Tag Archives: beauty and the beast

Book Review: Beast by Parker Kingston

Self Published
Published Aug. 17th 2018
476 Pages

Aasim Daniels had a perfect life. Money, a family that he loved, a reputation that opened doors for him wherever he went, and a long-time girlfriend that he was intent on marrying. That all changed when an unforeseen betrayal and dark turn of events left him heartbroken and fighting for his life. Hell-bent on revenge, Aasim finds himself on a quest that leads him to new surroundings and right into the unexpected path of a curly-haired beauty he can’t seem to shake. 

After her ex-boyfriend Gabriel betrays her in the most unimaginable way, Reygan Haynes is done with love. Her only focus is putting the pieces of her shattered life back together and fighting with herself to resist the pull of Gabriel’s advances and demands of reconciliation. Just when she’s convinced that she has it all together, a random encounter between her father and handsome yet scarred stranger flips her entire world upside down and threatens to destroy everything that she holds dear. 

Gabriel Brown wants what he wants when he wants, and doesn’t care how he gets it. Realizing that he made the biggest mistake of his life letting Reygan get away, he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. Already on edge due to his crumbling position in the streets, Reygan’s sudden disappearance causes him to completely unravel, as he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. Not even murder.- Goodreads

Fairly tales are my thing. Retellings are my thing. Make it an urban novel, written by a Black woman and I am all over it.

I was extremely skeptical when I began reading this book. I am not big person that enjoys saying or reading curses, especially the N word. The author doesn’t shy away from that type of language within this book and that was off-putting for me. When I began reading, I wasn’t too sure how she was going to tie the traditional fairy tale to this modern version. When everything started coming together it was great. The tie in was smooth and believable in the modern sense. It satisfied my requirements for a fairy tale retelling.

But here was my issue. Reygan screamed idiot to me from beginning to end. All I can say is she has a thing for abusive men. Granted in Beauty and the Beast, the beast had some anger issues but Reygan’s first and then on going interaction with Aasim (for some chapters) are down right verbally abusive. What really through me for a loop was how she ended up in his home and the exact moment you see her feelings for him change. It was as if someone clicked a switch. I was just shocked in all honesty as to not how easy. . . well how easy it was for her to get a soft side to him.

Other than that the pace of the novel was alright. There was a lot of moving parts, which kept me interested in the book. I wanted more fairy tale aspect to this book and that is really because I am a fantasy reader. I also wanted more description of apperances. The author glimpes over this. There wasn’t enough for me to drool.

Overall, not a bad read. Long but not bad at all. But as previously mentioned the cursing in everyday conversation was a bit too much for me.

2.5 Pickles

Book Review: Beauty and the Vampire by Zoey Hunter

Published Jan. 19, 2018
207 Pages

Honor student and cheerleader, Bel Winter, works hard to be a normal teenager. But deep down, she knows she is far from normal. The glowing rose-shaped mark on her shoulder is her first clue. 

As her 17th birthday draws close, Bel’s friends fear she is losing her grip on reality. Yet, Bel believes. The visions she sees are real. The men in black capes who come out of the shadows are real. 

And they are coming for her… 

On the night of Bel’s birthday, at the stroke of midnight, her world goes black. When she wakes, she is thrust into a new and frightening world—the underground Onyx City. 

It is a place rife with magic and creatures of the night. 

It is a place of dark beauty, dangerous intrigue and ruled by a beast—the ruthless vampire prince, Ezra Blade. 

When Bel makes a desperate attempt to escape her captors, she trespasses through the royal gardens, and is caught by the prince himself. Now, her fate is in his hands. Though she fears the mercurial Ezra, Bel knows he alone has the power to release her from the Onyx City. 

Can Bel tame the beast? And convince him to set her free? – Goodreads

What can I say about this book? A lot actually. Firstly let me begin by saying I liked it. Something about this book just sucked me and I liked it. But there were a lot of holes in this read.

Firstly the book promises a heart stopping romance. That isn’t exactly the case. The romance is there and its cute but heart stopping? It doesn’t even come close. What is missing in the romance is the actual courting, the stories they build together when no one is looking. In other words, the build up is missing. The attraction is there. Bel and Ezra are attracted to each other but author adds things to make it seem as if they are destined for each other.

For instance, Bel is special and she sort of knew Ezra before meeting him and I am cool with that but the author didn’t go deeper into that. There are no dreaming of a mystery man, there is no flashes of them being together. Bel sees a man she is attracted to, sees his goons and that is it.

Another thing that bother me, is Ezra isn’t a beast. He is mourning and he is angry about it. The author could have did so much with Ezra and not even on a physical level but his internal torment could have been more detailed and provided a bigger struggle in his relationship with Bel. He gave in too easy and I have an issue with that.

There is a lot of holes in this story. Mythology, traditions all of that could have added to the story making it richer and more entertaining. Also there was predictability in one situation but it is huge.

But the worst offense of this book was the ending. IT FREAKING STOPS MID THOUGHT. It is the most crap ending that pissed me off. It was there. What you have been waiting for was there and then the author stopped. Dude, I was pissed.

Despite all of this, I really liked this book and I think it is a good foundation for at least a book two. Anything more than that, I’m not sure. Would I consider this a retelling of Beauty and the Beast? Nope, but the author does add some cute references in the book.

Overall, I liked the book. I guess I’m a sucker for vampire romances *Kayne Shrug*.

3 Pickles. 

Book Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

TBP: Dec. 18, 2017
380 Pages

Alainn’s father has good intentions. As a genius inventor, he is hired to create a robot for a picky client. This is a mistake. Rose, who looks like Alainn is not a robot pretending to be human but is much more. 

To save her father from going to prison, Alainn takes Rose’s place believing that her life will be nothing but serving the reclusive billionaire until a replacement is built. But nothing about this is as easy or black and white, Alainn hopes it to be. 

*Short Review*

I don’t really care for Beauty and the Beast. It is not one of those fairy tale movies that I actually feel is any good. However, I do love a good retelling of it. But this book wasn’t a love for me. Creative but not a love.

I liked this book because it focuses technology to the fullest. Robots are the thing of now and the future and the idea of robots no longer following their program is something you see constantly in the movies. I appreciated this in book, although there were times I found it myself rolling my eyes because it was s stretch that she can pass for a robot.

What I didn’t like about this book and what ultimately made me give it a low score was the fact that the author was trying too hard to make it real. Building the robot and having her not fulfill her intention that is real but having a human, who is loud, not that bright and emotional. The writing overall seemed really basic and although I really enjoyed the idea behind this story, nothing in me believes it was executed in its best form.

2 Pickles

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

         Balzer + Bray  Published Jan. 28, 2014           342 Pages
Balzer + Bray
Published Jan. 28, 2014
342 Pages

Since the day she was born Nyx has been destined to marry the Ignifex, an immortal demon her father made a bargain with. Nyx has been trained to kill Ignifex and avenge her mother’s death and allow her twin sister to live.

With hate in her heart for the demon that caused her life to be this way and hatred in her heart for her father and her sister, Nyx goes full on ready to destroyed Ignifex. But Ignifex isn’t exactly who she thought he would. Charming and just as sarcastic as she is, Ignifex proves that there is more to the story than just the stories Nyx grew up on.

This was a interesting take on “Beauty and the Beast” and I’m not exactly sure I like the outcome. Firstly, I didn’t like Nyx. She was very whinny and she was discouraged very easily. The only thing I did like about her was the witty comebacks. But she was trained to kill this demon and yet there was no real training. She was smart but she wasn’t the lethal assassin the summary made her to be.

Nyx father was an asshole. He made a bargain to have children only to treat his first child like crap and dot completely on her sister. I didn’t blame Nyx for feeling some type of way about her sister or father. But what I didn’t like was the fact that because she hated her non-apologetic father and her oblivious sister, she was considered evil. I have no idea why the author decided to make that a underlying bond between the two or why she decided to make that not caring for the people that threw you under the bus makes you evil.

I loved Ignifex. He was a well developed character. Maybe a bit overcomplicated but he was written very well.

The story was written with such complication and dramatics that after a few chapters, I got tired of Nyx talking about killing Ignifex but not doing it. The author seemed to get tired of it too because out of nowhere Ignifex admits he loves her and then the next few pages Nyx admits the same thing.

I really didn’t like how the story ended. Yes, they did get to be together but the fact that Nyx considers herself evil is too much to bare. Overall, for the most part, I thought the story was written well and I do appreciate the spin but it wasn’t my favorite. This story gets 3.5 Pickles.

Book Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

        Delacorte Press   Published July 23, 2013             391 Pages
Delacorte Press
Published July 23, 2013
391 Pages

Princess Ira is blind and lives in Yuna, a city under a dome. Ira is considered a Smooth Skin, and is raised to be a human sacrifice to protect her people. Outside of Yuna, Gem, a mutant enters the dome in order to find food or something to save his people. However, Gem isn’t expecting to see Ira in her rose garden and taken by surprise he is captured.

Ira is fascinated by Gem and although she was taught to hate him she begins to care and the same is for Gem. As always things get complicated and feelings bloom between the two.

This story is Beauty and the Beast mixed with Rapunzel. Ira is locked in the tower pretty much her entire life . . . even when she becomes Queen she is still in the tower. Although this is a minor detail most people would miss I felt it was bold of the author to do that she silently slipped in. If you are expecting the same Beauty and the Beast story then this is actually not the book for you. The Beauty captures the Beast and the Beauty is completely in denial and reluctant throughout the entire book. It got annoying and it got annoying fast.

But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story and the creativity the author put into this book. It is sci-fi, forbidden love and a corrupt kingdom. Seriously the near-perfect retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I say near perfect because maybe I am a bit bias but Sci-Fi stories need to have more actions, more movement for me to love it. With that being said the book stalled for me. It wasn’t too bad but it was enough for me to put the book down and get a couple runs in Call of Duty.

That is strictly just me. I am on the fence about Sci-Fi therefor it takes a lot to move me. Overall, I give this book, this fairy tale retelling a 9 out of 10. I can’t knock the creativity and the passion I felt in this book.

Book Review: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

   Margaret K. McElderry Books         Published Oct. 6, 2009             308 Pages
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published Oct. 6, 2009
308 Pages

Judging a book by its cover can be a good thing sometimes.

Since she was a little girl Cassie has been told a fairy tale by her Grandmother stating that her mother made a deal with the Polar Bear King and because of this deal was blown to the ends of the earth. Now hours away from her 18th birthday Cassie, living with her father at an Artic Research Center, comes face to face with this fairy tale.

The polar bear tells Cassie her mother is alive. So Cassie makes a deal to marry the polar bear if he saves her mother. Deal struck Cassie goes with the polar bear to a place she never would have imagined.

This book was wonderful and cute spin off of the Beauty and the Beast (to me) and the Nordic tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. When I initially saw the cover I didn’t have a lot of hopes for the book *shrugs* I just didn’t like the cover. But because I didn’t like te cover I was pleasently surprised with the book.

What I loved about the book was the longitude and latitude at the beginning of each chapter.  It was different and cute and it kept the reading aware that this girl is/was a scientist and her life was fact not fairy tales. Even at the end she was still scientific because that was who she was.

Cassie was a likeable character. She had her bratty moments but they weren’t too bad. She was a fighter and she fought and did what she had to without complaining! That was the best part. I liked her relationship with Bear (polar bear) it was a gradual love that formed. It made me appreciate it. But there was a creepy part of their relationship that had me stop and was like WHAT? Without giving too much away all I can say is  I don’t blame Bear. He didn’t know and it was a misunderstanding on both their parts.

 Durst wrote the story very well. I wanted more and I didn’t have a dull moment. At one point I did think okay so now what but that is not because I was bored but merely rushing. The book felt magical from the beginning and the imagery was perfect.

Overall the book gets 9 out of 10. Great fairy tale retelling and highly recommended.


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