Book Review: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Published By: Candlewick Press
Publication Date:  July 10, 2018
Page Count: 352 pages
Buy it at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or IndieBound
Source: eARC kindly provided by publisher
via Netgalley
Young Adult - Fairytale - Folklore

I am apparently on a roll with fairytale retellings this summer!  Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, a re-imagining of the Beauty and the Beast story full of gorgeous writing, challenged my expectations in all the best ways.  Here are my top three reasons to read Beast this summer:

#3: The writing.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  The writing!  Beast is a powerful book, and Lisa Jensen is clearly a word ninja.  She is a master of knowing the exactly right verb to pull the reader not just into the French countryside, but into the characters themselves.  As I read, I was experiencing the action alongside Lucie.  I thought it would take some work to make an immobile candlestick compelling, but the author does it effortlessly.

#2: The story goes in unexpected directions.  After the events that put Lucie on the path of revenge, I just could not think of any satisfying way for the author to resolve the conflict.  The obvious options would be a disservice (potentially a dangerous disservice) to the characters and the reader.  I won't say more because I don't want to spoil it, but I was so happy with the resolution.  There are few things I enjoy more in a book than when an author plays on my preconceptions and gives me a great twist ending!

#1: Beast is a challenging book.  Not in the sense that the language is difficult or that the story is slow, but rather that Beast forces the reader to confront her own notions of beauty, forgiveness, and revenge.  I know we're on summer break right now in the USA, but a little deep thought and philosophizing is perfect for a long summer evening.  And this book will definitely make you think.

A glorious summer read!


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.


  1. Ooh nice! So glad that you enjoyed this one too! I feel like lately I am only seeing unhappy reviews. I thought it was a fresh and unique version of the classic tale and I quite enjoyed it! Nice review!

  2. I don't usually go for the fairytale retellings, but your review makes me want to pick this one up.


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