Beastly, by Alex Flinn
Reviewed by Julia, age 15, New York
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
The story premise is rather predictable: Kyle Kingsbury, a popular, attractive young man, upsets a witch (thought to be a classmate at his private school), and as a result is transformed into a beast through a curse. Kyle has two years to break the spell by finding a girl to fall in love with him. Having an animal-like appearance, Kyle is exiled from his home and school by his prideful father. He is sent to a private apartment where he tends to a rose garden and learns to enjoy literature. One day, a man breaks into Kyle's residency. He is found and frightened when encountering Kyle. In exchange for not being harmed, the man gives his teenage daughter Lindy to Kyle. There, Kyle and Lindy create friendship and explore the meaning of love.
If you recall, a film adaption of Beastly came to theaters a few years ago. Having only seen trailers of the movie, I was generally pleased with the novel and I am looking forward to seeing the film. However, I caution those who have already seen the film. After experiencing the scenery and atmosphere of the story portrayed, Flinn's novel may seem dry. Lacking are eloquent descriptions and a thorough use of vocabulary. This is realistic when speaking through an adolescent male narrator, though the writing is unadventurous. Flinn takes no risks in sculpting dimensional characters and plot.
I give Beastly three of five possible stars.