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Elizabeth LowhamAnmeldelser

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“For all the thorns I’d faced, at last I’d found the roses.”

Fairytale retellings are definitely a favorite genre so I jumped at the chance to read this book. Beauty Reborn is a creative if darker twist on the much beloved Beauty and the Beast fairytale. It’s a story of the deepest hurts and struggles combined with second chances and hope.

The story begins much like several retellings. For me it most closely resembled Beauty by Robin McKinley and the Disney cartoon version. However, for all the similarities like the father picking the rose and Beauty taking his place, the magical castle, Beauty’s love of reading, and of course the Beast himself, there are compelling differences which drew me into the story. It’s a little confusing in the beginning because Beauty’s story switches back and forth between the past and her present circumstances, but I was soon drawn into the narrative and found I couldn’t put it down.

At first, Beauty comes off as somewhat unlikable. She’s the youngest of three sisters and thrives on her intellect. She’s often described as whimsical. But, what makes her unlikable is her personality when she becomes enamored with Stephan. All too quickly, she learns that he’s not what he seems. He leaves her so broken that she revels at the chance of going to Beast’s castle to be eaten by him. Little by little my attitude about Beauty changed as she reveals more of what happened to her. I soon understood her fears, melancholy, and distrust of not only Beast, but all men.

I absolutely loved Beast. His reason for being a beast is different than any previous retelling I’m aware of and I enjoyed the way his story is revealed through the stories Beauty reads to him. He’s extremely sensitive to Beauty’s needs and infinitely patient with her. I enjoyed the way the author portrayed Beauty’s healing process as she helps the Beast learn to read and write. I also enjoyed their play acting scenes. The ending was fast paced and I’m hoping that we’ll get Beauty’s nasty sister Astra’s story and that she’ll learn her lesson much like the Beast.

This author is definitely one to watch out for. I enjoyed her writing style and was impressed by the depth of emotion she put into the book. Just a word of warning, this book deals with some deep topics like sexual assault and the aftermath, including suicidal ideation. While the author handles this very sensitively and nothing is described in detail, I’d still recommend it for older, mature teens. I received an advanced complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own and voluntarily given.
 
Markeret
Melissas-Bookshelf | 2 andre anmeldelser | May 8, 2023 |
A tale that never grows old!

Scintillating, heartfelt retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Lowham ensorcelled my heart with a story that’s creatively original in its telling, and lyrical in its execution.
Beauty has two sisters, a brother and a father whose fortunes as a merchant sank with his ship.
Forced to sell everything and live in a humble cottage near the enchanted Forest, the family endures
Beauty at seventeen is a whimsical young woman who fancies herself in love with the local Baron’s son. He asks her to marry him but she refuses due to having older sisters. They must marry first. He persists. The third time he asks and she says NO, is when he confronts her alone in the house, in her bedroom. I can say no more!
Beauty goes to cut down some wood in the Forest. She chops into a living tree. Alarmed by her own actions she bandages the cut near the root and covers it with dirt. This is her first momentary glimpse of something that looks like a blue fairy.
Her father returns from hunting in the Forest with a rose he’s taken from the castle garden for Beauty. Beauty knows her father will have to pay. She sneaks out and goes in her father’s stead, standing at the gate and calling on the Beast.
Now the storyline takes us on a journey of loss, of understanding and of wishing. Magical!

A Shadow Mountain ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
 
Markeret
eyes.2c | 2 andre anmeldelser | Apr 22, 2023 |
TW/CW: Sexual assault, suicidal ideation

RATING: 3/5

REVIEW: I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss+ and Shadow Mountain Publishing, and am voluntarily writing an honest review.

Beauty Reborn is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. It is well written and engaging (I read it all in one night), but it doesn’t really have much to add. With all of the retellings of this story that exist I look for something special in each and this one lacked anything that I would consider ‘special.’

Beauty’s big reveal, and the reasons she does what she does are…underwhelming. It’s something that’s been so overused in recent literature and media (ie, Game of Thrones, Outlander, etc.) that I really wish authors would stop going there. It’s not handled badly in this book – it’s actually rather gently treated – but I kind of wish women could have some past trauma occasionally that isn’t related to this. Other bad things happen to women, for what it’s worth. Also, trigger warnings at the beginning of this book would have been nice. Just saying.

All in all this isn’t a BAD book, but I don’t think it really added anything to the mythology.
 
Markeret
Anniik | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jan 14, 2023 |
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