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Beastly by Alex Flinn

Teens can shamelessly continue to read new takes on fairy tales after outgrowing the Gail Carson Levine and Vivian Vande Velde stories they enjoyed when they were younger with Beastly by Alex Flinn. With Beastly, edgy YA author Alex Flinn turns the tale of Beauty and the Beast into an urban teen fantasy — the story of Kyle Kingsbury, a stuck-up, selfish Manhattan teen who turns into a hideous beast and tells how, from his point of view. His inner transformation from snarky to smoochable is long in coming, but we all know the story has a happy ending.
As Kyle, narrator Chris Patton does a great job with the humorous and dramatic twists in his spell-breaking quest to find a girl who will love him despite his outer beastliness. (Listen to a audio sample on Chris Patton’s Web site.)
Beastly has itself been transformed into a movie, in which, in typical Hollywood fashion  — judging from the trailer –everyone is beautiful, even Linda, the girl who is supposed to be so average-looking Kyle doesn’t even know her name at the beginning of the book. Even Kyle after he turns into a beast.
In the book, Kyle actually turns into a real-life, great big, ugly, hairy beast. In the movie (coming March 4th) he’s a bare-chested, tattooed, and shaved-bald, but still ripped version of Alex Pettyfer, a former teen model. I guess Hollywood couldn’t trust girls to flock to a movie where he spent most of his screen time in a gorilla suit.

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