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Beauty by Robin McKinley July 19, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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Beauty by Robin McKinley

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Beauty is a well written retelling of Beauty and the Beast, managing to take it away from the stereo-typical Disney storyline and make it almost believable.

“‘Cannot a Beast be tamed?’

Beauty, believing herself plain and awkward, loves roses. But when her father goes travelling and plucks just one magnificent, crimson rosebud from the garden of a magical castle, a fearsome Beast demands revenge. Either Beauty’s father must forfeit his life – or his daughter must promise to live with the Beast for ever.

A captivating retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast from a Newbery Medal-winning author.”

Beauty is very gripping, managing to pull the reader into the magical world with little effort, as McKinley’s style so often does.

The plot, although simple, and a little disappointingly predictable, is developed well, with a fresh take on the magic and myth surrounding the story. It does stray a little from the original tale, but not enough for it to be critisized, the largest variation, perhaps, is in that the sisters are both honourable and loving daughters, rather than the jealous, shallow ones made out to be in the original tale – perhaps this is due to McKinley adding depth to them, giving them love and loss of their own, making the story much more realistic.

Beauty, as a character, is well written and cleverly thought out. Her extremely kind nature is still laced with flaws which is purely natural, making her a perfectly created character.

Beauty, the story, is funny, intelligent and beautiful. It allows the reader to experience a variety of emotions, and debate Beauty’s choices, dropping hints to the reader along the way of twists and turns.

The story follows a young girl, Beauty, as she, her two sisters, and their father, are forced to move to the country due to a sudden loss of income. The area they move to requires them to lose their finery and work hard and honestly, allowing them to appreciate everything in life. They live near an old enchanted forest, and within this is rumoured to be an incredible castle where a fearsome Beast lives, waiting for people to get lost in the forest.

For information on the original fairy tale, and other adaptations, this link is very informative.




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