Thursday, May 12, 2011

Book Review | Beauty By Robin McKinley

I just finished a wave of edits on COBBOGOTH, and so yesterday, I sat down to read for pleasure for the first time in...well, a really long time.  The book I chose was one I've been meaning to read since high school, but for whatever reason, never got around to it.  Now that I'm finished with it, however, I wish I had read it in high school.

Robin McKinley is what I like to call a "whisper writer."  She sort of whispers over the details, and somehow, in this book, it really works for her.  I think the fact that Beauty is the retelling of Beauty and the Beast allows her to assume that her readers have a richer foundation of back story to draw from than they would if she were creating an entirely new story with a new world.  However, it worked here, and I really enjoyed the book. 

Now, the reason I say I wish I'd read it in high school, is because while I am still a very trusting reader, I feel like writing my own book has kind of turned me into a bit of a skeptic.  There were a few moments where I caught myself rolling my eyes and mumbling "Oh please, there's just no way!" but after a moment, I realized it was merely my disenchanted adult self speaking, and since this is a YA book, I quickly hushed her into silence so I could enjoy the read.  (The fact that I just finished knit-picking over my own manuscript didn't help me relax into enjoying the ride either.) 

That being said, the book was great!  I really loved Beauty.  She was my kind of heroine, though I did think it took her too long to realize she was in love with the Beast, because he had me at the first "Will you marry me, Beauty?"  But then, I was totally digging the fact that McKinley likened the Beast to a griffin rather than some weird lion thingy as per, the Disney version of the tale.  For reasons I can't quite identify yet, I've romanticized the personification of griffins.  I suppose Freud could shed a little light on this, but I stopped listening to him in my feminista days.

Anyway, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should really read the book.  It's very sweet.

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