Thursday, November 13, 2014

Becoming Beauty by Sarah Boucher

Claws. Long, filthy, and dangerously sharp.

They’re the first thing Bella sees after what has easily been the worst day of her life. Careful not to alert her captor to her conscious state, she glances past the matted fur-covered arms and expanse of chest to the face. If something surrounded by tangled black rattails can be called a face.

Perhaps if Bella were the quintessential Beauty—gorgeous, kindhearted, and self-sacrificing—she might have a fighting chance in transforming this monster into a man. But she’s never been the toad-kissing kind. Obsessed with landing a wealthy nobleman and escaping her humdrum life, she will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Which is precisely what landed her here, at the mercy of the Beast.

In this imaginative retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Bella's strong sense of entitlement stresses her family's meager finances and as punishment she's sent into the Beast’s service. As Bella improves circumstances in her new life, she also finds herself changing for the better. Bella must choose whether to follow the path she’s always dreamed of—or risk it all for something even greater.

If you love fairy tale retellings then you might be very interested in this book.  This has a very unique take on Beauty and the Beast.  I kept looking for little things to remind me of the Disney version of this story and sometimes I found them, in a general sort of way, but mostly I did not.

Bella is a manipulative and selfish girl.  That’s really the long and short of it.  Certain circumstances bring her to “the beast” although between him and Bella the term “beast” is really up for grabs.  A sort of transformation takes place over time and really because of small kindnesses.  I love transformations for the better.  There is something so satisfying in that.  In this book we see many people transform in some way or another.

Bella ends up with a necklace.  It has a stone hanging from it and Bella realizes that she can see and feel memories through it.  She dreams things that are someone else’s memories.  It is both freaky and cool and it offers Bella many insights as to her situation.

This story had a love triangle within a love triangle.  I’m not really a big fan of love triangles so having a double one going on was a bit overwhelming.

One idea I really loved from this book was no matter what happens to us- grief, hurt, anger, physical ailments or whatever- we cannot allow the beast to take over.  Don’t let the crappy things in life remove your humanity and compassion for other people.  Yeah, that’s a good message for the day.  J

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful review! I'm a little late to the party today due to a very long work day, but I appreciate all your time and effort on my behalf, and I'm sharing it everywhere now!

    Oh! And you're the first one to call Bella beastly! And you know, that was the idea that spurned the whole project in the first place. She really is a beastly little stinker! Thanks!


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