Honour has never liked her nickname, Beauty, because with two beautiful sisters to compare herself to, she knows she is not a beauty. But she is strong and she is brave, and when her father is forced into a deal with a devil, Beauty knows what she must do.
This book was recommended to me by my friend Shannon who claimed it as her favourite book of all time. I’ve read very few Beauty and the Beast retellings, despite it being my favourite Disney movie, so it quickly found its way to the top of my tbr, and I quite enjoyed it.
It starts slow, but in a necessary sort of way, building the character of Beauty and her family, and showing the reader their relationship and fall from fortune. By the time the part of the story that most of us will recognize from the Disney movie begins, the reader has a solid grasp on all the characters, their motivations, their personalities, and you will love them.
The love story builds much in the same way, slowly and realistically. The reader lives Beauty’s emotions, but also has an outsider’s view, getting to feel the bittersweet role of cheerleader as you murmur “go on!” to the pages. It pushed all of my Labyrinth Sarah/Jareth and Once Upon a Time Belle/Rumpelstilskin buttons, so if you are a fan of either of those pairings, you will love this book.
I would love more stories in this world with these characters, especially in the castle. I felt like there was so much more to be discovered in the castle that wasn’t explored. Like, the book case. Guys, just wait until you read about this fantastic book case. My book nerd senses were tingling so hard.
My one issue with this book is the theme of beauty. I loved that Beauty wasn’t a beauty, and for me the ending left something to be desired on that aspect.
Books with similar aspects
Beast by Donna Jo Napoli
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Ever by Gail Carson Levine
Recommended to fans of layered stories with rich characters and settings and fairy tale retellings
Not recommended to those looking for a lot of action or fast-paced adventure
Don’t just take my word for it!
“Unfortunately, I think I might have set my lever too high because where the other books managed to entice me, this one falls flat on its ass.” –Katya
“If someone asked me what book changed my life the most, this would without a doubt be the one.” – Shannon @ A Crystal Moon
“Fairy tales are becoming even more popular and there are new retellings coming out all the time in books and on TV, but Beauty definitely stands a notch above.” – YA Librarian Tales