Alex Flinn is one of those rare gems that can take a classic story like Beauty and the Beast and find a way to make it relevant today. The metaphor of outer beauty matching what's on the inside is extremely important for kids to make connections to in their own lives. Forget about teaching old, withered classics to high school students. What many of them need are books like this to come along and shake them up. Not only does it teach them the same literary elements as those dusty classics, but it's also a great talking point for high school kids who think that books aren't written for them. With this book, Flinn practically shouts, "I HEARD YOUR CLASSROOM COMPLAINTS ABOUT LITERATURE AND I DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT!"
Not only that, but this is one of those rare books that can be enjoyed by both genders without issue. Girls like it because it's the re-telling of a fairy-tale, but boys can enjoy it because it's being narrated by a high school boy who doesn't sugar-coat or make the language overly-sappy.
As I listened to the audiobook, I thought about what a great movie this would make. Apparently, someone agreed with me because the movie is coming out next year. Though after watching the trailer, I can tell that the movie is a very loose adaptation of the book.
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Published: October 2007
Number of Pages: 304
Audience: Young Adult