I’m mostly giving this book 4 stars out of nostalgia for my youth: If I had read this when I was ten years old, that’s the rating I would’ve made. Though it is a fine story it should fall in the 3-3.5 range, as it is somewhat lacking in substance.
When I read the first few pages, I became a little nervous… thought that the narration was a little flighty, as Beauty was skipping from one thought to the next. Though a few pages in, the story did become more coherent and tight in its crafting. I even found myself liking all the little Dickens references McKinley includes from Joe Gargery to Miss Havisham from Great Expectations
to Walter Gay from Dombey and Son
; oh and not to mention the little moments between Beauty and her Beast, reminiscent of scenes between Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre. Thought these were some of the most visual and memorable moments in the book.
But I found myself wishing there was more interaction between Beauty and the Beast. I would have liked to have read more dialogue between them, which would have given a better glimpse into the development of their friendship and their growing affection towards each other. Also was somewhat disappointed McKinley didn’t include a description of the Beast’s transgression that manifested the curse. He says he erred, but the reader never learns how.
A fast read, but should have had more substance. I wonder if Rose Daughter
offers more light to the story?
As a side note, I also wonder if anyone who has read Alex Flinn's Beastly noticed the number of scenes that were taken from McKinley's text? I was actually a bit shocked, as they weren't really modified or changed, other than the fact that Flinn's book's told from the Beast's perspective.