Monday, December 13, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Kyle Kingsbury is a big jerk.  Of course, he doesn't know that.  The most popular kid in 9th grade, the one with all the good looks and his dad's piles of cash, Kyle's got it good.  Of course, the nerds and the unpopulars don't think this - and they're in the right.  Kyle treats everyone with the same condescension, that whole "I'm better than you because you're not filthy rich or beautiful" deal.  But one new girl, the goth girl with the weird hair and clothes, who doesn't know (apparently) that Kyle always gets his way and always looks good because of it, stands up to him.
"My dad's a network news guy.  He says people shouldn't have to look at ugly people."
"Is that what you think?"  She raised a dark eyebrow.  "That we should all transform ourselves to be as you want us to be, Kyle Kingsbury?"
I started at my name.  I was sure I'd never seen her before.  But of course she knew me.  Everyone did.  Probably had some pathetic crush on me.
"Yeah," I said.  "Yeah.  That's what I think.  That's what I know."
 She walked toward me.  Her eyes were light green and her nose was long and hooked down.  "Then you'd better hope you never get ugly Kyle.  You are guly now, on the inside, where it matters most, and if you ever lost your good looks, I bet you wouldn't be smart or strong enough to get them back.  Kyle Kingsbury, you are beastly."
But when Kyle tells the goth chick he wants to go to the dance with her, as a trick to get her back for her blowout during class, she seemingly believes him.  She goes to the dance, waiting for him.  When Kyle smacks his real girlfriend on the lips in front of her, she stays calm but warns him.  "You'll see," she says.  And it's only later that night that she comes to his house and shows him what she really is - a witch.  A real life, living and breathing witch with magical powers - and one who turns him into a monstrous beast.  He's only got two years to find true love and kiss her, but that's not very easy when you're a hideous monster.

Told as the personal account of a beautiful boy and the beast inside, this is a story to remember.  Kyle's character slowly and miraculously changes throughout the book, showing off Alex Flinn's high-flying talent.  It is written well, built well, and has a wonderful ending that will leave your heart fluttering.  How could you ever love Kyle Kingsbury, the biggest jerk of the century?'ll see.

Favorite character:  Kyle and Will tie.  (Will is Kyle's blind tutor, hired by Mr. Kingsbury to privately tutor his misshapen and ugly son.)

There is no one word to describe this book; it holds heart changes and rose gardens, conviction and selfless love.  Does it really get any better than that???

(This is definitely a novel for teens and older.  Getting drunk is a common lifestyle for Kyle and his girlfriend, Sloane.  And you can only imagine what comes afterward...  Sexual implications are many, but only in the first half of the book.  It is not terribly explicit, but it does show you how absolutely terrible these lifestyles are and gives you a good look at what it would be like to be Kyle...definitely not fun.  Drugs are also mentioned, and there is some language.)


  1. I just finished Beastly a few weeks back (I've yet to watch the movie) and I agree that it's hard to understand at the beginning of the book how you could possibly grow to like Kyle's character by the end of the book but I was surprised at how deeply the story moved me.One tiny problem I had with the book was the dialogue- I fond it a little immature in certain parts and I felt that Kyle's character didn't stick to one "voice" throughout the book. I suppose that could've signified the transformation he underwent as the story progressed, though. Great review!


  2. I think I'm going to have to give this book another chance, especially because you seemed to like it so much. I couldn't get into the beginning. Flinn's writing style was not very engaging for me. I also think I made the mistake of watching the movie before I tried to read the book, so I didn't understand how different they were at first.

    Great review; you definitely changed my mind.

  3. Ooh, I have to read this one. The Beauty & the Beast story is one of my favorites (from the original to Disney's version). I did watch the movie, though, & really liked it, so I'll make sspace for this one in my TBR Box~ 

  4. Ohhh I hope you like this one as much as I did!  It really is awesome! :)

  5. Vyki @ On The ShelfSeptember 8, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I really wanted to enjoy this one, I really did, but sadly, I ended up being disappointed. For me, it felt mostly like I was reading Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I agree that the book was well-written, but it just wasn't different enough for me. I am glad you enjoyed it, though. Great review!

  6. Wow this book sound amazing so therefore it's so going on my to read list :) Thank you so much for reviewing this!

  7. I read this book three months ago and I liked it. It isn't one of my favourites , but it works.

  8. Oh no! I'm sorry you didn't like it! :( Of course, there's always that book that you really want to like but don't...I know how it is. ;) I hope you decide to read some of Flinn's other books - maybe you'll like those even more!

  9. Yay! Glad you're going to read it! It really was a great book. :)

  10. Glad you liked it! :)