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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Audio Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Age: 14+
Pub Dates: Book-Oct 2007 / Audio-June 2010
Length: 6h 42m
Narrator: Chris Patton
Series: no
Acquisition: free download from Audio Community

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. (from Goodreads)

Audio critique:
The first chapter of Beastly is a online chat room transcript. Have to say, this format doesn't really translate well to audio! After the first chapter though the book flows into a more normal pace.

I really liked how Chris Patron read the part of Kyle Kingsbury, our MC. Especially once he turned into a beast. I could really feel the emotion behind his words. From arrogant and self centered, to introspective and accepting.

I love the whole premise. If you think you're better then everyone else, better watch out, there may be someone lurking in the shadows ready to cut you down to size. Kyle doesn't care how he treats people and he pays for it.

I also really liked the romance. It seemed  very natural. You know, as natural as falling in love with a beast can be :) It was also very sweet.

Now Kyle - I was pretty sure he was going to be a major 'dislike' for me. I really couldn't stand him at first and I didn't think that would change. I was surprised as anyone to discover I was actually rooting for him in the end. The reality of his life actually humbles him. It was kinda moving.

Kyle :) Ok, ok, so even if I liked him by the end - Kyle in the beginning? Not so much.

Also, Kyle's father. I guess Kyle had to learn his self entitled, no one but me matters ways from someone but the way Kyle's father treats him? It's just downright mean. He's a very well written character, but he was also a distraction of sorts. A character that had to be there but didn't really add anything to the story for me.

Reminded me of:
Other fairy tale type retellings - Gregory Maguire's books come to mind.

Final thoughts:
A good story and a good audio book. Alex Flinn did a great job taking a classic fairy tale and incorporating it into the modern world. The lesson of the story was really driven home. Chris Patton did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life.

Overall Story Rating:
4 / 5
Overall Audio Book Rating:
4 / 5

Linkage Love:
Harper Teen
Brilliance Audio
Author's Website

*Beastly has been made into a movie with a March 2011 release date. Not sure if I'll see it or not. They made a few major changes....like the fact that Kyle isn't a beast...he's a weirdly disfigured guy with a tree? tattoo on his face. Also, Mary-Kate Olsen is in it so...no. BUT Neil Patrick Harris is also it in so...yes? Have to wait and see!

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