Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: PurchasedRating: ★★★★★
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
This book is such a beautiful, breath-taking retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Before I go on why this book is such a wonder, let me tell you a little bit about my thoughts on the Disney version of Beauty and Beast.
As a kid, I loved all Disney versions of fairy tales but as I'm getting older I just find Of Beauty and Beast a disaster.
1. The prince was punished by the godmother or fairy-godmother (I don't remember exactly) because he did not opening the door and let the stranger in....uhm hello I think it's common sense for kid not to do such things right, so why he got punished for that. DUH
2. When the entire castle was being punished, was the time frozen also? because I just can't figure out about the baby cup's age . I mean when the curse breaks, the prince become older (remember he was a little boy when the curse was cast) but the baby tea cup----I can't figure out the age or the logic 0_o
3. The castle was not that far from the village...have the villagers ever wondered who live there and come to explore...and how can you call its a kingdom when there is no people to rule.
So as you see, I was really anxious about how this tale will be like since I so dislike the Disney version of it and to my surprise, this book is wonderful. I have no complain whatsoever. Of Beast and Beauty is just simply perfect. Stacy Jay is a wonderful storyteller because you will find yourself deep into this magic world and don't ever want to wake up. The story is told from both Isra and Gems' POVS which is a plus because you have a chance to know how they feel about each other despite the way they acted. Gem is such dork, the way he can feel 'hurt' when Isra prefers to him as "it" just shows how human he is even though on the outside he looks like a monster. He is so sweet and I fell so hard for him and for his lost. Isra is strong and noble like a true princess. She is caring and so innocent that I always felt something bad may happen to her.
The world building is fantastic and the ending made me so emotional because it's so beautiful. It'll make you believe in love and happily ever after. Stacy had written a successful retelling fairy tale that I just wish this should be the original tale instead...
As a conclusion I highly recommend it.