The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross
Publication: May 3rd, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling
A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself. I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both. I am the Beast. He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation. Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .
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This was an arc given to me from NetGalley and the publisher. So, thank you for that. I don’t need to really explain this too much because the plot is literally Beauty and the Beast with some minor changes. One change is that the book is from the beast’s point of view. Another change is Bell is named Isabeau and she has two sisters as well. The house is enchanted and the forest but there is no one in the house. There is no Gaston and there really is no villain. The whole plot is honestly…boring. It is slow and not a lot happens in the story that I did not already know. I was so excited about this book because this is one of my favorite fantasy stories and I always wanted to hear from the Beast. But the story is dull and slow. The Beast is just pinning the whole time and Isabeau is annoying as well. I was really frustrated with the pacing and how there was zero action. Like nothing happens. I was utterly perplexed.
I did NOT care for them. This is sad because I love these characters but not in this book. They are either whiny, pinning, crying, saying sorry, or just doing nothing worthy of note. I did not connect with them nor did I feel for them. I love the Beast but I did not care for him in this story. Really I would rather he stayed a beast in the end then deal with him continue to ask Isabeau to marry him and she says no then gets sad and repeat. The side characters add absolutely nothing to the story. They were worse than boring and I did not care to read about them. We got almost whole chapters dedicated to them and I was so confused on why. They were so dull and one-dimensional.
The writing was subpar and badly paced. The prose was silly and nothing felt magical about a story that was supposed to be magical. The romance was dead. I didn’t care if they got together in the end nor did I feel they even cared about one another. The whole romance was so one-sided and then boom she wants him in the end. Unlike the movie where we see a gradual growth of interest and love the book had none of that. This book was a huge disappointment and I am sad by how much I disliked it.