Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

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 babysat for several families on a regular basis while in my teens.  One of the families had a little girl named Jacqueline, whom I watched every week for four years, until her family moved away.  I loved that little girl!  One of Jacqueline's favorite movies was Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  I can't tell you how many times we watched that movie together---enough times that we knew every word, sang every song, and could recite entire passages of the movie by heart.

Reading Beastly made me remember those special times with Jacqueline, as well as start singing the songs from the movie incessantly.  Funny how that was over 12 years ago but it all came crashing back when I started this book.   

Beastly is a perfect modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  The twist is that the story is told from the Beast's point of view.  The modern addition of the chat group Kyle (the Beast) is a part of was a nice touch.  Beastly is a sweet, heart-felt, fast-paced read.  I had a hard time putting the book down!  I would recommend Beastly to anyone looking for a short (I sped through this one in less than two hours) escape.  This was my first time reading Alex Flinn and I am putting the rest of her books on my to-be-read list. 

Just One Gripe: 
Not all characters get a happily ever after---just a warning.  One of the minor characters gets a very sad ending.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
Kyle's personal growth.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Setting/Imagery: 4/5
Originality: 3/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score:  18/25


  1. Hiya Kelli--hope things have been great for you. I thought I'd drop in and let you know I tagged you here:

  2. Great review, I bought this one a few months ago looking to read it before seeing the film, but haven't managed it yet. It sounds like a great read!

  3. It's funny, I was just hopping through blogs and found yours, and saw that you also read this book almost at the same time as me! My favorite Disney Movie is also "Beauty and the Beast". (I usually babysat for boys so it's all 'Thomas the Train' and 'The Wiggles' etc for me. lol) Did you know that they've made a movie out of this book? it's interesting how they made the "Beast" look.

    Have you checked out this other book called "Beauty" by Robin McKinley? It's also a retelling and I thought it was beautiful.

  4. I really enjoyed this title! My favorite part of the book are the chat room scenes. I've recommended it to my high school kids all the time. Flinn's "A Kiss in Time" (I think that's the title?) is a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I didn't like as much as "Beastly" but it was still pretty good.

  5. Great review. I loved this one. So now that you've read it, what do you think of the film casting?

  6. I've been wanting to read this for some time now! I need to bump it up in my TBR pile!

  7. Another book I can't wait to read!


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