Beauty by Robin McKinley: Book Review

Posted June 2, 2009 by Emily in book review / 1 Comment

Beauty by Robin McKinley: Book ReviewBeauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
Published by HarperTeen on June 30th 1993
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Girls & Women
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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four-stars

A strange imprisonment...
Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.
When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"
Robin McKinley's beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple, Beauty and the Beast.

The plot of this book was pretty straightforward. Beauty is the youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant. Her given name was Honour, but as a young girl, asked to be called Beauty instead. She grew up to be plain and never felt like she lived up to her nickname. Her father’s shipping business falls into disaster and they are forced to move to the country, where she meets the beast.

I had heard a lot about this book, and its author, Robin McKinley. I didn’t enjoy the book quite as much as I had hoped I would. I felt sometimes like there was too much time spent on characters talking about what had happened, rather than what was happening at the time. Also, the ending was quite abrupt. A lot of time was spent building up the story and then the ending fell flat. But, those few flaws aside, it was a really fun book to read. I enjoyed reading about Beauty’s thoughts and how they changed towards the Beast. The imagery and change that took place in the book came together really well.

Overall, I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading more from Robin McKinley.

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