Rating: 4.5 stars
Review:This was a lovely fairy tale re-telling for sure! I immediately fell in love with the story of Beauty and the Beast all over again. This is mainly because the author, Robin McKinley, was able to re-create an old, familiar tale with such respect and honesty while still being able to add her own personal touches to make it his own. One example of this would be what she did with Beauty's characterization. Her personality and ways were so on-point; I honestly would not change a thing the author did while re-creating her as a character.
Her prose, also, was quite fluid and flowed effortlessly. I just wanted to read her writing all day and all night, never wanting to stop. I just knew I wouldn't get bored. I also loved the fact that it was perfectly paced - fast enough not to get bored, but slow enough for the readers to appreciate what's going on.
However, there were a few misses for me. At times, I felt as if the author followed too closely to the original tale of Beauty and the Beast. I understand that this is a re-telling and not a "re-hashing," but I sort of expected some kind of freshness and newness to it. I felt like I was reading the short tale instead, all over again, and didn't feel like I was getting anything new from this version.
I also have to say that while Beauty's characterization was great, I thought the Beast's was lacking a bit. I felt like the story went by too quickly - too fast that as a reader, I wasn't able to fully see why we should fall in love with him.
Overall though, despite the minor flaws, I still enjoyed this book a lot. It was such a nice change to read something like this - I literally felt like I was a kid again, reading a classic fairy tale. And just for that, I have to say what McKinley did was superb. After all, at the end of the day, it's the reading experience that truly counts the most.
Thanks to Allie and La Coccinelle for recommending this to me.