Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen is a Beauty and the Beast Re-Telling with a dark, cruel twist and a hint of vengeance.
*Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault*
“Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.
They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.“
This book had so much potential for me, but getting into the story, my hopes for it quickly did a 180′.
First off, this book is a lot darker than I thought it was going to be. A few chapters in and the main character experiences rape which completely took me by surprise. One minute I’m thinking that the two characters were going to begin to connect (in a more positive manner), but then all of a sudden the act is happening. Unless it went over my head, I saw no indication that this book was going to head in this direction.
But when you think about it from the main character’s perspective, is there an indication that someone is going to pursue this? So in a way, it was written in a more realistic circumstance. I just wasn’t expecting the story to take this route.
The writing had me confused throughout the book. I was having trouble figuring out what was going on and the whole concept of the re-telling and where the plot was leading to.
Even though there are elements of Beauty and the Beast between the two characters and the curse that is put into place, I felt like it wasn’t a re-telling that I found to be in the same category of the original title. I am a huge fan of reading re-tellings of my favorite stories, but this one was too dark and romanticized the ‘Beast’ for his actions.
Another problem I had was how I had to check the ‘YA’ category for the story as it felt more of an adult re-telling, but I think it is categorized this way as the main character is a teenaged girl.
I gave this book 1 out of 5 stars. This was just not what I was expecting from my absolute favorite fairytale, and the concept of the master and the servant seemed to be degrading enough that there were a ton of times I wanted to DNF it.
Published: 10 July 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Re-Telling
How I Read It: eARC from NetGalley
*Disclaimer: I requested a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All of my book reviews contain my honest opinion only and are not influenced in any way.*
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