I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beast by Brie Spangler
on October 11, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.
Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?
I was so excited to dive into Beast. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings! A retelling with a transgender character? Yes, please! Unfortunately, Beast wasn’t anything like I had hoped and expected. I think most of my problems with this book stem from the wrong set of expectations, but either way I did not enjoy it.
I want to mention first that this book is barely a Beauty and the Beast retelling. The parallels were few and far between. I found that really disappointing when I was led to believe that this was a retelling. I’m not sure how I got that idea now…what it in the blurb before? Either way, that made me expect more Beauty and the Beast elements and when it didn’t happen I was disappointed.
My main issue with the book is Dylan. He was so unlikable! Almost unbearable at times. He was horribly misogynistic. He judged and demeaned every girl he looked at from page one. He also thinks he’s a ‘good guy’. He repeats things like ‘be a good guy’ to himself throughout the book. How he was so caught up on this and still managed to be an ass most of the time I do not know. There also wasn’t much character growth to be had. I found him still utterly unlikable at the end…or maybe I was still just holding a grudge. I just couldn’t get past Dylan’s personality to like this book.
Jamie was the best thing about the book. She was definitely the high point of the book. Her charisma was fabulously done. I really don’t understand why she even wanted to be around Dylan. She deserved better friends than him.
I really wasn’t a fan of Beast, I ended up skimming the end. It does have some fantastic reviews. It just wasn’t for me. If it sounds like something a book you would like then I say read it. I’m pretty sure my expectations played a large role in my initial dislike of the story.