Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Beast Within - Serena Valentino

Summary:  The tale is as old as time: a cruel prince is transformed into a beast.  A lovely madiden comes into this monster's life.  He is transformed by her compassion, and th elove he feels for her in return.  The two live happily ever after.  But any tale, especially one as storied as Beauty and the Beast's, has been told many different times, and in many different ways.  No matter which version one hears, the nagging questions remains: what was it that transformed the prince into the beast we are introduced to?  This is one version, pulled from the many passed down through the ages.  It's a story of vanity and arrogance, of love and hatred, of beastliness, and, of course, of beauty.  (Summary from back of book)

My Review:  Let's just cut to the chase, shall we? Your time is precious, as is mine, and one of us just spent two hundred plus pages reading what can only be described as the most poorly written fan fiction ever published by Disney Press. It was two hours I will never get back, all to spare you the trouble of diving into this acid lake of a fairy tale retelling. You're welcome.  

Here's a slightly more in-depth review if you are in to specifics...  

The Beast Within is touted as a retelling of Disney's Beauty & the Beast from the Beast's perspective.  Traditionally, I enjoy the retelling genre as a good one can lend more detail and emotion to the counterparts we all grew up with on TV and leave the reader feeling as if they have finally heard the "real" story.  And Beauty & the Beast? What book freak wouldn't go weak kneed over that library? If I were Belle, I would have made out with him right then and there, hairy face be damned....but I digress.  Unfortunately, this book did not set my book loving heart a-quiver.  This book was everything I loathe.  The story was a mess -- jumbled and nonsensical at times, thoroughly two dimensional, and completely devoid of authentic emotion.   Everything about it felt forced and utterly obvious, and probably the most frustrating thing was that it was 93% backstory (that's a rough estimate).  Belle appeared in the first chapter (where she uttered ONE sentence), made brief mention of in the middle, and did not appear again until the last few chapters where the book morphed into what can only be described as an albeit thorough CC TV description of the Disney movie version.  Ugh. I'm just glad it's over.  I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Ever.

For the sensitive reader:  If all you're looking for is "clean"...well, it is...but there are a million better retellings out there, many of them clean.  Read them instead.  

My Rating:  1 Star.   


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