Let’s talk YA Beauty and the Beast Adaptions!
If you’ve been living without any internet, television or radio on a island somewhere in the South Pacific then (and only then) you could be forgiven for not knowing that the trailer for the new Beauty and the Beast adaptation, starring Emma Watson, was released earlier this week. Already the minute long trailer has become the most watched trailer IN ALL OF HISTORY beating Star Wars the Force Awakens within 4 days of it’s release! This is especially surprising because if you’ve seen the trailer you’ll know that nothing really happens in it. Long scenery shots. Quick prop shots. Disembodied voices. A blurry shot of Emma Watson. That’s all.
This is my proof that we all love a classic Beauty and the Beast love story.
I especially love Beauty and the Beast, and I’ve been trying to get around to reading as many Beauty and the Beast inspired books as possible. I’ve achieved a few so far, but I have many more in my wish list, so lets go through them together!
A Court of Thorns and Roses AND A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Let’s start with one we all know! Sarah J Maas’ adaptation of this classic tale might just be the best known YA adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The first half of the first book is a pretty faithful adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, only Feyre (our female protagonist) is taken away as payment for taking the life of a faery. She must live within Faery lands, in the house of the mysterious Tamlin, who has been cursed to wear a mask. Feyre must learn to navigate Fae society whilst uncovering the secrets of her captor.
This book was given 4.3 stars on Goodreads, and I gave this book 4.5 stars (but the second book blew everything out of the water, I gave it 5/5 stars, but I would have given it more if possible!).
2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Andieh
Ok so I haven’t actually read this book yet, I am really hoping to get around to it this summer. This book is also incredibly beautiful, look at it!
Description from Goodreads;
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
This book description says that it’s inspired by Arabian Nights, but to me it seems to sound quite like Bluebeard’s Wife, the story of a wife who finds all of her husband’s old wifes dead bodies behind a locked door she isn’t allowed to enter, only in this story we go into it believing that Khalid is already a killer. You can’t deny it’s Beauty and the Beast links though, and I’m really looking forward to getting around to this book!
Goodreads gave this 4.23 Stars.
3. Beauty by Robin McKinley
This book probably wasn’t written to be a YA book, but it definitely qualifies. I read this book over a year ago and it was short and sweet and beautifully written. It pretty much exactly follows the story we all know and love, with main character Beauty trading spaces with her elderly merchant father who has been locked up for stealing a rose from the Beast’s garden.
As a quick read it’s worth a go, especially as copies of these can be brought for next to nothing used on Amazon!
4. Beastly by Alex Flinn
Beastly follows the story of a boy who was the most popular, richest and best looking guy in his school before he is cursed by a witch in his english class to look disfigured. Until he can find someone who will love him for him without his appearance he will be stuck as he is.
Beastly is an imaginative modern twist on the classic tale, along with the unique look into the mind of the ‘Beast’. Unfortunately I wasn’t blown away by this novel, there are elements I remember well (like the rose tattoo) but it hasn’t proven to be that memorable. I certainly would recommend it for a quick read however.
Goodreads gave this a 3.85 stars, and I gave this book 3 stars out of 5.
5. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
I have not yet read this one either, but I want to so badly. This book continues the theme of red we have in all of the covers so far, obviously someone somewhere has decided red is the colour of Beauty and the Beast.
This is the description from Goodreads;
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
Sounds a little similar to the Wrath and the Dawn, but I’m very much looking forward to the high fantasy elements. Nyx definitely sounds like a character who can hold her own, which is a very important quality in all of my favourite heroines.
Goodreads users have given this book a 3.7 star rating.
6. Scarlet by Marissa Mayer
This one is the second of a series, each book centring around a fairytale character, living in a sci-fi like future, as they meet up to to take down an evil queen who lives on the moon.
I promise it’s not as random as it sounds. In fact the Lunar Chronicles is one of the best series I’ve ever read, it’s insanely good.
Now Scarlet isn’t actually a retelling of Beauty and the Beast- it’s actually a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood- but Scarlet ends up falling for the wolf whose motives in befriending her might not be so noble. Their story doesn’t end in this book, but in Winter (the fourth and last book in the series) but if I can convince just one more person to read this amazing series (and you need to start from Cinder, the first book, which is a retelling of Cinderella) then this won’t be a waste!
7. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
I. AM. SO. PUMPED. FOR. THIS. BOOK!
I haven’t yet gotten my hands on it (I am forcing myself to read more of the books I actually own instead of buying more and more on whims) but this book has been pretty well received critically and it just sound extremely unique- I’ve never heard of anything like this before.
Description from Goodreads;
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
I’ve heard some people compare this book to Beauty and the Beast, and with such a mysterious love interest I can see why. In Maya’s world people rely on horoscopes to plan their lives, and don’t go against them. Maya has been born under a bad star, and so for her whole life she has know her marriage will end in disaster.
Goodreads gave this book 3.8 stars out of 5!
Thats’ all folks!