Book Review: Beauty
I’ve had this book in my Kindle #tbr list for quite some time, I must admit. And every time I opened it, I’d read a paragraph or two and just could not, for the life of me, get hooked.
And for the first quarter of the story, that was the way of things. But it’s crunch time with my 2016 reading challenge, where I made the somewhat crazy goal of reading 100 books. Well, I reached December only 90 books in. So those half-read books that I started? Yeah, I really need to finish them. Enter “Beauty.”
Now the way McKinley took this story is great. I liked how it reminded me of the Disney version, but also had its own twists with its own characters and a rich, magical setting. I also very much appreciated that Beauty did not consider herself a beauty at all, instead thought her nickname rather ironically given.
But good Lord above, the telling! So very much telling. Despite it being written in first person from Beauty’s point-of-view, the story got awfully dull at times. The main problem was that the entire first quarter of the story felt like a prologue. In other words, we didn’t really need to know all this. It was pure setup–and not very interesting setup, I must admit.
After pushing past that point, and wondering if I just didn’t “get” McKinley’s appear (after all, she is a rather popular fantasy author, no?), I finally started to get into the book. By the time I was halfway through, I was hooked. The Beast is sympathetic and Beauty is honorable and kind to him, and most courageous. She loves deeply, especially her family, and it’s this love which reveals her own love of the Beast to her.
When McKinley finally got into the romance, I think it was well done. For the actual romance was very limited, but this is a story mainly of falling in love, not of a dating couple. The tale tells of how attraction should (and in this case, does) go underneath the skin to the man or woman beneath, and for that, it was well done. (But seriously, for the gross amount of telling, I must subtract 1.5 stars. It was that much, and that atrocious.)
Genre: fantasy; fairy tale retelling
Rating: 3.5/5 stars