Beastly by Alex Flinn, Reviewed by Ashley Mollett


By Alex Flinn


I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright–a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever–ruined–unless I can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly


     Has anyone ever wondered what it would be like to have freedom taken away? In the novel Beastly by Alex Flinn the beast went from having anything and everything to having nothing and no one at all. He is this way because of a witch and her spell to show him what it is like to be different. The novel portrays witch craft and the fantasy that beasts are real. The three things I found most enjoyable about the book is the characters, the setting, and the overall book.

The first element I enjoyed most about the novel is the characters. Alex Flinn described the characters in a way where if I hear the name Lindy I automatically think of a “sort of mousey looking girl with a red braid and freckles”. The protagonist was the beast. He had hair all over him and had to find true love to be turned back to a human. At the end of the book the characters I thought I knew turned out to be a totally different person.


The second thing I enjoyed about the book was the setting. The main setting changed in the book at least four times. In the beginning of the book when Kyle Kingsbury “beast” was still human he lived in a swanky Manhattan apartment. Once the became the beast his father moved him to an old five-story house in Brooklyn. This is where he met Lindy the girl he wanted to fall in love with. He wanted to impress Lindy so they moved for the winter so the book took place on top of a mountain at a snow resort. After Lindy leaves Kyle returns back to Brooklyn and this is where the book ends.

The last thing I enjoyed was the overall book.  I thought the book had a lot of meaning.  It shows you that if you choose to act arrogant and like people don’t matter if they don’t have money things will come back at you.  Everyone should be treated equal.  The book is a fantasy fairytale type book with a happy ending, not everyone gets a happy ending though.  I enjoyed this book because Kyle almost didn’t get his happy ending.


In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. I think the three things I enjoyed most was the character, the setting, and the overall book. This book shows the readers that money and good looks shouldn’t  make people different. You never know what is going on in a person’s life so don’t be to quick to judge.  I would recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy books.


7 responses

  1. Hi, Ashley

    Nice review! I had seen this movie, but I was not even aware that it was a book! I’m going to have to read it now. I am glad to see that you enjoyed the book, and I am also glad to hear that you took away such strong meaning from it. I love the message behind it, as well! I enjoyed reading your work.

    A few suggestions….
    I liked that you used a rhetorical question at the very beginning, but I think you could make it even stronger and more direct to the reader if you revised it to say something like, “Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your freedom taken away?” This makes the impact of the boy losing his freedom seem a lot more personal to the person reading your review.
    Also, the way you wrote it is wonderful and completely acceptable, but just a little personal suggestion…I always put the author before the title. For example, instead of, “In the novel Beastly by Alex Flinn,” I would say, “In Alex Flinn’s novel, Beastly,” and then go from there. Again, that’s just something I usually do, not necessarily the “right” way. I tend to write it that way because I feel like it sounds stronger, especially when you actually read it aloud. Just a personal tip. 🙂
    Also, you might try rewording and rephrasing the 2nd sentence in the 2nd paragraph (“Alex Flinn described…”). It is a little confusing. I definitely can see where you are going with that, and I think that’s a neat point to make. Just rework it so that you can get your nifty idea across to the reader as clearly as possible so that they can say, “wow, that’s cool!” You could reword it to something like, “Alex Flinn described and developed the characters so fully that I now picture a “sort of mousey looking girl with a red braid and freckles,” every time I hear the name Lindy, which is how that character was depicted in the novel.” Great job quoting from the text, though!!! That really strengthens your writing!

    Overall I think you did a really nice job with this review! Hope these suggestions help!

    Looking forward to reading more of your fabulous work!


    1. Hi, Hannah
      Thank you for the suggestions on how to make my writing stronger. I like the way you wrote the title and I will use that next time. On a unit we discussed in class we talked about using the title that way. I thought about doing it that way, but was unsure on where to place my commas. Do you have any advice to help me to remember where to place the commas?


      1. Hey, Ashley!

        I hope you’re doing well! Thanks for taking the time to read my feedback.

        You asked about commas…
        I looked online at a resource that I always use when I’m not sure about a grammatical structure, citation, or something else along those lines. I copied and pasted the link below. It only takes a second to read it, and I think it’s easy to follow and understand.

        When I quickly need to know where to place a comma, I will read the sentence aloud. Wherever I notice a natural slight pause in my voice, I place a comma. For me, this works the majority of the time. However, this is definitely not fault proof, so check the few points on the link I gave you just to be safe. Hope this helps some!

        May you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas!


  2. Dear Ashley,

    You have a great hook that really made me want to keep reading your book review. I like that you described what you think of when you read the character’s descriptions. I would suggest that you also provide the character descriptions from the book by using quotes and examples. I think it would be interesting to see why you think that Lindy is mousey looking. In the second body paragraph you describe each of the various settings. You described each of the setting with great detail, but I would suggest adding why you enjoyed the setting. What was it about the setting that made it one of your favorite aspects of the book? I really like your discussion of a “happy ending.” You mentioned that you like that Kyle almost didn’t get his happy ending, which is interesting since most people want to watch or read about a happy ending. I would like to hear more about your ideas about the happy endings in the novel. Do you think that Kyle didn’t deserve a happy ending because of his behavior at the beginning of the book? I think the paragraph that discusses the “overall book” is probably the most interesting, and it really caught my attention as a reader. If you were to elaborate and expand that paragraph, you could also use specific references from the book. For example, you could illustrate an incident that made you believe that Kyle didn’t deserve a happy ending. You mentioned his arrogance and money, so maybe your example could illustrate his arrogance. Your conclusion clearly states your opinion on the book, which is important. I would suggest adding more of your opinions. Why do you recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy? I realize that this book is fantasy, but would you recommend this book to young adults who struggle with fitting in? Overall, I really enjoyed reading your book review. Please let me know if you have any questions about my suggestions.

    -Chassidy Marcum

    1. Dear Chassidy,
      Thank you for all the suggestions. The next time I write I will apply the corrections. I will work on giving more specific details and incidents that explain more about the things I write about. I have been told on previous book reviews by Mrs. Baisden that I need to be more specific. I am afraid I will run on and on about a topic. Is there any tips you could share with me on how to know when enough is enough and how to tell if I need more information?

  3. Ashley,
    The way that you started out your introduction with a question was perfect. Asking the reader a question at the beginning of a piece can really help to grab our attention and get us interested in the book and in your review. I think that the question you asked specifically gets the reader thinking about the main idea of the book as well. The rest of your introduction is intriguing, I have seen the movie but have never read the book. What you have written has me curious to see how much the two versions will match up, and also to see what details the movie might have left out. You make a strong thesis at the end that is easy to identify.

    What really stood out to me about your body paragraphs was the third one where you mention what the book meant to you, and what separates it from other books that you have read. It’s good to point things like that out, especially in a book review. I think that you could make your character paragraph even stronger by adding in a few more characters, like the witch for example. You mention her in the introduction so she might be a good one to expand upon a little bit. It may also be helpful to add in a quote from the text about one of the settings in the second paragraph, it would help to back up what you are saying and give the reader another little ‘sneak peek’ into the book.

    Your conclusion does a good job of wrapping things up and making a connection to your thesis, my only suggestion would be to clarify a little on who you would recommend this book to and why. Is there a specific age group? Maybe something along those lines could help make that claim stronger. I love the two sentences in the middle of your conclusion, you really show the reader how passionate you feel about this book and what lessons they can learn by reading it as well. I really want to read this book for myself after reading your review!

    1. Dear Maggie,
      Thank you for your advice. I will definitely add more direct quotes the next time I write. I will also tell more about the characters in the book and go deeper into who they are. Mrs.Baisden has told me to work on direct quotes also. It is one of the columns I loose points on. I am unsure on how to do the direct quotes. Do you think maybe you could give me a few tips?

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