Monday, March 27, 2017

Beauty by Robin McKinley Book Review

This is my last Beauty and the Beast themed post for a while, I promise.

222659 Goodreads Synopsis: A young woman, well educated and honourable, accepts responsibility for her father's act and leaves her family to enter the enchanted world of castle and Beast. The Beast she finds is not the one she imagined, but can she stay with him?

A gifted storyteller embellishes the classic tale, developing a new and very real world of her own in a love story that has all the wonder and magic of the fairy tale.


My least favorite part of this book was its pacing. Had the first third been much shorter and the last fifth much longer, I would have enjoyed it much better. The author took far too long setting up the story, wasting pages and attention that should have been devoted to Beauty and the Beast's relationship. 

And I found the ending sweet, but anticlamactic. The ending, by the way, is my favorite of all the Beauty and the Beast movies and re-tellings I can remember reading/seeing. It needs to be perfect and beautiful and happy, but when this one fell a little flat, there was little other merit to praise.

Also, I couldn't get into the characters(except maybe the Beast). Beauty's family was horrible for letting her give herself to the Beast, but I was lost between confusion over why she missed them and then how she adjusted to indefinitely living without them so easily.

Essentially there was nothing to drive the story beyond my desire to finish it and write a review in the near future. 

All that being said, there were enough small things that added up to make a not-entirely-bad book.  I appreciated the literary references, many of the twists to the original fairy tale, and the incorporation of a horse as the main character.

So, long story short, I was disappointed, but  I don't hate Beauty. I just don't know if I could honestly say I like it.

6 comments:

  1. I'm not sure any telling or retelling exculpates the family. I liked her family other than that incongruity. I do agree about the pacing, but I still enjoy this book, its one of my favorite fairytale retellings.

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    1. Good point. I wanted to like her family, let us say. :) But I also despised them a bit. xD

      Ah, I guess it just wasn't my particular cup of tea. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  2. Hmmm. Interesting. I haven't read this one, so thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

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    1. Sure! But you should know-- almost everyone I've talked to about this one likes it, so you may enjoy it much more than I did.

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  3. That is true, why did her family give her up? It has always bugged me.

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    1. Yesss. I think the story would have been more believable if they'd been nasty to begin with.

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