Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly - Alex Flinn

Beastly is probably one of the most popular fairy-tale retellings. After reading Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, I fell in love with this genre and Beastly sounded like an interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Sadly, it was a disappointment and a complete waste of time.

Kyle Kingsbury is a typical teenage jerk and I have no sympathy for jerks. He’s rich, cocky and very pretty and he’s used to getting anything he wants. He was neglected by his father all his life, but I don’t think that’s an excuse. He’s such an unlikeable character, rude and evil, I could hardly continue reading the book. But I knew this was part of the story, so I kept reading. My main problem was that I hated him so much in the beginning, that when he became a furry beast, ugly and pathetic, I felt no compassion towards him and it would be actually fine with me if he stayed like that forever - he would deserve it.

The love story wasn’t my favorite either, to put it mildly. Lindy is a very likeable character, but I still found her shallow. She’s an average-looking, bookish and smart girl, so it’s easy so identify with her. Her life isn’t that pretty with her father being an addict, so she wants to study hard, get a scholarship and escape the ugly life. What bothered me was that she had a crush on Kyle before he became a beast, just because he was so pretty and even though she knew he was a douchebag. In a young adult novel that tries to point out how external beauty isn’t everything and that what matters most is personality, I thought this was very wrong. It would be much better if Lindy despised the beautiful Kyle because he was a jerk. There are people who put personality before the looks, but Lindy turned out to be just another shallow girl.

With Kyle turning from a character I hated to a soppy romantic (which I still disliked) and Lindy a shallow teenage girl, I didn’t care much for them. Will, the blind tutor and Magda, the housekeeper, were probably my favorite characters, at least they were normal, good people. The story also had a distinctive contemporary feel to it, with lots of references to sex, especially from Kyle’s part, which I probably don’t even have to say how much I disliked. I really, really don’t like it when female authors try so hard to create boys who are so stereotypically boyish and consequently jerks.

Luckily, the book is pretty short and fast. It doesn’t have any deeper meaning and it basically even fails to convince readers how physical beauty isn’t everything, which I thought was the point of this story. I don't think I'll read any other books by this author.