Title: A Beauty So Beastly (The Beastly Series #1)
Author: RaShelle Workman
Publication Date: July 3, 2014
Synopsis: “For your vanity, your cruelty, and your cold unfeeling heart, a curse I leave upon you . . .”
What happens if the beauty is also the beast?
The stunning Beatrice Cavanaugh is considered American royalty. She has everything except the ability to love. Cursed on her eighteenth birthday, she becomes more beastly than ever, having a newfound craving for raw meat, and an undeniable yearning for the night. Bitterness is her only companion.
After accusing a maid of stealing, a disgustingly kind and exquisitely handsome guy named Adam shows up asking Beatrice to drop the charges against his mother.
Infuriated by his goodness, Beatrice vows to break him. Destroy him. Make him hurt the way she hurts. So she agrees. On one condition: Adam must take his mother’s place as a servant in the mansion.
Because Beatrice won’t stop until he’s more beastly than she is.
Review: Oh my goodness, this book was amazing! I've never read any of RaShelle's other books, but if they are anywhere near as good as A Beauty So Beastly, I might just have to add them to the top of my TBR pile. This was such a unique, interesting take on the classic Beauty and the Beast story and I can't wait for more!
Beatrice Cavanaugh is, in the beginning of this book, not a girl I would ever want to be friends with. She's mean to everyone (even her friends) because she has no ability to feel. Like, anything. She's never felt happiness, sadness, guilt, love, or any other feeling. She does things because she can - like renting out an entire movie theatre and inviting only a few people. She's only concerned with who can give her the flashiest gifts, and she takes whatever she wants because nobody will tell her "no." Bea takes the whole mean girl thing to an extraordinary new level.
But I found that I couldn't hate her. Even when she was cold and heartless, I was sympathetic towards her. And then she's cursed and I actually really connected with her. It was really interesting that she's cursed on her 18th birthday and given one year - in most stories, the cursed is only given until his or her 18th birthday. I also really liked the "beastly" twist that RaShelle put in to this story. Bea is a beast both before and after the curse, but I thought it was neat how that definition changes.
I also really enjoyed the romance in this book. I mean, what's a Beauty and the Beast story without a little bit of romance? Adam has his own secrets, and I was glad that Beatrice didn't just forgive him his faults and move on. She actually takes a little bit of time to think about things and figure out if she'll actually be ok with the things he hid from her. I also appreciated that there was no insta-love. Sure, Beatrice and Adam are physically attracted to each other... but their relationship takes time to develop.
The plot moves pretty quickly in this book - Beatrice is cursed pretty close to the beginning and things start changing rapidly from there. I never felt like there was too much exposition or anything, and there's enough action in between the explanations that I was never bored. I enjoyed learning about the new species and realms as Bea learned about them, and I'm excited to learn more! I think I would have enjoyed subtle hints about previous books (Snow is mentioned a couple of times, and I only recognized it because I know what the other books are about), so I'll probably reread this one after I read Blood and Snow and The Cindy Chronicles.
Even though I haven't read the other books in this world, I still thoroughly enjoyed A Beauty So Beastly. RaShelle has an excellent ability to spin a fairy tale and I loved her take on Beauty and the Beast! I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking for a new and interesting take on a classic tale, especially if fairy tale reimaginings are your thing. I can't wait to read the next book and all of the other books in this world! A 4.5/5 from me!