Author: Brie Spangler
Genre: YA, Romance
Part of a series? No. This is a stand alone novel.
Full disclosure- I preordered this book months ago. I was finishing another book when it dropped onto my Kindle app at 11:00 last night. I worked a full shift and spent time with the hubs. I still finished the book. This tells you how much sleep I actually got last night. I just couldn’t put the book down!
So this is (yet another) retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Each one is sweet and unique- look at Alex Flynn’s Beastly- I really loved her take on it. I was charmed by the premise here. A young man with severe image issues, and a transgender young woman. Even though there are dozens revisited fairy tales, I am a sucker for them. Especially when the author can add a fresh twist.
Dylan hates how he looks. He is huge, hairy and ugly. Even his best friend calls him The Beast. Ever since he was little all he ever had was his mom, and then his friend JP. The two were like family and he would do anything for the guy. After a really bad day, Dylan makes some poor choices. One thing leads to another and he winds up in a cast and going to therapy for self-harmers. At his one and only session he meets Jamie. Everyone is sharing, and if he wasn’t having a pity party he might have heard her share her story. Instead all he sees is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, who doesn’t seem disgusted by him. As the two grow closer, Dylan is ecstatic. He adores Jamie! He finally (maybe) has a girlfriend! And then he finds out- she is transgender. He has to decide how much this matters to him and what it all means- no small feat at fifteen. After a few huge missteps he has a lot of ground to cover. Can he win his girl over?
Alright, time to gush! I adored these characters. Dylan is a young man with very normal desires for his age. Friends, popularity, and to not disgust the opposite sex. He is also nearly seven feet tall and furry- thus all the nick names. Jamie, on the other hand, has been walking her road for a while. She seems strong and beautiful-confident in her place.. but she isn’t really. She knows who and what she is, and damn society… but it’s hard not to notice the overly worried mom and all the newsfeeds. The book had a lot to say about how we as a society see ourselves, and how we view and treat one another. I can’t recommend it enough. Five stars, plus one for creativity.
On the adult content scale, while this was written for a YA audience, there is language, violence, and some very heavy issues. I would let my niece read this, but some are more worried about these things- that’s why I do this section. I would give this book a three.
The book is out now- don’t wait!
Link to book: