Book Review: Of Beast and BeautyAuthor: Stacey Jay
Published: July 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
The Setting - Taken from Goodreads
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
My Two Cents
As a re-telling of the infamous story of Beauty and the Beast, Stacey Jay did a good job of twisting the story into something dark and irresistible. Of Beast and Beauty had a dystopian feel to it, which may help this book reach younger readers. Probably what I loved most about this book was how Jay incorporated the roses into the story; it was not an after-thought. As for the plot and characters...well, I can say I hastily devoured the first half of this book. The second half... it should have been fed to the roses. I loved Gem and Isra's relationship in the beginning. Isra wasn't able to see Gem physically and fell in love with his friendship and dedication to his people. Of course it helped that the whole prisoner/keeper romance is one of my favorites! What I didn't like was all the twists and new developments towards the ending. I think Jay could have kept the story simpler, especially toward the second half. Overall, Of Beast and Beauty wasn't a bad book, it just lost my attention half way through. 3.5 out of 5 stars. I'd recommend this book to fans of dystopians and Beauty and the Beast.