Monday, February 13, 2012
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
"Like all of the other doors I had met in the castle, this one opened at my approach. The room it revealed was a large, warm, and gracious one. On one wall to my left a first was burning in a fireplace; two armchairs were drawn up before it. One chair was empty. In the other a massive shadow sat. I caught a gleam of dark-green velvet on what might have been a knee in the shadowed armchair.
"'Good evening, Beauty,' said a great harsh voice."
A young woman, well educated and honorable, 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 (Goodreads).
I’ve always wanted to read something by Robin McKinley, I’ve seen her books around in the book stores and libraries but I never read any of them. It one of those things where you say to yourself I will pick up her book next time I am here. This time I was at the library and I saw this book on a display and I thought why not I will read this book today and not wait for the next time.
Beauty and the Beast has been one of my favorite stories, and I do not think that I have read any books that retell this story. At least I do not think that I have; but then again I read so many books it is hard to remember what I read sometimes. I really enjoyed this story, it was very well done, excellent pacing, and excellently written. I really like the pace of the story, it was not too slow but rather just right. I sometimes get frustrated with books that are either too slow and the author never gets to a point or they move too fast for my liking. But it pacing of the story line depends on the type of books you are reading as well. Pacing of the story is different in Action/Thriller then is different from Romance or Fiction for example, but still they all have that commonality.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book, especially the Beast, Beauty second. I actually wished that the story was from the Beast’s POV but that the story is about Beauty and the Beast and not The Beast and Beauty. I was bit frustrated with Beauty and her low self-esteem about her looks. I never understood why she thinks she is not beautiful (ugly is too strong of a word) and also insists on dressing up to make herself look even less attractive. Wouldn’t you do the opposite in fact. I mean I am not Cindy Crawford by any means but that does not mean that I wear unattractive clothing. I wear what looks good on me rather than hide behind the clothing and make myself less attractive than I am. Anyway I think I’m getting of the topic now. I really liked Beauties family, they were such a nice family and I felt bad for them when Beauty had to leave. One thing that bothered me about this story is the romance between Beauty and the Beast. For the first part Beauty fears the Beast and that is understandable. Then that fear turns into sort of a friendship. But there was no transition from friendship to love. Rather love just happens, all of sudden Beauty is in love with the Beast. I really did not feel that transition happen. It felt that the author run out of time and just wrote the next chapter and voila she is in love with him. This is hard a hard part for me to overcome even though I know how the story would end. Secretly I was hoping for a twist at the end but it did not happen.
Overall this was good read and enjoyed it very much. It was easy and a fast read and I will be definitely checking some other books by this author. It was very well written there were no awkward sentences that make you pause and contemplate what does author mean by this. If you enjoy retelling of fairy tales with a modern twist to them then this might appeal to you. I give this book 3/5 STARS.