Author: Alex Flinn

Beastly by Alex Flinn | Mini Book Review + Movie Thoughts

Posted March 13, 2017 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 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
Amazon Add to Goodreads
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.

 


Towering by Alex Flinn (Book Review)

Posted September 4, 2013 by Jana in Book Review / 1 Comment

Towering by Alex Flinn (Book Review)Towering by Alex Flinn
Published by HarperTEEN on May 14, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 293
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.


Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

I’ve got a thing for fairytale retellings, and Rapunzel is one of my very favorites! I really love the idea of a prince traversing a high tower to save a girl who has been trapped in there, and has no idea what the world is really like. Towering was a fun, quick retelling with a little mystery and a really pretty setting. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Wyatt is a strong character, and I enjoyed reading about the story from his point of view. He’s been through a very sad thing, and is trying to move on by changing scenery for a little while. He tries to make friends, which is hard since he’s still not quite himself. He keeps hearing a girl singing from far away, and thinks he’s going crazy because nobody else can hear it. He decides to investigate, and finds Rachel. From this point on, he has a mission and a purpose. He wants to save her. He’s no suave Flynn Rider, but I can handle that.

2. Rachel is so naive, it’s annoying. I had to keep reminding myself that her complete isolation has made her this way, and not that she was dreamed up to drive me nuts. What I liked about her is that as you get to know her, you realize she does have a brain. Everything she’s ever known is no so, and she’s not having the hardest time believing it. She will take risks, and she will jump into the unknown if it means she can help people.

3. I also had to keep reminding myself that fairytales usually include instalove. It’s just their nature. And considering the fact that instalove is a requirement of this story, it was handled relatively well. I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of Wyatt and Rachel, but the story stood out more than the romance for me, so I was ok.

4. The story was really interesting. I wondered how Flinn would tackle a modern Rapunzel, but she did it and she did it well. It was modern and believable. And there were twists and turns that I really wasn’t expecting. Flinn didn’t just retell the story, she made it her own. I didn’t particularly care for the drug aspect (yeah, drugs play a huge part in this) of the story, but it was unique.

5. It started off a little slow, but once things got going I was fully invested. I could not wait to learn all the mysteries and see a resolution.

Overall, Towering was a fun little jaunt with some mysteries and hat tips to the original fairytale of Rapunzel. Flinn is a great storyteller, and I always look forward to her fairytales.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...