I laughed, I cried [or some other emotion] and am sad this reading is over...gush, gush, gush...

Teacher Advisories
Sex 1/5
There is really no sex in this book. There is kissing, but not more!
Language 1/5
There is nothing that you can't say on television.
Substance Abuses 1/5
A party is briefly mentioned, though there is no mention of alcohol or drugs.
Violence 1/5
Arguments, yelling, walking off in anger. Adrian/Beast is an angry character for what has happened to him. He also roughs up a burglar at one point, but lets him go.

Touchy Subjects
Adrian at the beginning of the novel is a rich and popular guy who uses an unpopular girl named Kendra as the butt of a joke, which is ultimately what results in his problems through the rest of the novel. Some may be bothered by the fact that Kendra takes revenge upon him, but as this is a retold fairy tale, it may be a less sensitive subject.

Parent/Child Relationships
There are no positive parent/child relationships. Lindy's father gives her up to keep himself out of trouble. Adrian's father isolates and hides him once his transformation takes place and pays little attention to him after.

How this book is used in the classroom
1) Independent Read option
2) Lesson Plans
Book Study on Glogster
Reading Group Guide
Another Book Study on Glogster


  1. The book Beastly is so suspenceful and intriging, that I didn't want to put my nook down for even a second!!!!!!! This well written book had me feeling like I was really in the story. BEASTLY IS A MUST READ BOOK!!!!!

  2. This was a very good book. It taught me a lesson. People can change and some people will never get the chance of what they want. A very good book that I will suggest to young readers.


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