Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: Beastly by Alex Finn

BeastlyTitle: Beastly
Author: Alex Finn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 1st 2007
Pages: 304
Series: -
Where I Got It: Chapters

Synopsis: I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright--a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever--ruined--unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Alex Flinn
Alex FlinnI was born in a log cabin in the Big Woods of... okay, maybe not. I was born on Long Island, New York. When I was five years old, my mom said that I should be an author. I guess I must have nodded or something because, from that point on, every poem I ever wrote in school was submitted to Highlights or Cricket magazine. I was collecting rejection slips at age seven!

I learned to read early. But I compensated for this early proficiency by absolutely refusing to read the programmed readers required by the school system -- workbooks where you read the story, then answered the questions. When the other kids were on Book 20, I was on Book 1! My teacher, Mrs. Zeiser, told my mother, "Alexandra marches to her own drummer." I don't think that was supposed to be a good thing. Now, when my daughter, Katie, brings home FCAT prep materials where you are supposed to read a passage and answer questions, I want to ask the teacher, "Does she really need to do this? She can read!!!"
My family moved to Miami when I was in middle school. I had a really hard time making friends, so I spent a lot of time reading and writing then. But unlike Christopher Paolini or Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, I never finished writing a novel. That was also when I learned to be a keen observer. By high school, I'd made some friends and gotten involved in various "gifted and talented" performing arts programs. I studied opera in college (I'm a coloratura -- the really loud, high-pitched sopranos.) and then went to law school.
It was law school that probably helped with my first novel. Breathing Underwater deals with the serious and all-too-common problem of dating violence. I based the book on my experiences interning with the State Attorney's Office and volunteering with battered women. I thought this was a really important topic, as 27 percent of teenage girls surveyed have been hit by a boyfriend. I'm happy that the book is so popular, and if you are reading this bio because the book was assigned for school, I'm happy about that too.
I started writing an early (and laughable) version of Breathing Underwater in college (I was really bored on a car trip with my parents). I didn't get back to it until I had my first daughter, Katie. I'm self-taught. I went to the library and took out books on writing. Then, I read a lot of young-adult novels by writers I admired, particularly Richard Peck. Reading his books is like listening to Mozart -- you learn the right way to write a novel. Then, you fill in your own style. I actually got to meet Richard Peck in person at a workshop of the Key West Literary Seminar. Lots of writers have been really helpful to me, especially Richard and fellow YA author, Joyce Sweeney. 
I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I'm continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It's a way of going back to being 13...knowing what I know now.Right now, I live half a mile away from my old middle school, in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami, with my husband, Gene, and daughters, Katie and Meredith.


I read this book on June 1st, 2011.

A thrilling romance with just the right amount of fantasy!
I enjoyed reading this book because I love fairy tales. After I saw the movie I had to read the book.
I must mention the beautiful cover. I love it, with the single rose.It wasn't what I expected but it was still pretty good. I only gave this book three stars because it seemed a little different. I had a hard time understanding some of the stuff they would talk about in conversations.I read this book 3 years ago and looking back, it wasn't as great as I imagined it to be. After reading other books, this book could have been structured a little differently. 
I recommend this book for those who love romance and fairy tales.

Ages: 13+
Grade: 9 and up

1 comment:

  1. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. I've seen the movie too but haven't read the book. Now I'm curious about the book ;)