Thursday, August 19, 2010
Summary from author site: 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 a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
I listened to the audiobook for this one because it was listed as a freebie on Audiobook Fans. First impression was that it was a lot better than I expected.
Basically this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in present day New York City. I imagine that would have presented quite a lot of challenges! Kyle Kingsbury is a horrible jerk in the beginning of the book. A witch puts the spell on him because of a cruel prank he was going to pull on her/a classmate. The little twist that makes the whole story a little more interesting is that Kyle's dad is very famous and very rich. The need for secrecy about the whole thing is a lot more pressing and their methods for going about it are quite lavish since there is an endless supply of money.
I don't want to say who Beauty ends up being because that would kind of be a spoiler, since quite a lot of the story is devoted to him looking for and giving up on ever finding her. I did like their relationship though. I liked how the author managed to work difficulties with parent/child relationships across the socio-economic statuses (Another YA book with absent parents...amazing how they work that in!). I really liked how Kyle/Adrian came to develop such a love of books through his Beauty and his time in hidden away.
In terms of the audiobook, I thought it was fairly good. I think the reader was maybe reading for a younger target audience than say me, an adult. A lot of it kinda came off cheeseball. I didn't like the way he characterized Kendra. He made her sound like a valley girl. I don't know what the heck was going on with Will's speech pattern, but it was odd and kind of off putting. He was blind, blind people can talk normally. However, other than the cheeseball moments and those two characters it was pretty good. Several sections of the book was done in chat room dialogue and that couldn't have been easy to translate into audiobook, but it was easy to follow along.
Overall, I liked it and it was free and that's always good (I just checked and unfortunately it's not available as a freebie anymore, sorry!) and it was short (and that's fantastic after The Passage).