by Robin McKinley
from the back cover
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.
Before I begin, allow me to point out that this book was originally published in 1978, and the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991. Are we clear on this detail? Yes? Good. Whether you realize it or not, this brings a whole new perspective to the book; namely, it clarifies that Robin McKinley could not have copied Disney. Despite the great similarities between the two tellings. Anywho...
I found this to be a fun, light read and a wonderful retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales. Honestly, who couldn't like a book where the antagonists's best friend is a draft horse? (If you didn't already know, I have a slight obsession with horses. Especially of the larger variety.) It does seem to be geared more towards young adults, but it has a cover I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in public with, and I really enjoyed reading it.
I do remember thinking it needed a good final edit, but I can't remember any specific examples, nor could I find any by scanning a few random pages. There's a reason why I don't usually wait a week before writing a book review.