My Rating: 4.5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: I adore fairy tale retellings so when I heard that Stacey Jay’s Of Beast and Beauty was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I knew I had to read it. After reading Of Beast and Beauty though, I’d have to say that it’s a very loose retelling. It reminds me of Everneath in the sense that it uses ideas from a few stories to deliver an entirely new creation. In the case of Of Beast and Beauty, there are elements from Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel.
For me, the best aspect about Of Beast and Beauty was the writing. It was just so poetic and enchanting! I loved that a lot of the imagery relied on the sense of smell and touch – due to Isra’s blindness – because it really made the city of Yuan and the surrounding desert come alive in my mind.
The characters were great as well. I found both Isra and Gem to be equally complex. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that Bo wasn’t as bad as I suspected. Silly me for judging a character in a book about appearances!
Although I thought that Gem’s and Isra’s realizations that they loved each other was a bit sudden, I did like the romance. Gem and Isra had chemistry, and there was a believable transition from the two being enemies to learning that they had things in common.
A spellbinding novel, Of Beast and Beauty was released in July 2013 by Delacorte Press.
Comments About the Cover: I like that the cover hints at all the fairy tales that Of Beast and Beauty appears to be inspired by. You can clearly see the tower (Rapunzel) and the rose (Sleeping Beauty), and obviously, the title (Beauty and the Beast).