Beast
Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Beast Details

TitleBeast
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 10th, 2018
PublisherCandlewick Press
ISBN-139780763688806
Rating
GenreFantasy, Retellings, Young Adult, Fairy Tales

Beast Review

  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    I'm one-starring this because I'm mad. Very mad. Let me explain.This book turned me off very early with a brutal rape scene, so MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING for that, and it should be in the Goodreads blurb so that any rape survivors know ahead of time before stumbling on that by accident. I read 22% of the book in and I cannot possibly see how this man can get transformed into a beast and redeem himself. Because, see, here's the thing: I don't give a SHIT if the beast acts like a completely differen I'm one-starring this because I'm mad. Very mad. Let me explain.This book turned me off very early with a brutal rape scene, so MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING for that, and it should be in the Goodreads blurb so that any rape survivors know ahead of time before stumbling on that by accident. I read 22% of the book in and I cannot possibly see how this man can get transformed into a beast and redeem himself. Because, see, here's the thing: I don't give a SHIT if the beast acts like a completely different person that expresses remorse for what he did. The fact of the matter is that he's not. He's still a man that RAPED someone (and maybe others) and I don't like how that is completely brushed aside. It's problematic as FUCK. I don't like that somehow Lucie falls in love with the beast (HER RAPIST) because that is disgusting and not at ALL realistic. I'm not sure how this book got published. But I'm FURIOUS.Update: I get to add more shitty stuff! Yay. A friend asked me if I would look ahead and see how the book ended, so I am scanning through and adding what I find. SPOILERS FOLLOW, SO DON'T READ IF YOU WANT TO READ THIS AWFUL, AWFUL book.(view spoiler)[After he changes into a beast and Lucie is transformed into a candlestick that can talk somehow, he locks her in a cupboard because she is staring at him and he hates the way he looks. MUCH CHANGED. VERY ABUSE. SO WOW. Then later, he appears at the cupboard after taking a bath, and has no recollection of his life before, letting her out of the cupboard. Lucie remarks that there is nothing of the man he used to be in his new beastly form. So what. Don't care. Still doesn't make any of this okay.Then he becomes this pathetic creature that cries when roses in his garden die. Oy vey.Oh, and here's something else that's kinda fucked up. Lucie can share thoughts with the beast. She can think things in her mind and he can hear them. So not only did she get raped by this man, but she must share a brain with him as well?JeanLoup was afraid of spiders, but the beast is not, and he even rescues them. So this, Lucie concludes, proves that the beast is NOT JeanLoup. Sorry, but I am not buying it. It just doesn't work for me. It doesn't work that way. Rose (Belle) shows up at the chateau because her father steals a rose and tries to steal Lucie (in candlestick form) from the beast after the beast took him in out of the cold and fed him and showed him kindness. The beast makes a bargain with Rose's father for his company, but Rose comes instead.Blah, blah, blah all the unimportant stuff in the middle of the book, and then it turns out that JeanLoup is the enchantment and the beast was his true form, the way he was born to his mother. His mother went to the same witch to have him turned into JeanLoup, hoping that his beautiful form would make his father love him, but it did not, and JeanLoup turned all sorts of evil because he was unloved and miserable. Because we are never responsible for our own actions, it seems. *eyeroll* I still don't think this matters though, when it comes to the issue of the rape. He is STILL the same person, just in different forms. And Lucie falls in love with her rapist. This is NOT okay. I don't care how the author tries to twist it and make the reader forget about it, facts are facts. And finally, yes, Lucie does fall in love with the Beast, and he with her, and they run away together. I do not approve of this book. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Ivana A.
    January 1, 1970
    Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | One of my favorite books while I was growing up was the Beauty and the Beast. I usually love retellings,as they show me a different side of the story that might be, that I have never considered before. This book, however, almost ruined it all for me. The only reason it didn't was because I wouldn't let one bad retelling to ruin my childhood favorite!The story is about Lucie, who is a servant in Jean Leup's palace. Through Lucie's story, we see Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | One of my favorite books while I was growing up was the Beauty and the Beast. I usually love retellings,as they show me a different side of the story that might be, that I have never considered before. This book, however, almost ruined it all for me. The only reason it didn't was because I wouldn't let one bad retelling to ruin my childhood favorite!The story is about Lucie, who is a servant in Jean Leup's palace. Through Lucie's story, we see Jean Leup as a horrible person who only cares about money and the respect he received from his aristocratic community. He treats the servants badly and doesn't even bother to look at them. Lucie likes the thought of him. He is a very handsome man, and all she dreams about is for him to notice her. And one day, he does. And something really bad happens. Jean Leup does something horrible to Lucie. [SPOILER - PLEASE CONTINUE CAUTIOUSLY] (view spoiler)[He rapes her. And not only that this scene was very disturbing, it was also three pages long, with broad descriptions and it made be cringe badly. It made me hate everything and this was the part where I almost quit on reading this book] (hide spoiler)] [SPOILER FINISHED - YOU CAN CONTINUE READING] After this big spoiler scene, the first reaction Lucie has is to kill herself. I am aware that this was a huge trauma for her, and people react differently, but if the author gives me this as a solution to her problem, do I want to continue reading? Is this really the lesson she learns? With a bit of help of magic and wisdom words, she decides that now she wants for Jean Leup to suffer, and she wants to be able to see this happen. Suddenly, wish becomes a reality and the next thing we know, she is a candle that can't move, and Jean Leup has turned into a Beast. Do you get the Beauty and the Beast reference now? We see the story from the candle's point of view, who is Lucie. Well - not really! Because here's the twist - the Beast doesn't remember what happened before. He doesn't know he was Jean Leup. He doesn't know he was bad in the past. The Beast is good by default, and a bit sad that he's alone in a big castle. So I have to ask again - Where is the lesson? Where is the punishment? If he can't remember he was bad, he'll never learn why he is a Beast. To continue and shorten the story - Lucie (the candle) can talk to the Beast through her mind. The Beauty (Rose) comes to the castle and the story goes on. Lucie decides that she is in love with the Beast, and I won't reveal the rest, in case you want to read the book and see for yourself. Now - I know that the author's point wasn't the lesson that the Beast learns as in the original story. Her point was to tell the story of the Beast, and Lucie, and how this tale can have a different plot, and ending, and back story. But I really believe that this was the wrong way of saying it, and it didn't leave a clear message. The writing was poor, and it went from one moment to another, leaving me there in the middle, wondering what happened. One scene begins, and another starts before anything is finished. It was disorientated, and I felt lost in the first 40 pages. This is a no from me, and I will give it 2 stars because I managed to finish it. Thanks to Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC e-copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    I read Jensen's Alias Hook a few years back, and that was a way better read for me. We've established from that and Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge that this author knows how to turn her favorite stories into completely different books.In Beast, the heroine Lucie is turned into a candle--I appreciated the unique perspective, but that's the only positive thing I can say about this one. For one, I was incredibly bored. Since the narrator is, well, an inanimate object, there were times when she ( I read Jensen's Alias Hook a few years back, and that was a way better read for me. We've established from that and Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge that this author knows how to turn her favorite stories into completely different books.In Beast, the heroine Lucie is turned into a candle--I appreciated the unique perspective, but that's the only positive thing I can say about this one. For one, I was incredibly bored. Since the narrator is, well, an inanimate object, there were times when she (it?) literally just sat on a cupboard, doing nothing. Fucking exciting, right?The writing didn't make anything more bearable, either. The dialogue was so cheesy, and if I see someone call the heroine "girl," one more time, I'm going to turn them into candlesticks! That's right, beware!That's pretty much it for this one. I'm surprised I managed to push myself to read the entire thing. The ending was really predictable, too, so I'm not sure if I can say the read was worth it.--For more details on trigger warnings, check out Aila's review-More reviews and bookish madness:Book Blog | Twitter | Bookstagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin'
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.PLEASE don't let this book pass you by. Lisa Jensen's personal spin on a "tale as old as time " is perhaps one of my favorite retellings of Beauty and the Beast. People, it's full of magical goodness and I slowed my pace with the last few chapters because I LOVED it! We have peasant girl Lucie, who narrates our story. Lucie find herself working at the Chateau Beaumont for the selfish and cruel Chevalier Jean-Loup. A man Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.PLEASE don't let this book pass you by. Lisa Jensen's personal spin on a "tale as old as time " is perhaps one of my favorite retellings of Beauty and the Beast. People, it's full of magical goodness and I slowed my pace with the last few chapters because I LOVED it! We have peasant girl Lucie, who narrates our story. Lucie find herself working at the Chateau Beaumont for the selfish and cruel Chevalier Jean-Loup. A man who treats Lucie in the worst way a woman can imagine(Major trigger warnings). Angered and bent on revenge, Lucie seeks out a local woman that puts all under a spell and turns the nobleman into a ferocious creature. Enter magic and roses and a young woman named Rose and you might believe we are going to get the classic B&B tale, but prepare to fall in love with the Beast! But not the Chevalier -he's still pretty despicable!
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  • Kelly Brigid
    January 1, 1970
    “The heart revels in its mysteries. Defy them at your peril. Embrace them if you dare. That is where magic begins.” Wow, I’m just filled with unpopular opinions lately, aren’t I? I genuinely enjoyed this retelling, and thought it offered such a unique take on the classic tale. While most retellings alter the perspectives of the two chief characters – in this case, being the Beast and Beauty – I love how Jensen chose to have the story narrated from a third character – Lucie, a servant in Jean- “The heart revels in its mysteries. Defy them at your peril. Embrace them if you dare. That is where magic begins.” Wow, I’m just filled with unpopular opinions lately, aren’t I? I genuinely enjoyed this retelling, and thought it offered such a unique take on the classic tale. While most retellings alter the perspectives of the two chief characters – in this case, being the Beast and Beauty – I love how Jensen chose to have the story narrated from a third character – Lucie, a servant in Jean-Loup’s household. After being deeply wronged by the Chevalier, Lucie longs to watch him suffer for all eternity. A witch grants her dark wish, and transforms the Chevalier into a hideous beast, and Lucie into a candlestick, so she may forever watch his suffering without fearing any pain being inflicted upon her. While the premise and perspective were highly original, I did find the narrative to be a bit boring at times. There were even moments when Lucie merely sat in a cupboard for days, without anything eventful happening. The writing itself was simple, yet pretty. But, the constant dragging did damper its elegance.The Beast, or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde maybe? I for one, loved the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality of Beast and Jean-Loup. The twists in this story is when the Chevalier is transformed into a beast, he doesn’t recall who he is or how he came to be in the estate. The stark contrast between who he was and who he then becomes, is very unique and I loved the way Jensen plays with this idea. I viewed the two as wholly separate individuals, so any ill behavior the Chevalier performs, I didn’t consider to be the same actions from Beast. Although some of Beast’s dialogue is occasionally too cheesy for my cynical mind, I enjoyed his kind nature.Lucie, or perhaps why we shouldn’t have an inanimate object narrate. I truly admire the risk Jensen undertook in choosing to write this novel from Lucie’s point-of-view. It’s certainly one of a kind, and the depth it adds to the story is so intriguing! I was pulled into the story after the first few paragraphs, and was incredibly curious to see how everything would unfold. Unfortunately, once Lucie becomes a Candlestick, her narrative becomes quite uneventful. She is, after all … an inanimate object. There were times when this was entertaining, but for the most part, it was repetitive and dull. I would’ve preferred it if her time being a candlestick, was significantly trimmed.A few of the morals in this story were confusing. After a very traumatic event happens to Lucie, her initial reaction is to end her life. Although forces prevent her from doing so, I didn’t necessarily like how it wasn’t clearly stated that Lucie shouldn’t have considered this. Suicide is never the answer to any issues, no matter what degree of severity it holds. I also thought that it was a bit disappointing how the Beast/Jean Loup never learns a lesson. Call me traditional, but I love how the Beast gradually uncovers his virtuous nature in the original fairy tale. By creating two different individuals, this side of the story was eradicated. I do admire how unique Jensen made her story, but I just wish I could’ve seen some form of redemption on Beast’s part. But, I did love how Lucie overcomes her struggles with wrath and revenge.This was by no means, a perfect tale, but it had some elements that I thought were incredibly original in a story that has been retold hundreds upon hundreds of times. I liked the inclusion of Lucie’s character, despite how dull her narrative could be, and thought that all the twists involving Beast were entertaining. Overall, a neat book, that I can imagine some people enjoying, and others, loathing. Also, I think it’s quite fitting that this book was published by Candlewick Press. Hehe, I’m so clever. You may now proceed to roll your eyes.I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    This should be titled: How to ruin my favorite fairytale 101. “Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge” begins with Lucie a girl in need of a job who finds her place working as a maid under a cruel master and when he finds himself transformed into a hideous beast to pay for his crimes and she too is bewitched to watch his suffering until a girl arrives with the ability to set him free if and only if she can fall in love with a monster. Let’s get right to it and say this is not your Disney fairytale be This should be titled: How to ruin my favorite fairytale 101. “Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge” begins with Lucie a girl in need of a job who finds her place working as a maid under a cruel master and when he finds himself transformed into a hideous beast to pay for his crimes and she too is bewitched to watch his suffering until a girl arrives with the ability to set him free if and only if she can fall in love with a monster. Let’s get right to it and say this is not your Disney fairytale because guess what ladies and gentlemen the pre beast prince is a serial rapist! But wait before you get upset just know that it’s not his fault because why should a man be responsible for his actions when you can blame another woman and in this case it’s his mother, because why not? Please for the love of god stop writing stories that romanticize abusers. I don’t care that they tried to make this as though he was a beast as a man and a man as a beast just stop it. And to have his victim fall for him over the course of this curse is absolutely disgusting and not to mention the complete and total willingness for a three way “agreement” between Lucie, the Beast and this versions Belle because at the end of the day he still can’t be faithful. I’m at a loss really this was so awful. **thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 12%I really liked the idea of this and was eager to see how this retelling worked, but it’s a big nope from me. I’m not going to continue a book that has a two page rape scene of the MC. Oh and it’s by the other MC of the story and that’s who she falls in love with? The question mark applies to the love part, not the character involved. **Huge thanks to Candlewick Press for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    1.5 starsWell, this made for a rather peculiar retelling. Before I begin the actual review, I do want to let readers know about certain important triggers that they should be notified of:- 12% into the book, a rape scene occurs where the heroine experiences it - and the consequences - first hand. It is mildly described.- 16% into the book, the heroine is devastated after the rape and tries to drown herself. These are not light topics, and it was rather shocking to see it in the story, and so ear 1.5 starsWell, this made for a rather peculiar retelling. Before I begin the actual review, I do want to let readers know about certain important triggers that they should be notified of:- 12% into the book, a rape scene occurs where the heroine experiences it - and the consequences - first hand. It is mildly described.- 16% into the book, the heroine is devastated after the rape and tries to drown herself. These are not light topics, and it was rather shocking to see it in the story, and so early. The revenge after the rape is what serves as Lucie’s driving motivation - and basic plotline - of the book. Soon enough, Lucie’s wish for revenge is granted when the handsome chevalier who attacked her gets transformed into a hideous beast, forcing all the servants to flee. Everyone leaves except Lucie, who gets turned into a candelabra so he can see his ugliness every day. Or something like that. It was a weird explanation for keeping her there. Now that Lucie is a candelabra, she can’t speak or feel time. But the chevalier, or Beast at this point, knows that she’s sentient and banishes her in a dark drawer or room or something. A period of time passes, and suddenly the door is opened and the Beast is kind. Is this Jean-Loup? How did he have a 180 degree turn in personality? And how will this newfound knowledge affect the Beast’s future after Belle (from the original story) comes into play… “This is what he thought of me once, an object to be used and discarded. But look at me now! I am strong, as I never was before. I am here to show him what he has become. I will illuminate his crimes.”The thing about this retelling is that it’s just… weird. I can’t quite wrap my head around the “twist” the author wrote, and I really think there was a better way of executing it. After finishing, I kind of just had the reaction, “What in the world just happened.” The plot went into directions I didn’t expect, I give you that, but it also rubbed me the wrong way. I wasn’t quite comfortable about the fact that Lucie’s driving motivation was revenge from being raped, and I’m not sure how I feel about the mitigation of this plot point being addressed. I did appreciate the author’s message about how beauty isn’t everything in the world, and how if you dig beneath the surface, you can find hidden facets. I do admire Lucie’s resilience throughout all her troubles, and her determination in getting justice. There was an odd dynamic, though, because the central characters were just Jean Loup, him as a Beast, her, and Belle, which lends for a quietly intense atmosphere. The setting wasn’t very explored (I suppose we just know that we’re in historical France where magical things happen) and the main focus of the story was just the twisty retelling. I usually enjoy Beauty and the Beast retellings, but something about the twists in this one was mainly uncomfortable for me. None of the characters were really explored past their superficial descriptions and actions, save Lucie.Perhaps readers who want a darker twist of Beauty and the Beast would be drawn to this one. I myself didn’t really quite mesh with it, and I wouldn’t really recommend it for readers drawn to romantic stories. Revenge, perhaps. But romance? I never quite felt a connection, especially as the whole plot point with rape kind of ruined the whole premise for me. The one word I would use to sum this book up was just ODD, and more with negative connotations than anything.
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Update 4/23/18Just got approved for this on Netgalley! Now I just need to find my way out of my mini reading slump and start reading all the ARCs I have. ---9/7/18 Release pushed back from September 12, 2017 ---> March 6, 2018 ---> July 10, 2018WHY does this publisher want for me to suffer!!!? On a more positive note, I like the classic looking cover---4/22/17Release pushed back from September 12, 2017 ---> March 6, 2018UGH!!!!!!!!!!! It's just getting further and further away---When yo Update 4/23/18Just got approved for this on Netgalley! Now I just need to find my way out of my mini reading slump and start reading all the ARCs I have. ---9/7/18 Release pushed back from September 12, 2017 ---> March 6, 2018 ---> July 10, 2018WHY does this publisher want for me to suffer!!!? On a more positive note, I like the classic looking cover---4/22/17Release pushed back from September 12, 2017 ---> March 6, 2018UGH!!!!!!!!!!! It's just getting further and further away---When you're waiting for a book, but it's release date keeps getting pushed back Like, come on from March 7th to September 12th!?
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  • Lisa Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    Seriously, I must think this is a 5-star book, or I wouldn't have spent years writing it! But giving my own books 5 stars just seems weird to me. Anyway, the opinion that really matters is yours!
  • Minni Mouse
    January 1, 1970
    DNF around 35% and 1.5 starts because hel-lo, most disliked-by-Goodreads book of the year. You'll be hard pressed to find a review that isn't a one star, spat on, or full of rage. I'm bizarrely drawn to dark and controversial subject matter, though, so some part of me thought I'd end up secretly enjoying this book.Nope.THE GOOD1) The potential and/or attempt at creativity. From what I read what I learned through other reviews, this is less a story about Belle and the Beast as it is about the can DNF around 35% and 1.5 starts because hel-lo, most disliked-by-Goodreads book of the year. You'll be hard pressed to find a review that isn't a one star, spat on, or full of rage. I'm bizarrely drawn to dark and controversial subject matter, though, so some part of me thought I'd end up secretly enjoying this book.Nope.THE GOOD1) The potential and/or attempt at creativity. From what I read what I learned through other reviews, this is less a story about Belle and the Beast as it is about the candlestick and the Beast. Belle comes into the picture later, which could have opened doors for a wackily unique and creative retelling like The Beast. But...nope.2) I love it when Beauty and the Beast retellings go the route of more realistic, time-period medieval settings like Beauty of the Beast . Even though this version still went the route of the magical enchantment, we started going the route of period France. 3) I respect what Lisa Jensen tried to do with this novel, I do. Here is a blurb from her author's note:So why is it the prince who gets the “reward” of Beauty’s love? And why is Beauty so ready to forget the Beast she says she loves and marry the prince? Doesn’t Beast himself deserve to be the hero? As someone who’s always loved Beast more than the prince, I thought: wouldn’t it be more interesting if there was another woman involved, one who wants to preserve Beast and make sure the prince never returns? So, in my version, there is a good reason the young chevalier is transformed into Beast: his handsome face conceals an evil and corrupted nature. And no one knows it better than my heroine, Lucie.As much as Beast deserves to be the hero in my book, I wanted to create, in Lucie, a heroine openhearted enough to care for Beast just the way he is —and strong enough to fight to preserve him. In Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, they both deserve a happy ending.THE BAD1) If you're going to write a novel from the point of view of a speechless, immobile candlestick...you better be one heck of a writer. Lisa Jensen doesn't quite reach that mark, I'm afraid, and as a result much of what I read skimmed was narrative exposition as Lucie the Candlestick sits in a cupboard and thinks our story for us. Yaaaawwnn.2) Yes, the Beast rapes Lucie while she's still human and yes, it's devastating for her. The Beast is also a despicable person to other people and animals alike, and seems ruthless and cruel. On one hand, with a skilled writer there could have been potential in that. The prince/Beast is, after all, supposed to be a detestable human pre-curse so if we hate him so much by a few chapters in, we're on the right track. One could argue this was merely going to be a very grim and realistically evil portrayal of what a truly deplorable human being would act like with no holds barred.Problem is there needs to be a big turn-around-come-to-Jesus maturation to get from that evil thing to the eventual character we root for by the end. Not only was Beast's character transformation not headed that direction but from what I learned through other reviewers, the reason behind his curse wasn't going to do his transformation storyline enough justice. Hence, waste of potential to do something gritty and raw with his character, and a rather tasteless use of sensitive subject material.3) I just got so bored right away. FINAL THOUGHTSTrigger warnings aside, this isn't a book with anything remotely enticing to offer. It's like a sadly failed attempt to imitate the storytelling prose of Robin McKinley's Beauty. Pick up literally any other Beauty and the Beast retelling out there -- there are at least a dozen mature, fantasy-based one star that are terrific.
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review. When Lucie begins working at Château Beaumont she is besotted with it’s master Jean-Loupe, despite the rumors of a curse. That is until she is affected by his monstrous personality. A spell is cast on him turning him into a beast and Luce gets her wish to watch him suffer. But as time passes she learns that the beast that has taken Jean-Loupe’s place is actually nothing like the cruel man.The Story-This book was not at all what I was expecting, and ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review. When Lucie begins working at Château Beaumont she is besotted with it’s master Jean-Loupe, despite the rumors of a curse. That is until she is affected by his monstrous personality. A spell is cast on him turning him into a beast and Luce gets her wish to watch him suffer. But as time passes she learns that the beast that has taken Jean-Loupe’s place is actually nothing like the cruel man.The Story-This book was not at all what I was expecting, and while I thought the unique point of view and change in the story was pretty great, the pacing was quite slow and a little on the darker side. I was almost pushing myself to just finish the book, until about 75% when I was finally invested enough into the characters to actually care about the ending. And while it was almost necessary to have all that transpire, there wasn’t enough to break up the monotony. I think a big portion of that was due to Lucie’s POV because there wasn’t a lot actually involving her, I felt like we spent a lot of time just…sitting there basically looking out a window.Trigger warnings: rape and suicidal thoughtsThe World Building-I appreciated the story being kept in it’s French roots, despite being a retelling. I also loved how descriptive the book was with how Beast was dealing with the transformation and adjustment to his body – going from a human man to a beast with body parts he was not used to.I also really liked the changes in the enchantment of the Château and how the roses play a part of the story. I liked how it added to the humanity that was within beast.The Characters-I think the part that really stands out with this book was the Jean-Loupe/Beast combination. The drastic changes between the curse set upon them really sets this apart from other BATB retellings that I have come across. I think it’s in the fact that Beauty doesn’t change him per se, but the fact that the goodness is within him to begin with and it is such a drastic difference from who he was in the beginning of the book.The Soundtrack-Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    ***I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review ****Trigger warnings at the end of my review*So you think you know the story of Beauty and the Beast? Do you think you've read all of the retellings? Think you know how this story ends? Well...be prepared to find a unique take on this beloved classic...What if the real hero wasn't the Prince in the end? Or even Belle? What about the Beast? Isn't he the one who has a change of heart and becomes a better "person"? ***I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review ****Trigger warnings at the end of my review*So you think you know the story of Beauty and the Beast? Do you think you've read all of the retellings? Think you know how this story ends? Well...be prepared to find a unique take on this beloved classic...What if the real hero wasn't the Prince in the end? Or even Belle? What about the Beast? Isn't he the one who has a change of heart and becomes a better "person"? I think the Beast needs his time in the spotlight.I will start by saying that this is definitely an "adult" retelling. Or maybe just a more mature take on the story. I'll explain more after my review. Also - I REALLY struggled to get through this book due to the writing style. It's just not for me. Now that I'm done with the book, and looking back, I actually REALLY like the story, just not the style. Which is totally just me, nothing against the author. It's just very formal? I guess that's how I would describe it.Okay- so about the story. This story has a few more pieces/characters than any other BatB story I've read. We have Lucie, this is whose point of view the book is in. She has come to work at the Chateau Beaumont. She is a poor girl who has been sent here by her mother to keep her out of the path of her step father. Then we have Jean-Loup, Chevalier de Beaumont. He is handsome and cruel. One night Lucie finds herself on the receiving end of said cruelty, and in her despair and want for revenge, an old wise woman helps grant her wish to see Jean-Loup suffer. Enter the Beast.Beast- he is ghastly, a patchwork of numerous animals. But he is kind, patient, remorseful, loving, and compassionate. Lucie has made it her life's mission to make sure Jean-Loup suffers for what he did, but Jean-Loup is no where to be found. Lucie and the Beast form an unlikely friendship and a bond deeper than either of them know.But here's the catch - we have another player in the game. Enter Rose...Rose comes to the Chateau after her father becomes indebted to the Beast. All Beast wants is companionship, but soon Rose starts scheming, and Lucie must find a way to protect the Beast from Jean-Loup and have her "Happily Ever After".*Trigger Warnings - There is a rape scene in the first part of the book. There are also two scenes of attempted suicide. Neither scenario is descriptive/graphic, but I thought people might want to know anyways.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*Not only am I fan a hard-core fan of everything Beauty and the Beast related but also I enjoy books retelling the 'tale as old as time'. Lisa Jensen's second book of retelling characters from fairy tales deals with the Beast. If you haven't read her book "Alias Hook", do so. It's amazing!So here's a trigger warning: there's a rape scene early in the book. Although I read the ARC, I do I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*Not only am I fan a hard-core fan of everything Beauty and the Beast related but also I enjoy books retelling the 'tale as old as time'. Lisa Jensen's second book of retelling characters from fairy tales deals with the Beast. If you haven't read her book "Alias Hook", do so. It's amazing!So here's a trigger warning: there's a rape scene early in the book. Although I read the ARC, I do hope that there'll be a warning in the final copy.Lucie is a poor village girl who becomes a chambermaid in JeanLoup mansion. I suspect that in historical times, the book takes place in the beginning of 19th century or so. There are lots of descriptions concerning the mansion, the servants and the life outside the mansion. And while Lucie at first has feelings for Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, they quickly shatter after that night.Now here's a reaction that I have seen aggravating many readers. Lucie thought that it was her fault and she feels ashamed to the point of going to commit suicide. Let's backtrack. Pre-modern societies were harsh on women and especially women who lived in the countryside of the big European cities. In many occasions, a woman's honor was the only playing card she had and of course, there was no pill or condom. A woman raped had no word over the word of a man, even if he was in a higher class than her.In a way, I understand Lucie's reaction, despite being wrong in today's thinking. That's why when she meets the mysterious old woman, she tells her that it wasn't her fault and absolves her from the blame. From there the magic happens and the Chevalier turns into the Beast. BUT, there is a wonderful plot twist here, that made me love the book in the end very much.I'm just going to say that it's also for the fans who loved the Beast and not the Prince as much ;)Recommended if you can bypass the trigger warning.And of course I plan on re-reading or listening to the audiobook.
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  • Lara (Bookish_turtle)
    January 1, 1970
    I still haven't completely settled on my rating, so watch this space!This book had quite a slow pace, particularly at the start.The writing style was quite lyrical, which definitely helped to draw me in.The perspective of the story was a bit odd, and I liked that it tried for something different, but it just didn't really connect with me a great deal.It actually dealt with really heavy stuff, which I wasn't at all expecting. I was keen for another cute BATB story, but it was so completely differ I still haven't completely settled on my rating, so watch this space!This book had quite a slow pace, particularly at the start.The writing style was quite lyrical, which definitely helped to draw me in.The perspective of the story was a bit odd, and I liked that it tried for something different, but it just didn't really connect with me a great deal.It actually dealt with really heavy stuff, which I wasn't at all expecting. I was keen for another cute BATB story, but it was so completely different to what I was expecting.I'm not sure how I feel about the concept of this either? I don't even know how to explain it.. I think this just wasn't for me.It was definitely unique though, I don't think I've ever read a BATB retelling quite like it!I am very unsure how I felt about this book, maybe I'll write a more coherent review later? I don't even know.
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  • Katrin D
    January 1, 1970
    I will forever be a sucker for a Beauty and the Beast retellings.
  • Faith Simon
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 3 1/2 stars. When you hear of a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, they all tend to be really similar in some way, and after awhile you just can't pretend you sense much originality after so many so alike each other. But this was really original and really enjoyable. Before I decided to ultimately read this book (and ended up really enjoying it), I read a few unhappy reviews on it, and really questioned whet I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 3 1/2 stars. When you hear of a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, they all tend to be really similar in some way, and after awhile you just can't pretend you sense much originality after so many so alike each other. But this was really original and really enjoyable. Before I decided to ultimately read this book (and ended up really enjoying it), I read a few unhappy reviews on it, and really questioned whether it was worth it to read. You see, there is some triggering content in this novel with no forewarning, although there is build up, it is my belief that you should never assume someone to assume what is about to happen without some sort of content advisory. In that sense, this book can surely be seen as extremely problematic, and if this turned you off and you decided to read no further, you would only be aware of the disturbing plotline that entails our main character, Lucie, falling for her abuser. If you're very critical and of course read no farther, this can certainly be seen as the case. However, bearing all of this in mind, I trudged on, and I will examine how the book actually dealt with this to a point where I didn't find it deeply disturbing and at least somewhat acceptable, so it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book as a whole. In this book, the beast and the prince are separate entities. This was a very original thought, one that the explanation of I found confusing, the way that it is explained and tied altogether left a bit to be desired, at least in my opinion, but this persists that Lucie can indeed fall for somebody who is not her abuser, even if these two people aren't entirely separate. This was an interesting concept to see explored. One thing I particularly enjoyed was the writing, written to mirror olden language, so this was sort of like a historical fiction, which added to my enjoyment of the story. Lucie isn't exactly an unbearable character, but she wasn't all that enjoyable either. Under her circumstances this is easily understood, however, I just can't say that most people enjoy reading to the narration of a Mary Sue-like character, constantly feeling helpless and mopey, but it does help that she spends most of the story making observations rather than directly contributing. I didn't find this aspect boring, either, I think that it worked really well for the story. Speaking of which, I really like how the story brings about the enchantment of all the various furniture items and includes Lucie in this, I found this to be very creative, and in general a lot of the details from the original story are twisted and transformed into intriguing prospects to fit this particular narrative, and it was enjoyable to read. If I had to describe this particular re-telling to anybody, I would say that this entails the Beast, simply as he is and his own being, and of course an OC x well known Disney character. Have you ever been frustrated about the details of the prince's redemption? Have you ever considered that it was truly the Beast that Belle fell for, so why does she so easily accept him as a human, the body she fell for vanished? And, if you're just one of those people who preferred the Beast over the prince (hey man, we've all been there), never fear! There is a book for you,my friend, and it's this one!
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  • J.A. Ironside
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Here's the thing: fairy tales are sexist in general, if not downright misogynistic. If you are reworking a fairy tale for today's audience, you are already contending with hundreds of years folk tradition feeding the zeitgeist. Let's also remember that fairy tales were never originally intended for children. Some were cautionary tales for those entering adulthood (a concept which is fluid and depends greatly on the period in history) or ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Here's the thing: fairy tales are sexist in general, if not downright misogynistic. If you are reworking a fairy tale for today's audience, you are already contending with hundreds of years folk tradition feeding the zeitgeist. Let's also remember that fairy tales were never originally intended for children. Some were cautionary tales for those entering adulthood (a concept which is fluid and depends greatly on the period in history) or for entertainment on long winter evenings (no NetFlix back then) or they concealed historical events when it was too dangerous speak openly of them (magical realism has actually been going on for hundreds of years.) With all that in mind, what I'm driving at is that firstly, fairy tales and almost universally unpleasant. And secondly, that if you want to create something that resonates with a modern audience, you, the writer, must understand that you are starting from a position of considerable disadvantage. It's easy to say of events that occur in this book, and in many other books, 'well that's just how things were' (never mind that you are writing a fantasy novel...) but it's also extremely lazy to do so. Personally, I think writers have a responsibility to not add more fuel to the sexism bonfire. Yes, books reflect life, but life also starts to reflect books, or their themes at least, if enough writers start changing the message and enough people start reading it. This review will contain spoilers so if you want to read this book unspoiled, don't read on. The Plot Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge is, it will surprise no one, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. However this time it's from the pov of young, naive servant girl, Lucie. We start the story much earlier ('Beauty' is somewhat incidental to the entire plot) and see the young chevalier in his chateau well before he becomes the beast. Here's the first stumbling block: The chevalier rapes Lucie about 10% of the way into the book. He is conceited, pleasure loving and entitled, cruel and greedy and thoughtless in the worst possible way. For those of you troubled by rape scenes, it's on screen and in the pov character's experience. Lucie then finds she is pregnant and tries to drown herself in the river. She is saved by an old wise woman. Lucie begs the old wise woman for revenge - and incidentally a way to get rid of the child (which is so poorly explored and so contrived in how it happens, it's laughable or would be if it was a less serious subject than 'I don't want to have my rapist's baby'...yeah just let that sit for a little bit.) The plot then swings into the familiar (thanks to Disney) version of the original fairy tale - the old woman punishes the chevalier with a monstrous beastly form. Lucie gets turned into a candlestick, incidentally - not the magical, mobile Disney kind either. She is literally a consciousness trapped, immobile in an inanimate object. The fairy tale is more or less faithfully followed, with a slight detour through Jean Cocteau's 1948 film La Belle et le Bete, before coming to a very bizarre and slightly tasteless ending. Before we get to the tricky stuff Honestly, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this if the author had picked a different idea to explore in this book and a different twist at the end. I wasn't especially keen on the style of the narrative, the pace was slow and having an inanimate object narrate a good portion of the book made it even slower since Lucie is literally sat in a cupboard or on a table for most of it. It didn't embrace any of the deep point of view or close psychic distance, or the multi dimensional characterisation I personally look for in a book. I continued to read because it was an ARC not because I was enjoying the experience. So in that respect the book wouldn't have been for me anyway. It was just an additional disappointment that it mangled a favourite fairy tale, showing little understanding of the original while it was at it.ProblemsA glance at the other reviews will show you how many people were offended by that rape scene, especially with how it resolved with the rest of the story. I wasn't offended but I found it contrived and I did roll my eyes at the ending. Lucie falls in love with Beast. It's a bit more complicated than 'girl falls in love with her rapist' but it can certainly be read that way so I'm not surprised other readers were upset. I think the author was exploring the 'magic bullet' argument. If you're not familiar with this argument, it is a thought experiment whereby anyone can be rehabilitated of the past crimes and violent proclivities (rape, murder, torture, paedophilia etc) with a single one shot cure. The thought experiment assumes that everyone is completely rehabilitated, no back sliding - the perpetrator becomes a literally different person. The question this experiment poses is this: does the cured perpetrator deserve to be punished for the crimes of the person they were before the cure rehabilitated them? So in this case the chevalier raped Lucie - and was apparently no only a serial seducer and philanderer but a serial rapist as well, whose behaviour was rooted in his own awareness of his physical beauty and prowess and his privileged, wealthy position - whereas Beast has no memory of being the chevalier and is kind, compassionate, thoughtful and desperately lonely. Beats is literally a completely different person, so should he be punished for the crimes of Jean-Loup? (And I did laugh at that name - John Wolf? C'mon!) The conclusion Lucie comes to as she pursues her revenge (fairly ineffectually since her revenge consists of her sitting motionlessly and gloating on the Beast's suffering) is that no, he shouldn't be punished. I think the author was trying to open a debate on punishment versus revenge. It's a shame she completely bypassed important aspects such as accountability and atonement. Logic would state that the only realistic answer to the 'magic bullet' argument is 'no, that new person does not deserve to be punished for the crimes of the old person'. If you answer 'yes' then your concern is with revenge not punishment and therefore you are part of the problem. What the thought experiment does not take into account is that the victims of crimes, especially terrible crimes such as rape and murder and child abuse, have rights too. All too often victims of rape and paedophilia are not listened to, their voices go unheard. The desire of certain contingents of people to not address their suffering and listen to the terrible things that happened to them, but instead to focus entirely on the perpetrator and consider it a success if they are rehabilitated, robs them of their voice even further. In those circumstances, it would be hard as a victim not to draw the conclusion that the perpetrator's life and well being is considered of far more worth than theirs is. Since it was this low grade, constant back ground hum of 'you're less valuable than the man who wants to rape you' that is rape culture in its essence, the 'magic bullet' argument simply adds another note to this already crushing song. And so does this book in that respect. Instead of taking a brave step into the unknown and having the chevalier learn and understand the sheer breadth and consequences of his actions upon another, having him suffer and rehabilitate somewhat that way, the author has taken what I feel to be a cowardly decision and allowed Beast not to be held accountable for the actions of Jean-Loup. It simply isn't good enough. Don't we have enough books and films and magazines and reality shows already carolling that 'boys will be boys' and therefore won't be held accountable for their actions, without adding yet another one? Because that is how this reads. Beast never really feels responsible for the harm done to Lucie. They both start talking of the chevalier as if he is a separate person. Then it turns out that Jean-Loup is a sort of parasitic sub persona, cast over the poor innocent Beast like a mask. Beast is real. Jean-Loup is not. Hmm ok so the man who raped Lucie isn't real so doesn't it follow that she wasn't really raped by that logic? This is a dangerous line to walk because it is literally mirroring the minimisation so many rape survivors experience. Having Lucie then fall in love with Beast is just the final rotten cherry on a very distasteful cake. Because Lucie doesn't heal and move on by herself. She needs to fall in love with another man (ok a beast) in order to do that. The tiny amount of agency the character has at that point just evaporates. It would be lovely if writers could establish that a character who experiences rape can and will recover without the interference of a better man. In fact if writers could just hand power back to characters who have been raped and let them make conscious decisions to be with someone or not, maybe explore the ramifications if they decide they do want to be in a relationship, that would be awesome. This is the problem with rape as a plot point. It has a history of silence and shame behind it so if you drop it on the table, you damn well better be prepared to discuss it properly. It is the kind of subject that will take over if not handled with care. In my opinion it hasn't been handled with care here at all. And here's the thing - it didn't have to be rape. Why couldn't the chevalier have seduced Luci and got her into bed with her consent? Why couldn't he have then grown bored with her and gone on to the next conquest? If Lucie had discovered herself pregnant then, it would have been a much more interesting discussion on love and betrayal. Rape needs to stop being the go to plot point just because it's short hand for 'this guy is ee-villlll', seriously try some characterisation and stop being so lazy.The Problem of LucieLucie is a supremely unlikeable and rather dull character. She is irritatingly naive at the start, and while the attack on her is not her fault at all, you do find yourself rolling your eyes at her obsession with the handsome chevalier. After she gets her revenge, she is even more unlikeable. It's hard to like anyone so consumed with hatred and a desire for revenge, especially when they have no agency to act on it. I suppose Lucie becoming a candlestick could be a heavy handed metaphor for being so blinded with hatred that you can't move on but it just didn't work for me. Reel in Rose (aka Beauty) and we get another of my pet peeves - a subtle but constant waft of girl on girl hate. It's noticeable in the way that Lucie finds Rose's choice of reading materials to be frivolous, that she is reluctant to admit Rose is brave or kind, that Rose is a merchant's daughter looking for money etc etc. Rose herself has little characterisation - like most of the other secondary and tertiary characters tbh - and at points you wonder why the hell she's even in the story. ContrivanceSo much of this plot is contrived. The magic system and the curse don't make sense. The character journeys feel forced. The weird appearances of Jean-Loup's mother are out of sync with the plot. I really hate contrived resolutions and that's how I felt about the 'twist' at the end of this book. Ultimately this just didn't work for me. I don't think the author was setting out to offend people and if I'm right and this was the 'magic bullet' argument, then I guess I can kind of see what she was doing. I still feel it was a cop out. Worse, I feel it's added to a body of literature stretching back into history that all reinforce the idea that it's beholden of the victim to forgive on terms and time that suits society and even the perpetrator, rather than leaving at least that much power in the victim's hands. I feel it's also added to a number of other problematic arguments around rape culture. Honestly, I don't recommend this but if you're a die hard for Beauty and the Beast retellings, go for it. I'm not offended, just mildly disappointed - I probably won't be reading anything by this author again.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warning for violent rape/assault that serves as female character's motivation
  • Jenny Q
    January 1, 1970
    I think I've read at least half a dozen Beauty and the Beast-inspired books in the past year in historical romance, contemporary romance, and young adult. It's one of my favorite types of stories. This one is unique in that it takes place during the original time period in France and features some wonderful twists that turn the story on its head. I thoroughly enjoyed it!The first difference you'll notice is that this story is narrated by Lucie, a young woman in desperate need of a serving positi I think I've read at least half a dozen Beauty and the Beast-inspired books in the past year in historical romance, contemporary romance, and young adult. It's one of my favorite types of stories. This one is unique in that it takes place during the original time period in France and features some wonderful twists that turn the story on its head. I thoroughly enjoyed it!The first difference you'll notice is that this story is narrated by Lucie, a young woman in desperate need of a serving position. Despite the frightening rumors about Chateau Beaumont and its handsome young master, Lucie inquires about work and is grateful to receive a position as a maid. All is well until the master, Jean-Loup, returns to the chateau. At first Lucie can't understand why he has such a reputation. He's breathtakingly handsome, and she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But Jean-Loup soon shows his true colors and commits a horrible crime against Lucie, one that leaves her heart hardened, her hopes shattered, and revenge her sole reason for living.Enter an enchantress who also believes a reckoning is due for Jean-Loup, and you know the rest . . . or do you?In her author's note, Lisa Jensen says she's always loved Beast more than the prince, and so she set out to give him the happily ever after he deserves. In Jensen's tale, nothing is quite what it seems. Even Beauty--or Rose, as she's called in this tale--has ulterior motives. And Lucie, who could never have imagined what her fervent desire for revenge would set into motion, is consigned to watch it all unfold, shocked to discover her heart is not dead after all, and helpless to prevent Rose from bringing Jean-Loup back.I was so smitten with Jensen's creative spin on the story that I could not put it down, and I could not wait to see what would happen and who would get their happily ever after. I've seen more than a few readers say they could not get past Jean-Loup's behavior in the beginning to read the rest of the story, but if they had kept reading, they would have seen an entirely different story than the one they imagined. This is a brilliantly creative retelling of the classic tale that held me spellbound from beginning to end.
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  • Fizah(Books tales by me)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF, so Boringggggggggg
  • Kathy - Books & Munches
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the way this story went down! I can’t really elaborate since that would spoil half the story but to me, this is a pretty good retelling of Beauty and the Beast.Virtue is yours to make of what you will, by your actions, by your character. No one else can ever take it from you.Our main characters are Lucie and Jean-Loup / Beast.Lucie herself is very focused on getting revenge, wanting to see Beast suffer. She honestly doesn’t bother with anything else but that. I could totally understand w I liked the way this story went down! I can’t really elaborate since that would spoil half the story but to me, this is a pretty good retelling of Beauty and the Beast.Virtue is yours to make of what you will, by your actions, by your character. No one else can ever take it from you.Our main characters are Lucie and Jean-Loup / Beast.Lucie herself is very focused on getting revenge, wanting to see Beast suffer. She honestly doesn’t bother with anything else but that. I could totally understand why she was like that, but on the other hand… I have to admit I wouldn’t go down that road myself. As for Jean-Loup / Beast, I loathed him. I absolutely bloody loathed him. The way Lisa Jensen made me go from that hate to having pity… I admire it because we all know it isn’t easy to change a reader’s mind on characters, ha. He is breathtaking in his hideousness.The point of view from which the story is told is one I hadn’t seen before. There’s both a human perspective and the POV from an inanimate object. Automatically, though, this made it harder for me to connect with the characters. Simply because an inanimate object is… well.. hard to connect with? It also got a bit monotonous after a while since an object can’t really do all that much, can it?Although I did have some difficulty with the POV at times, I still loved this take on a classic fairy tale. I often wondered what Beauty and the Beast would’ve been like should certain changes have been made and this one showed me one of the possibilities. A wonderful tale of love, magic and revenge!Triggers: Abuse, rape, one very short scene of animal death that was fairly graphic (for me, at least)Quotes were taken from an unfinished copy and might differ from the finished one.All opinions in this review are entirely my own; I'm not being compensated in any way.
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  • Tangled N Books
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Candlewick Press for sharing an early release of this title.I'm in awe and humbled by this clever tale told through the eyes of a lowly chambermaid. I was expecting splendor and grace, I wasn't prepared for the cruelty that comes with the abuse of power and wealth. It is a wonder how stories are told of "the prince as the hero and the Beast as the spell" when in truth the Beast is more deserving of love and beauty. We are often disillusioned by a handsome face instead of recognizing Thank you to Candlewick Press for sharing an early release of this title.I'm in awe and humbled by this clever tale told through the eyes of a lowly chambermaid. I was expecting splendor and grace, I wasn't prepared for the cruelty that comes with the abuse of power and wealth. It is a wonder how stories are told of "the prince as the hero and the Beast as the spell" when in truth the Beast is more deserving of love and beauty. We are often disillusioned by a handsome face instead of recognizing a kind heart, a gentle soul.Beast is completely captivating. It is beautifully written and powerful in truth. Read by Tina of tanglednbooks.blogspot.com
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  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup woul They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. This is a different sort of version of Beauty and the Beast, and I was really into this book in the beginning, but then at around the 12% mark the prince who later is turned into the beast rapes Lucie. It was rather shocking and unexpected and I just couldn't see how he could ever be redeemed. How was Lucie supposed to later fall in love with this person? So I put the book aside and looked at some reviews that other people had posted. After reading quite a few of them I was able to understand how Lucie falls for the beast. This is a situation where the prince and the beast are two different people. The best comparison I can think of right now is when Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde. Only in this book the beast is the true form and the handsome prince is the monstrous imposter. I did pick this up again and skim through it near the end, but I just didn't really care for this version of the story very much. I wasn't crazy about the idea that "Beauty" -Rose in this book- was not the person who ended up with the beast, and I wasn't crazy about the idea that a human woman ends up with a beast either. Thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me with a copy of this book.Review also posted at Writings of a Reader
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge is a unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast that takes an unexpected approach to the story. Told through the perspective of a chamber maid, this version takes a darker turn, inverts expectations, and questions what we think we know about beauty and monstrousness. This is one where saying to much will spoil the story, but you should be aware that there is a trigger warning for rape, and one that takes place early on. While that scene is not overly graphic, it a Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge is a unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast that takes an unexpected approach to the story. Told through the perspective of a chamber maid, this version takes a darker turn, inverts expectations, and questions what we think we know about beauty and monstrousness. This is one where saying to much will spoil the story, but you should be aware that there is a trigger warning for rape, and one that takes place early on. While that scene is not overly graphic, it also does not look away. But keep in mind that this is also not the story you think it is, so reading to the end pays off in a good way. I think if you expect a traditional version of Beauty and the Beast you might be very turned off, but just trust me that the book in NO WAY excuses the rape or offers redemption to the rapist. It just takes awhile to reveal how that is true. There are also trigger warnings for suicidal ideation and intent, and abortion, as well as violence toward animals.Ultimately, I thought this was an interesting take on a classic fairy tale that plays with familiar tropes in unprecedented ways. It also explores important ideas. It was well written and a very quick read. I do recommend it, and guarantee that this isn't something you've seen before. I agreed to read and review an early copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • melissasbookworld
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhhh, I've been looking forward to reading this book for months and months now and I got an e-arc so I'm currently a really happy fangirl!! Can't wait to start this beauty and the beast re-telling, whoop whoop!!
  • Clephiro
    January 1, 1970
    DNF. Note: I think this is a 'love' story in which the Beast is a rapist. I am so not into this.
  • Isabel
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC.DNF at 34%. I really tried with this one after a particular triggering scene but it had no redemption points for me. It's basically just romanticizing an abuser. The writing in itself is good, but the story is way too bad. This does not feel like a beauty and the best re-telling at all. Also, there is an attempted suicide here but that isn't WAY too graphic. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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  • Lauren (The Novel Lush)
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, uuuuuum, okay. So thoughts. Firstly, I got this book in my grabby little hands and was reading it within the hour and continued to binge-read it in one sitting (at work, mind you), and did not, COULD not put it down until completion. My knee-jerk reaction is to give it 5 stars because I was so enraptured, but the truth is, the beginning of the book sets you up to think it's going to be way more problematic than it is.This book is dark, and the first 1/3 needs several TRIGGER WARNINGS for R Okay, uuuuuum, okay. So thoughts. Firstly, I got this book in my grabby little hands and was reading it within the hour and continued to binge-read it in one sitting (at work, mind you), and did not, COULD not put it down until completion. My knee-jerk reaction is to give it 5 stars because I was so enraptured, but the truth is, the beginning of the book sets you up to think it's going to be way more problematic than it is.This book is dark, and the first 1/3 needs several TRIGGER WARNINGS for Rape/Sexual Assault, Suicidal Ideation, Suicidal Intent, and Abortion. It also sets you up to believe that the Hero, or 'Beast', is a serial rapist who will find redemption and be loved by the person whom he had victimized once he said 'sorry' and realized the error of his ways, and it's causing a lot of people to DNF the book.THAT ISN'T THE CASE!I pushed through the first 20%ish because I was just so damned intrigued, and by the time I would have DNF'd any other book for content, the twists and turns kept me hooked and I just HAD to see if maybe I would be wrong the initial set up. The mark of true artistry with retellings is the ability to tell me a story I've heard hundreds of times in hundreds of variations and keep me interested and entertained. Everybody thinks writing retellings is easy because you just rewrite what's already out there, but it's not. How many versions of your favorite Holiday songs have you heard that have been remixed and altered until they sounded just plain stupid? A lot. But how many more times can you listen to the same version you listened to as a kid? If you're me, not that many. A good retelling is like a good re-release of a holiday song. Everybody and their grandma has a Christmas album, but very few of them don't suck.The characters in Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge grow and twist and turn throughout this book until not even the beast is who you think he is. I loved that. Also, it's really not a romance either. To me, it read as a story about deep and intimate *companionship* but I didn't really much get romantic love.So while I want to give this 5 stars because I loved it and I literally put it down several times and didn't make it 5 minutes before I was picking it back up, I'm giving it 3.5, rounded up to 4 because the beginning can be very, very triggering for a lot of people and it did the story a disservice because it turned people off to the point where they didn't even get to enjoy all of the unique things in the remaining 2/3 of the book.More to come when I'm not half dead with exhaustion.(It's 4:40 AM!)
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  •  pagesofteastains
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks a lot to NetGalley for sending me an e-ARC of this book, I had a fabulous time reading it!Alright, so, I'm not too big on Beauty and the Beast but the blurb for this caught my attention. And I'm surprised to say but this has become one of my favourite retellings of BatB.What I liked was the how faithful the story was to the one we are so familiar with. But the take on this worn out story was fresh enough to be intriguing and the plot twists were great. It was also set in our world which m Thanks a lot to NetGalley for sending me an e-ARC of this book, I had a fabulous time reading it!Alright, so, I'm not too big on Beauty and the Beast but the blurb for this caught my attention. And I'm surprised to say but this has become one of my favourite retellings of BatB.What I liked was the how faithful the story was to the one we are so familiar with. But the take on this worn out story was fresh enough to be intriguing and the plot twists were great. It was also set in our world which made it have such a realistic feel to it - almost like historic fiction, as much as it can feel like that. The author managed to fit in beloved features and references from the Disney animated movie and the actual fairy-tale and I really appreciated that. There are times during the first half that things feel super slow but that part of the story was my favourite. (view spoiler)[I loved how the castle is empty and Lucie and Beast are the only ones there and how we start getting to know the Beast and, along with Lucie, start to like him. Especially the part where the Beast waters the roses, my heart. He was so precious. Also, how freaking cool was it that Lucie turned into candle-stick? I thought that was brilliant. I loved reading about their interactions. (hide spoiler)]I can't say anymore without spoiling the entire plot but I will say that there should be a trigger warning because there is a major scene that comes out of nowhere and can be upsetting and disturbing for many readers.I will be getting into spoilers from this point on because I feel like discussing an aspect of this book that a lot of people are pointing out and have stopped reading the book because of it.(view spoiler)[Early on, Jean-Loup is shown raping our MC and it was genuinely shocking and horrifying. And as a reader, I honestly really appreciated how the author took this story to that level. Now the greatest concern was how can Lucie, and the readers, forgive this act? I have seen a lot of people getting angry over this and dropping the book and while I completely understand where they are coming from, I do urge you to go on.There is an explanation for this and for me it was quite satisfactory. I do wish it had been explained with more depth but overall I loved how the book ended. Especially the fact that Beast remains in his beast form because that is the entire point of the book -as the author explained in her note at the end - that it is the Beast the Beauty falls in love with and so it should remain so. This is a point my mum and I have debated on many times. She didn't like it when the Beast turns into the human prince and I couldn't understand why she would think so. But after reading this book, I get it. I understand now what she meant and I give the author props for giving us this take on the story. (hide spoiler)] 3.75 stars
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