Author: Alex Flinn

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Posted May 6, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Beastly by Alex FlinnReviewer: Holly
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Series: Kendra Chronicles #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: December 29th 2009
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: two-stars

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 the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

I love fairytales in general and Beauty and the Beast in particular, but I was hesitant to read this. I’m not a big fan of YA, and I wasn’t sure how a modern retelling of a fairytale would work. I ended up enjoying the story, though I had to set aside a large chunk of disbelief to make it work.

The problem is this is written as a contemporary novel with the witch’s curse as the only fantastical element. That made the Beast’s imprisonment of Beauty harder to take, since, in the modern-day world, a young girl being forced to live in a house alone with a monster would be hard to hide. Especially since she was a high school student who attended a very posh private school on scholarship. I had a hard time believing no one noticed she was missing or went looking for her.

I wasn’t really sold on the romance. In part, I think, because this is told in first person from Kyle/Aiden/Beast’s point of view.  Lindy was essentially kidnapped and forced to spend time with him, so, while I felt a friendship form between them, I didn’t really buy into the everlasting love they supposedly felt.

Still, the journey of self-discovery the Beast took was interesting and made for a good read. His selfish, awful actions in the beginning were well written, which made his eventual transformation from evil boy to gentle beast believable and wonderful.

I did like the story enough that I may search out the movie. My daughter watched it when it was first released and really enjoyed it. I will say she really enjoyed the book when it was first released, so it may be a case of me being a bit too old for this.

One thing I’d like to note is how terrible the editing in my copy was. I downloaded this for my Nook when it was a temporarily free read, and the number of typos and misspellings was ridiculous. I’m surprised a bestseller that was optioned for film wasn’t cleaned up better.

2.75 out of 5


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Review: Towering by Alex Flinn

Posted July 17, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Towering by Alex FlinnReviewer: Rowena
Towering by Alex Flinn
Publisher: Harper Collins, Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 296
Add It: Goodreads
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High in my tower I sit. I watch the birds fly below, the clouds float above, and the tall green forest stretch to places I might never see.

Mama, who isn't my mother, has kept me hidden away for many years. My only companions, besides Mama, are my books—great adventures, mysteries, and romances that I long to make my reality. But I know that no one will come to save me—my life is not a fairy tale after all.

Well, at least no one has come so far. Recently, my hair has started to grow rapidly and it's now long enough to reach the bottom of the tower from my window. I've also had the strangest dreams of a beautiful green-eyed man.

When Mama isn't around, I plan my escape, even if it's just for a little while. There's something—maybe someone—waiting for me out there and it won't find me if I'm trapped here Towering above it all.

I wanted to read this book because I enjoyed Beastly so much. My niece read and adored A Kiss in Time so when this book came up for review, I jumped on it.  I’m sad that it didn’t measure up for me, the way that Beastly did.  It was such a slow read.  There were things that slowly unfolded and I kept wanting to skip ahead.  I liked Tangled so I thought I’d enjoy this book as well but the characters just weren’t all that memorable for me.

Wyatt moves to a new town and stays with her Mom’s best friend’s mother who is a little on the old side so that he can get away from the people that knew him and his late best friend Tyler.  He carries around a lot of guilt and when he stumbles upon a mystery of his hostess’ missing daughter, he starts doing a little digging.  He also meets Rachel, a girl who is locked in a tower with only her books for company.  As he falls in love with Rachel and goes about finding out what happened to Danielle, Wyatt finds out more than he thought he ever would.

I never really warmed up to this story.  I haven’t read very many Rapunzel stories but I thought Flinn did a good job of re-telling it.  Of spinning the fairy tale and bringing the story to life in a small, modern town.  But there were too many things that I didn’t care for, for me to really get into it.   The whole mystery behind Danielle, the drug ring and everything else fell flat for me.  By the time the story unfolds completely, I stopped caring.  I was just ready to finish the book.  I couldn’t connect with Wyatt though I did feel bad for him and what he went through with his best friend Tyler and Tyler’s sister, Nikki.

The whole romance between Wyatt and Rachel happened much too fast for me.  It was like having whiplash and it came out of left field too.  They didn’t know anything about each other other than they saved each others lives and Rachel lived in a tower, far away from any human contact.  But they loved each other.  I didn’t get it.  So as much as I wanted to like this one (the cover is pretty awesome), I didn’t.  There were some parts that I liked, like Wyatt’s relationship with Mrs. Greenwood but most of the book just fell flat for me.

Grade: 2 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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