Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn't Run Away Wendy Mass
I was so excited to see that Mass's Twice Upon a Time series was getting a reboot-- new covers and releases for the old ones that were out-of-print AND a third book for the series. For those unfamiliar, this series takes fairy tales and retells them, but gives us both sides of the story, with the guy and the girl getting alternating chapters.
Beauty's story starts off more or less the same as always. A girl named Beauty who is smart and resourceful, but not beautiful. A spoiled and silly sister (although her sister was ditzy and shallow, she's also really nice and always has the best intentions.) The Prince is a bit different. He's the younger son and interested in chemistry, astronomy, and the bagpipes, but not balls and court life. Their family comes across an evil fairy, gives the youngest some good natured ribbing and poof! He's a beast and they're all invisible.
But, before the two meet, Beauty and some friends have to go on a quest. In fact, there's so much set-up and Beauty's odd quest storyline that the two don't actually meet until page 212, and there's only 282 pages in the entire book. The quest does vaguely relate, as it involves the same evil fairy but, overall, it felt like that was a separate story for a separate book.
Also, it was a bit insta-love-y. While insta-love is a frequent complaint in fairy tales and romances, I've never seen it happen before in Beauty and the Beast. Maybe it should get a pass, because if you insta-love with the Beast, it's because you stayed up all night talking and you do rather like the insides, rather than the hotttt outsides, but insta-love is still insta-love.
That said, I loved the comic relief the Beast's invisible family provided. Especially as the invisible queen kept chiding her husband that just because they were invisible didn't mean he didn't have to wear pants. Or shower. Also, older brothers who are invisible are that much more annoying. I liked Beauty and her sister and I liked the touch that Clarissa was a good person, even if she was a bit preoccupied with shiny objects.
So, overall, it was fun and I'm still glad the series is back and I do really hope for more installments, but this was not my favorite.
Book Provided by... my local library
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