Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

30 Jul

Of Beast and BeautyOf Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Delacorte Press
2013

My middle school library uses a modified Dewey arrangement.  This means that we have books organized by the Dewey Decimal System, but some books are categorized differently.  For example, no matter what the Dewey code is each graphic novel, all of them are re-coded as “GN” and put in a separate reading area in the library.  Georgia history books are also separated.  Starting this year, I will also pull out foreign language books.  Even so, my favorite part of the library still remains 398.2.  [Look it up!]

In this futuristic retelling of Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s Beauty and the Beast, the twists are stunning.  The world is horrifying in its segregation and yet fully understandable by our current society.  The blind Princess Isra is a Smooth Skin in the domed city. The mutant Gem, whose people are known as Monstrous, tries to steal one of the roses and is captured by Isra.  Gem, described with claws and scales, is the captive.  The beautiful people of Yuan may be the real monsters.  Even Isra’s suitor Bo, is, in turns, kind and evil.  But all too real.

The story is wonderful.  The story twists and turns and the romance grows.  But it is the conversations and thoughts of Gem and Isra and Bo that move the story.  Told in alternating viewpoints, the story captures your imagination and your heart.

This book is a Georgia Peach nominee.

Recommended: Grades 8 & up

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