Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

A 60 Second Review by Anne Brees

★★★★☆ (4.00)
Genre – Young Adult Fantasy

Summary – In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in 16113606the 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.

Initial Thoughts – I LOVE fairy tale retellings. And I LOVE Beauty and the Beast. And I LOVE dystopians. Was I pumped for this book? Yup. Did the book live up to my high expectations? Kind-of.
Plot – ★★★★★ This book was very well paced. It kept me interested and I never didn’t want to read it.
Characters – ★★★☆☆ The characters were a little one-dimensional for my taste. I was so excited to have a main character who was blind, but (SPOILER!!!) that didn’t last for long either. This type of thing irritates me because it basically states that you can’t be a hero as long as you have some type of disability.
Story world – ★★★★☆ The story world was a little one dimensional as well. I wish there had been more details about customs and culture, for both the humans and the Monstrous.
Style – ★★★★☆  Stacey Jay’s style was pretty well developed, though nothing about it really stood out.
Closing Thoughts – This was a good, enticing read. However, it lacked the complexities that good books have to make them great.
Recommendation – Recommended for those who want star crossed lovers, dystopians, and fairy tale retellings.

(summary and cover from GoodReads)
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