Hello happy readers! So I am posting this from ApollyCon! With it happening during several posts I had to get them ready in advance and be ahead of the game for once so score me! I will share thoughts and feels about the event as I return and can type them up! But for today I wanted to extend the Beauty and the Beast theme of things and share my thoughts about a retelling of sorts with you, Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter. I reviewed her other title A Kindled Winter (review) so when she told me about her Beauty and the Beast retelling type book I was excited to receive a copy for my honest review.
So I should start out advising this isn't a Disney version of the story and it has some serious adult items in it of a mature nature. So be warned. This is a story of Adam a Prince, hidden from the world in seclusion after his families massacre and his disfigurement. No real contact with the world and having given up on hope. Isabella is a beauty trying to find a way out of a very bad situation, an engagement to a monster she doesn't want but agreed to trying to save her ailing father. Seeking shelter from the storm Isabella and her father end up at Adam's door and things don't go smoothly by any means. Still through pain and mutual haunting dark thoughts they find kindred sprits in one another. Can they both find happiness despite the past or will the past come back to rip it away?
Normally I'm not one for historical stories. I just never seem to connect fully with them but the whole Beauty and the Beast retelling had me overlooking that. I'm so glad I did too because the story was so good. As a retelling the majority of the major points were known, but some things just caught you off guard. I hadn't expected so many things. It was also much darker in times that I had been expecting which fit perfectly to the story itself but it was enough to make me give a warning to those sensitive to things like animal cruelty and sexual assault.
The POVs swap between Adam and Isabella and really let us see how things are developing. We get to see how the other feels about one another from the ill fated meeting through getting to know one another and developing feelings. Adam was harsh and bitter about the world but given his life and what he has been through it's understandable and we love him anyways hoping he will work to be better and repent for his past actions. Isabella is strong and loyal. She loves her father and is willing to sacrifice herself to save him, that much love and devotion is inspiring. She acted before she thought from time to time which I can see everyone does it especially when excited about something. Isabella was also a nice balance of optimistic willing to see the good in everyone but also not a total push over. Her step-sisters were wretched to her but she still wanted them taken care of.
After they meet, at first I didn’t know how they could ever get close. But then as the story continued and things progressed it just seemed so natural. Again the dual perspective really helped. I liked the story and how it played out, it all seemed to happen at a natural pace and didn't rush into things. I think there is something for everyone to enjoy. I loved it as a story on its own but also as a retelling of my favorite Disney movie growing up.