Beastly by Alex Flinn | Mini Book Review + Movie Thoughts

Posted March 13, 2017 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 22 Comments

Beastly by Alex Flinn | Mini Book Review + Movie ThoughtsBeastly by Alex Flinn
Published by HarperTEEN on October 2, 2007
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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4 Stars

I am a beast.

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

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

I was really worried about reading a modern take on “Beauty and the Beast.” I love that story so much already that I was worried Flinn was going to ruin it. I absolutely loved it! I love the transformation Kyle makes from being a complete jerk to being Prince Charming. I mean, he was so mean and self-centered… and he really hurt people and didn’t care! He makes a complete 180, and the difference is amazing. I can see many people falling for this guy!

He meets Lindy because of her father. He got into some major trouble, and the only way to get himself out of it was to essentially give his daughter to the Kyle. Their relationship goes from absolute loathing, to tolerance, to curiosity, to a blooming romance. I love the amount of concern Kyle shows for Lindy and her well-being.

I really liked Will (Kyle’s blind tutor) and Magda (Kyle’s housekeeper) too. They were entertaining i nthe same way that Lumiere and Cogsworth are from the Disney movie.

All in all, it was a great story. Kyle’s thoughtfulness and generosity were highlights for me. If you love Beauty and the Beast, this book will not disappoint you at all. I’d recommend it to people who enjoy modern retellings of timeless fairy tales.

My thoughts on the movie version:

I was really excited to see what Hollywood was going to do to Beastly. I loved the magic of the story, and the characters were wonderful. When I saw who was playing Lindy, though, I was majorly disappointed. I’ve never been a fan of Vanessa Hudgens, and I did not think she did a very good job playing this role. And then when I found out that Mary-Kate Olsen was cast as Kendra (the witch), I almost boycotted watching it. But then it came out on DVD, and so many of my friends loved it… so I decided to try it. I thought it was just ok.

Alex Pettyfer was totally not who I pictured as Kyle. I was looking for the tall, dark and handsome type… more like Paul Wesley (Stefan from The Vampire Diaries). This guy just did not seem like he had enough going for him to be able to cause such pain in the lives of his classmates. His “beastly” look was also not what I pictured, but I liked it. It worked. Like I said, Vanessa and Mary-Kate were not the right people to cast, in my opinion… but Mary-Kate did do a great job at looking witchy. I loved Neil Patrick Harris as Will. That was a wonderful choice.

Overall, I am SO glad I read the book before the movie came out. It would have ruined the book for me if I had seen the movie first. The acting and special effects were “meh” for me, and I will most likely not watch this again. The book is so much better, so you should definitely read it, especially if you enjoyed the movie.


4 Stars
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22 responses to “Beastly by Alex Flinn | Mini Book Review + Movie Thoughts

  1. Ok, I’m DEFINITELY reading the book first if the movie isn’t nearly as good as the book! I’ve been hearing really great things about Alex Flinn’s books, I got A Kiss In Time in the mail yesterday, excited to get to it! :)

  2. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I really liked the book. The only thing that didn’t work for me with the book were the brief sections of various fairytale characters IMing. That was a little bit too much for me.

  3. This one has been out for a while but I always wonder how people will like it as I’m still contemplating reading it myself. I haven’t bothered with the movie and will trust your judgement and read the book. Beauty and the Beast was never a favorite of mine. I was more a Little Mermaid and Aladdin type of gal. But I am enjoying the modern retellings, so I might get into this one. Nice review.

  4. Glad you liked the book. I really liked it also. I was so excited to watch the movie when it came out so I rented when it came out on DVD and I was kind of disappointed too. I agree that it was just okay. The people I watched it with really liked it but they didn’t read the book. Nice to hear I wasn’t the only one who didn’t end up loving the movie.

  5. I’m glad you did a feature like this. I bought the book for my sister a few years ago & I wonder if she ever read it. I may have to steal it. I’m also a huge Vanessa Hudgens fan (ha) and interested in the movie. (But also concerned because it took a LONG TIME for it to come out.) Someday I will watch it! Great comparison!

  6. I’m glad that you liked the book. I have the e-book, but Beauty and the beast is my absolutely favorite and I was scared that it would spoil the story. So now I’m going to give it a chance.

    And after that I’m going to look the movie. I hated the cast, to be honest, but perhaps I’m end up loving it anyway.

  7. The movie was actually pretty good, in my opinion, though I didn’t exactly picture Alex Pettyfer as the guy in Beastly either. But I did enjoy watching it – especially because of Neil Patrick Harris, who I absolutely adore.

    I actually picked this up in a B&N and started reading it. An hour later, I had finished it. It’s a pretty quick read, but I did enjoy it more than the movie!

  8. I havent seen the movie, only previews but now im reading the book. I’ve considered just trying to find another book but then i read online all the reviews and I figured I would give it a try.

    Not being rude but Ian Somerhalder is Damon on TVD..

  9. Jaime Lester

    I love Beauty and the Beast. It is still one of my favorite tales from my childhood. So Beastly definitely intrigues me. I really need to find a copy and read it. I have heard really good things about the book. The movie, on the other hand, I haven’t heard too many good things about it. A lot of people are like you, and think it was just ok. But there are people that say it is one of the worst movies ever. I think either way, I will just skip the movie and stick with the book!

  10. I liked the book more than the movie too. Mostly I was made at how the portrayed him with the tattoos, I mean come on that doesn’t look nothing like a beast and it said he looked like a beast in the book…if it would have said tattoos that would have been different. :(

    • Jana

      Very good point! I didn’t like the tattoos easier. Clearly they didn’t have enough budget to make him look really beastly.

  11. danielle hammelef

    I haven’t read this book or seen the movie. I love the modern twist in the book and would choose this book based on the synopsis.

  12. I ended up liking both the book and film. Though I don’t remember the book with great specificity, I do remember enjoying it. :)

    Sorry you didn’t love the film (like you, I thought the beastly “look” was great – so unique), but am glad the book is one of your favorites.
    Rissi recently posted…Booktube Talk | The BOOK EMOJI Tag

  13. Jo

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I didn’t enjoy the book. It’s been quite a few years now since I read Beastly, so I can’t remember why exactly I didn’t like it, it just didn’t do it for me. And it’s put me off reading further retellings of Beauty and the Beast. It’s funny, becuase it’s this book I read, I recognise the cover, but whenever I see Beauty by Robin McKinley, I keep confusing them. But I’ve heard Beauty is great, so I might give that a go.

    Great review, Jana!

  14. Nancy

    Okay your review has me interested in this book now, heading to the library to borrow. I like beauty and the beast retellings and your approval of this book has me convinced. I love when the character falls and changes for the person they love.