Thursday, May 28, 2009
"BeastNYC: sorry but it's really hard being a beast in nyc."
This story by Alex Flinn is a remake of the old Beauty and the Beast fairytale where a vain, self-centered young man offends a witch who turns him into a hideous beast until he can find a girl who loves him regardless of his looks and gives him a kiss. What makes this story new and different is that the young man, Kyle, goes to a very upscale school in New York City but is easily recognizeable as the one young man in every school envied by every other boy and drooled over by every girl. He purposely invited one girl, Kendra, to a dance, knowing full well he had no intentions of actually taking her. Little does he know that Kendra is a witch who uses this opportunity to teach him a lesson! The morning after the dance Kyle finds himself covered in fur.
Kyle is totally odious in the beginning of the book. He is the epitome of vain, shallow, and spoiled teenager. He thinks and does everything possible to make us loathe him. His father, a television newscaster (and stereotypically obsessed with looks) takes Kyle to doctors who offer no help except to try counseling and live with it. Dad eventually moves Kyle into a five story brownstone in Brooklyn with a housekeeper and a blind tutor.
While researching a possible cure for his condition on the Internet, Kyle finds a chat room with other victims of curses such as a mermaid in love with a human, a frog greatly disadvantaged on the keyboard, and a grizzlybear who finds love with a girl named Snow White (but not that Snow White). The moderator is identified as Mr. Anderson and we can guess that his full name is Hans Christian Anderson. As is true with most fairy tales, all of the chatters find a happy ending.
I recommend this very cute story to readers who fondly remember reading these fairy tales when they were little. The new twists make it fun and the Kyle's full transformation is captivating to watch.
My rating for this book: ++++