Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kaya's Korner: "Beastly" Review

Click to purchase
“Beastly” by Alex Flinn
I was curious about this movie and book because the only “Beauty and the Beast” anything I’d ever read or watched was the Disney version.  And I admit, I sort of wanted to see this movie because Alex Pettyfer is in it and if you read my previous post yall know I’m crushing a little bit.  I saw the movie before I started reading the novel, but I’ll do the book review first:
Kyle is the equivalent of modern day royalty.  He’s rich, good looking, and gets anything he wants.  He knows it and acts like he’s the most important thing in the world and he usually shows his power by putting others down.  Unfortunately for him one day he goes too far and insults a classmate, who unbeknown to him is a witch.  This witch turns Kyle into his true self - a beast.  The only way for Kyle to reverse the spell is to honestly love someone and have the person love him back and break the spell with a kiss.  The question is, can someone who is beastly, not just physically, but mentally change his ways?
I enjoyed this book, much to my surprise.  I thought the way the emotions were described were vivid and there were times I really felt for Kyle.  I was sad for him when he realized that he had no friends and I appreciated him when he understands that his lies are lies and not the truth.  It was hard for me to read when Kyle truly sees himself - realizes that he’s a bad and mean person.  But it was uplifting when he realizes that he’s a better person as the beast than his former human self.  I thought he was changing in such a wonderful way and felt he was capable of love.  There were even a couple of times when I was close to crying because the emotions were so strong.  Reading about Kyle’s transformation from a mean spirited person to a sweet and genuine person who thinks of others was nice.  Of course, we know they get together in the end and I was happy to read this happenend.  Really, the only bad thing I have to say about the book is it ended so abruptly and I wanted to read more about them after they broke the spell and there was no more story to read.  
Grade: I probably would have finished this book sooner had my social life not interferred, but I have read books that made me skip my social life, so I’m giving this book a Paperback. 

Click to visit movie site
Now on to the movie “Beastly.”  I will say three things: 1) the book was sadder than the movie, 2) Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t look anything like Lindy was described in the book, and 3) I would liked to have seen Kyle read more in the movie since he read so much in the book (but I suppose reading as a scene in a movie for teenagers doesn’t make the cut.)  
There were two things I was glad to see and one was particularly endearing.  The first is when Kyle (as Adrian) and Lindy read “Having a Coke with You.”  I haven’t really figured out what the poem is about or its meaning, but I think it’s great that in the movie they introduced something to teenagers which most don’t think about - poems.  In the book it was Shakespeare and I love Shakespeare, but we’re all introduced to him at some point in our school careers.  Frank O’ Hara is someone we’re not introduced to (unless they changed the curriculum) and I think it’s great that something new can be introduced no matter what the venue is.  Second, I absolutely loved the part in the movie when Kyle gives Lindy the white rose at the dance and they take a picture together.  The way he looks at her when they’re posing for the picture - you can tell right there that he has more to him than meets the eye; that he’s not the typical mean guy without feelings - even if he doesn’t know it himself yet at this point in the movie.  (I tried to find this scene online as a movie still to post but couldn’t find it.  I looked for hours and could find the scenes before and after, but not the one I actually wanted.  Haha!)     
In general, I’d say the movie was a good version of the book without messing with plot or characters too much and portrayed the tale “Beauty and the Beast” in a slightly new way.  It came across a little flat at times, but it was sweet and the ending was as happy as good be.  What are your thoughts on the book, movie, or both?  


  1. Hey Jessica! This is a book I've tried to get at the library several times and it's always out. I'm sure part of that is because the movie came out. ;) It sounds great! Thanks for the review, and like you, I'm excited to see that they're trying to encourage kids to read poetry again. THere's so much depth and symbolism there. BTW, you are one dedicated blogger to look so long for a picture! Sorry you couldn't find it, but Kudos to you for trying. :)

  2. Anita thank you for the compliments, it means a lot. But all of the reviews are written by Kaya Koban. I just post them and add the links and pictures. And since my computer has been broken she logged on and did this one herself. She is a dedicated reader, an friend, and I am glad to have her help so that I can focus on writing my WIP. I think we are both very dedicated to this blog and enjoy when we get comments. So thanks again for yours!

  3. Oh, heehee. I'm such a mush head. I thought that was like your super secret pseudonym. LOL

    That's so nice to have someone share the load. #envious

    Okay then, great book review, Kaya! Keep 'em coming! :)

  4. It's official - I'm now allowed to post my own posts, so that should limit the confusion.

    And thank you! I'm having a great time doing the reviews. :)

  5. Beastly is basically a modern day version of Beauty and the Beast. It¿s full of surprises and twists. There is also a lot of foreshadowing. Beastly is about a High Scholar named Kyle Kingsburry. He is a phenomenal athlete at school. He has all the looks the other guys want and the girls fall in love with. But, inside him is an ugly, untruthful personality. He doesn¿t care about others and he makes everyone do everything for him, so he is not responsible.