Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beauty....A Book Hungry Club Selection

This month our book club choice was brought to us by Ms. Elizabeth Ryann.  She recommended Beauty by Robin McKinley.

You can check out all of the book reviews by the Book Hungry Club by looking to the right and hitting the links to their individual pages.  

This is the story of Beauty and the Beast.  Now if you pick this book up expecting to read a retelling of Belle's story from Disney's animated version, you are going to be disappointed.  This story is more reminiscent of a period piece and Ms. McKinley did do it justice.  

There are moments in the time line where you can't help but feel Beauty's pain, just as there are moments in the story where you just want to smack her for her obvious immaturity.  I had to remind myself that I was indeed reading a young adult novel and that McKinley did indeed portray her leading lady accordingly.

I am sure if I had read this book when I was seventeen I would have swooned and loved it.  I mean, come on she falls in love with the beast.  How could this not be a tale to get the imagination of a young girls heart beating overtime.  Oh, the romance of it all. 

The first two parts of the story seemed very slow moving for me, yes I admit it, I wanted to drown myself in the romance of it all.  McKinley built her story slowly giving us the background and understanding of how it came to be why Beauty has to go to the castle in her father's place to placate the beast.

Her descriptive prose will place you right at the castle and you will feel the beast's pain.  His hideous outside covers the soul of a man who has paid a price for his vanity and has learned a lesson and McKinley does teach her lessons well.

I promise if you are fan of this genre you will love it.  The magic of the castle, the growth that Beauty does go through, maturity, falling in love.  This book has it all.

So what is your favorite fairy tale.  If you follow my blog leave me a comment and tell me so you can be entered into a drawing to win your own copy of this beloved classic.  If you don't follow and want to enter, just follow this blog and leave a comment.  Come back tomorrow where the winner will be announced.  See how easy that is?


Linda G. said...

I always liked The Ugly Duckling. It gave me such hope when I was a skinny beanpole of a kid. :)

abby mumford said...

oh, good point about McKinley showing us that Beast has learned his lesson. I forgot about the whole "having a moral" part of the fairy tale. great review!

and as for my favorite fairy tale as a kid, it'd probably be cinderella. the whole "good girl works hard, gets a fairy god mother, and the prince" really spoke to me. i definitely wasn't doing any slave labor in my house, but as a teen, it sure felt like it!

Patty Blount said...

This is a great post, Kelly. You're right; I hadn't discussed McKinley's prose but I did get a very strong mental image of what the castle and its grounds looked and felt like.


Alyson Peterson said...

Nice view Kelly! Had to agree with the immaturity issues with Beauty. Fun interesting comments!

Michele Shaw said...

wahoo! Hope I win! Thanks Kelly!

Karla Nellenbach said...

Great review Kelly! I completely forgot about the whole "lesson learned" part of every fairy tale. My fave has always been Beauty and the Beast (not necessarily the Grimm Bros version...well, except for when I was a pre-teen and into the whole blood and gore side of stories *shrugs*) The Disney version is my fave, by far :)

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Haha, this was written before the Disney version, so I can't blame Ms. McKinley for not being psychic. And interestingly enough, I think the publishers agreed with your assessment. The book was originally released as fiction, and then later recategorized as YA and given a new cover. :)

Jeannie Moon said...

My favorite fairy tale? Definitely Cinderella. I had a version of the story when I was a little girl and the illustrations in that book still haunt me, much the same way the images painted by McKinley in Beauty haunt me.

The author is a word painter. The writing is rich and beautiful which is why this is one of my favorite retellings

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Ooh, word painting! That's a great description of her style.