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Beastly Beauty

de Jennifer Donnelly

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When handsome thief Beau enters the castle that appeared out of nowhere he finds himself trapped in Arabella's curse, which can only be broken if she finds a boy who loves her for her true self--a seeming impossibility for a girl who has been told she isimpossible to love.
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BEASTLY BEAUTY is Jennifer Donnelly’s gender-switched retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it is everything you would expect in a novel written by Ms. Donnelly. While the castle’s occupants aren’t furniture or other household items, they are as much a part of the curse as Arabella is. Unlike the Disney version, the castle occupants do not see Beau as the answer to the curse but rather another failure waiting to happen. There are other stark differences as well. Beau and Arabella both have some major trauma in their past, and both must work to overcome that trauma before either can obtain peace and happiness. Also, unlike most fairy tales, true love’s kiss is not the key here. There is another form of love Ms. Donnelly deems more important than true love, and it is the one thing I most appreciate about BEASTLY BEAUTY. While it is still a fairy tale and it follows the fairy tale formula, the “rescue” comes in a completely different form - one better suited for the modern reader. My only complaint with BEASTLY BEAUTY is that it happens too fast. Ms. Donnelly’s world is so lush, and all of her characters are larger than life. I wanted more time with them all, especially because Ms. Donnelly does not publish novels as frequently as some of her contemporaries, and I know it will be another few years before we get our next novel from her. Still, all of her novels are worth the wait, and BEASTLY BEAUTY Is no different in that regard! ( )
  jmchshannon | Apr 22, 2024 |
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When handsome thief Beau enters the castle that appeared out of nowhere he finds himself trapped in Arabella's curse, which can only be broken if she finds a boy who loves her for her true self--a seeming impossibility for a girl who has been told she isimpossible to love.

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