Friday, June 8, 2018
Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge (book review)
Expected publication: July 10th, 2018
Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.
They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.
No. No no no no no. I'm going to keep this review pretty short because I could not and did not finish the book and there was nothing I liked about what little I read. It is so problematic.
This book was an immediate DNF for me after a certain scene I'll talk about later, but if it hadn't been for that, I probably would have shelved it as a DNF anyway because of the writing alone. It was so bad. Everything is told, not shown, and Lucie read as a bad fan-fiction heroine. I found myself cringing a couple times from the very first chapter. That's not how you want to be introduced to a book.
As soon as the master of the castle, Jean-Loup, returns, Lucie is instantly infatuated with him. She becomes obsessed and everything she does as a servant is done in a way so she can look at him. Again, it read like a bad fan-fiction. It wasn't written in a way where I could believe Lucie was intrigued by him and maybe even attracted. Everything was done to an extreme so that I was turned off from the story.
But the part that made me go "nope" and close my ebook with as much vigor as I could (there's only so much you can do when you don't have an actual, physical copy to slam shut in anger) was an event that happens maybe 10% into the book, which is as far as I read. I don't really consider it a spoiler since it happens so close to the beginning of the book, so I'm just going to go ahead as say it: Jean-Loup rapes Lucie. It happens with hardly any warning and completely shook me. This whole book was clearly set up to be a romance between Jean-Loup and Lucie, and that is why I stopped reading where I did. There was no way I could read over 300 pages of bad writing about a sexual assault victim falling in love with her rapist. That's just disgusting.
I don't have anything else to say, so I'm going to leave it there. I was definitely disappointed, because when I'd read the description for the book, it sounded like an awesome and unique version of "Beauty and the Beast," but I couldn't get past the bad writing and the problematic material. Hopefully the next ARC I get is better.
I rate it:
Have you read Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge? What did you think? What are your favorite "Beauty and the Beast" retellings? Leave a comment!
I am an 18-year-old homeschooler, author, daydreamer, voracious reader, introvert, feminist, klutz, fangirl, and overuser of tape. I love the impossible (which might explain my obsessions with fantasy novels and Harry Potter) but I dip into the real world . . . occasionally. I tend to get overly emotional over my OTPs and eat sushi or listen to Taylor Swift to soothe the pain. If all else fails, reruns of “Doctor Who” or “Supernatural” is sure to help. I’m a big fan of mismatched socks, Cheez-Its, and bittersweet endings. I believe anything Rainbow Rowell, Felicia Day, or Lin-Manuel Miranda touches turns to gold. If you want to win the way to my heart, help me adopt a baby elephant. Or a llama. Or both. I write to survive and will often yell at my characters if they aren’t behaving, which is always. It doesn’t usually help. I am a contributor to the "Fauxpocalypse" anthology. You can follow me on Twitter at @Magic_Violinist.