Friday, June 8, 2018

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge (book review)

Expected publication: July 10th, 2018
Pages: 352

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!


Jimmy said...

Exponential "No." Annoying when bad writing gets published.

Dr. Mark said...

It definitely sounds like a "unique" retelling, but honestly, how does this drivel get published? With all the really good writing out there, how does this happen? At least you didn't finish, so it's not more wasted time than it needed to be.

Boquinha said...

Wow. That's definitely one of your more brutal reviews, but I can see why!!

The Magic Violinist said...


Isn't it? Sometimes it fuels me, though, because I think "if this can get published, surely I can, too."

@Dr. Mark

It had so much potential! I was really looking forward to reading it, but it was quick to disappoint. At least I had an excuse to give up early on rather than wasting my time by reading way more of it.


I don't usually rate a book lower than 3 stars, so if I do, there's a good reason!

Maria John Writes said...

I went through a tiriad of emotions as I read this-
First it was pleasant surprise at finding a Book Blogger who is honest with a book they received, which is a rare find in the Book Blogging community
Then horror at the way you bashed the author
Before the urge to stand up and applaud you for doing so and
Disgust at the author for the rape scene.

Abusive Relationships are the absolute worst! Yuck!!

Shannon/ It Starts at Midnight said...

WOW. My mouth is actually agape right now, no exaggeration. I just... wow, nope. I mean a writing style you don't connect with is bad enough and definitely a valid reason to DNF, but then the rape thing!? Oh no no no. Definitely don't blame you a bit! Definitely will be passing on this one, thanks for the great review! Hope your next read is much better!

Rebeccah said...

Oh my gosh, I just got approved for this a week ago and I'm halfway through and all I can say is...Yes. Yup. Everything you just said is COMPLETELY spot on.

This is only my second ARC, so I feel really bad giving it such a poor review, but ugh. Beauty and the Beast is such a lovely, classic tale, how could it be taken in such an awful direction?? I was so excited to receive this one too, I wish, at the very least, the assault scene had been taken out.

CG @ Paper Fury said...

Omg this is disgusting and SO NOT OKAY. (how does this stuff even get published I it's YA and has a romance between the attacker and the girl who's been raped by him??? It's not even remotely redeemable.) I kind of had this vaguely on my radar, but I saw a low review from another of my friends and it's like on the "never" list for sure now. 0_0

The Magic Violinist said...

@Maria John Writes

It's so not like me to write a review this critical! And I would never tag an author in a negative review, oh my gosh, but I did feel like readers deserved to know what exactly happens super early on in the book. I know tons of my friends would never be okay with a plot like that and wouldn't want to waste their time reading it.


I know! What I actually got from the book was in such stark contrast with how unique and interesting the description was. It was a great concept and could have been done so well. *sighs*


Wow, halfway through? I applaud you for your tenacity.

I totally get it. The first couple ARCS I've gotten from Netgalley have either been just okay or really awful. If the assault hadn't been there and was traded in for something else, it might have been a decent book.


RIGHT?! I don't understand how not a single person though to question this book. Especially in this political climate! This story is not going to fly in the midst of the #MeToo movement. I've mostly seen negative reviews, too, though I didn't see them until after I'd already read some of the book and put it down. I wouldn't waste my time with it, if I were you.