Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brad About Books: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Read on July 8, 2013
Expected Publication Date: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 400 pages
Source: ALA

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Of Beast and Beauty gives new light to the timeless love story, and I found myself falling so hard for this book! My love for this beauty of a book is beastly - I devoured it, and I couldn't get enough of it!

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales, and Of Beast and Beauty is a marvelous gem. Because not only am I fan of this fairytale, I am also a fantasy/high fantasy junkie (seriously, I love those books so much) - and you don't even understand how thrilled I was to discover that Of Beast and Beauty is part fairytale re-telling, part fantasy! Success! Epic! And Stacey Jay did a fantastic job with Of Beast and Beauty - it's a new favorite book of mine! I can easily see myself re-reading this very soon. I just can't with this book. Are you a fantasy freak? A fairytale re-telling lover? Of Beast and Beauty is an absolute must-read!

The characters are stunning and brilliant! It's such a daring and awesome move to have the princess of a harsh and brutal world to be blind, and Jay did an incredible job with Isra's character. Dark secrets come to light, and it shows when Isra's sight returns. I loved how we got to see the contrast and balance between her not seeing the world and her seeing the world for what it truly is - so amazing. And Gem! He's totally awesome! Again, Stacey Jay did a fantastic job at creating a character that has been an outcast for their entire life, but finds hope within his, of all things, enemy. They connected so well, and I can easily see them being the next big thing. I love this book to pieces. Seriously.

And the world-building! Gah! We have to imprisoned dome-like arena where the Smooth Skins (like Isra) live, and the brutal desert (where the Monstrous, as well as Gem) stay. And with alternating POVs, we get to see these worlds in all its glory, its peculiar ways, and its monstrous, haunting, and dark secrets. World-building is a big part of a book for me, and I was immediately captured by Jay's world. Absolutely original and utterly captivating, Of Beast and Beauty is one of a kind and unputdownable.

Overall, Of Beast and Beauty is easily one of the best books I've read this year, hands down. Enthralling and darkly peculiar, Of Beast and Beauty is a fantastic, radiant read!

M Y    R A T I N G

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you loved this! I love fairy-tale retellings, can't wait to get my hands on this! Great review. :D


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