Review: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My utter enjoyment of this book is inexplicable to me. The subtitle says that it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but McKinley doesn’t change too much from the original tale. Mostly she makes Beauty’s sister’s not be caricatures of vanity.

Yet there’s something about the way that McKinley wrote the story that just had me entranced the whole time. I couldn’t get enough of it and tore through it in record time (allowing for the fact that I was just reading it in snatches throughout the week).

If I had one complaint it’s that the ending (even if we already know what it’s going to be) feels extremely rushed. Given the pace of the rest of the book, I would have expected about one more chapter’s worth to get to the wedding.

This retelling of Beauty and the Beast is suitable for any reasonably precocious 10 or 11 year old. There isn’t anything sexual or profane. Just a few vocab-level words here and there, but a quick trip to the dictionary (either embedded in the ereader or online) can solve that.

Recommend to anyone who enjoys remakes of older fairy tales, especially if they like them to have very little mucked about with.

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