Monday, December 2, 2013

Beastly by Alex Flinn

   I'm just gonna go straight ahead and admit that I've had a really weird fascination with the Beauty and the Beast tale ever since I watched the Disney film for the first time in my younger years. It was and still is one of my all-time favourite love stories. {I never said that I couldn't appreciate them.} So, basically, reading this book was basically the literary equivalent of a punch in the gut.

   I've always prided myself on my ability to differentiate really bad, creepy, unhealthy relationships from beautiful, wholesome, poignant ones.

   It's the Beauty and the Beast tale, except set in New York, and about fifty times darker. The worst part is that it doesn't even make up its own dark stuff, it just magnifies the creepy elements already in the classic story and makes them realistic. The dad who sells her out. The reason why the curse was placed in the first place. Etc. etc. etc. 

   And I really liked it.

   I hate insta-love above all things. But in this book, even with the many time skips, you can actually watch and feel Adrian and Linda falling in love. It's kind of painful. And it should be beautiful, except for the parts that killed it.

   Being disappointed in this book makes me sad, mostly because a lot of the raw emotion it evoked was pure and brilliant, and obviously, the characters and character development were exemplary. But there were just so many uncomfortable parts. So many.

   First of all, the dialogue and writing itself always seemed slightly... Off. I couldn't quite place it at first, but then the realization hit me: Everything's a simple sentence, and nothing hurts. 

   So yeah, the writing is choppy and the dialogue sounds stilted and awkward. That hindered the reading experience somewhat, even if it lowered my rating by a star, which is fine. 

   But then we get to Adrian, who, even though he developed spectacularly, was so awkward and creepy in places that I literally had to put the book down after short bursts and wander off to read something else. I don't know about you guys, but I'm one of those people who gets loads of secondhand embarrassment. I have a tendency to bite my lip and giggle-snort when someone on film, in books, or in reality does something stupid or humiliating. 

   So yeah, loads of lip-biting and giggle-snorting. Oh, and don't forget the eye-rolling, yeah?

   I just... I mean, it wasn't even his ridiculous methods of courting Linda that freaked me out. {Although it was mostly that.} Sometimes he'd just get randomly angry and throw things around, and then apologize, which was supposed to show character development but just made me feel like he was really lame. Also, the whole section with him changing my name sounded so childish that I wanted to smack his furry face and tell him to sit down.

It's actually been a while since I've been so utterly embarrassed for someone's existence, so, in a way, Adrian King should get a round of applause from me and my delicately blushing features. 

  Except no, you get a 3/5 stars instead.

   All-in-all, it's a beautiful stand alone romance, if you can get over the cringe-worthy courtship rituals and the somewhat choppy writing. But seriously, it's not a long read, so if you ever feel the need for a story with a happy ending. Because yes, there's a happy ending.


{Sigh, seems like I only rate 3/5s lately... Oh, well.}