Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Alex Flinn's Beastly

Beastly takes one of my favorite stories and goes for the modern remake. The standard characters—the beast, the witch, the love interest, the staff—are in place, but things didn’t totally click for me. I suppose there’s only one thing to do in this kind of situation. MAKE A LIST!

The Top Five Things that Made Me Twitchy about Beastly:

1. Kyle/Adrian/The Beast spies on Lindy/The Beauty before she arrives with a magic mirror. (Really, I’m not sure how this spying nonsense keeps happening in YA. It’s not romantic. It’s creepy.) He fills her room with books, bought new from with his father’s credit card, because he already knows she loves to read. He doesn’t discover what will make her happy through interacting with her. It felt like cheating.

2. Lindy does not come of her own accord. Her drug-dealing father forces her to come, so it’s pretty much kidnapping/trafficking. (Also note that the father suggests giving over his daughter, not the Beast.) There’s no element of self-sacrifice.

3. Kyle/Adrian discovers a chat room for people transformed by magic, which may seem cute and current but is actually a smidge too clever/self-satisfied. “Mr. Anderson” runs the chat. The Little Mermaid, the Frog Prince, and the bear from “Snow White and Rose Red” make appearances. (I wouldn’t mind following up with “SilentMaid” though. She actually sticks to her myth and gets turned into seafoam. Tragic!)

4. Kyle is sixteen, but he develops a really anachronistic speech pattern when he’s around Lindy. Stiff, formal, and quite like the fairy tale Beast. Even when he lampshades it, the authorial choice doesn’t jibe with the internal logic of the story.

5. The reason why Lindy can’t return to Kyle/Adrian is because she lost his address and doesn’t remember what subway stop his house is near. Really? You expect me to believe a girl who grew up in New York can’t remember one measly subway stop that she saw from her window every day for months? Really?

Though I liked Will the blind tutor and Kendra the witch, I was never invested in the leads. That problem goes beyond my list-making capabilities. If I had loved the love story, I think I could have handled Issues 1-5. So, that’s all there is to it. Everyone gets their happily ever after in the end, but I just didn’t believe the journey.

(This may be the one case when the movie will be better than the book? Cross your fingers for me because I’m still going to rent it. <3 NPH.)

No comments:

Post a Comment