About the Book
Book Title: Monstrous Beauty (The Beauty series, Book 2)
Author: Carol E. Keen
Genre: Clean Read Romance/Fairy Tale Variant/ Young Adult
Release date: April 11, 2016
A damaged man. A strange young woman. Secrets that can bring them together, or tear them apart.
“This is perfect for girls of all ages. There are valuable lessons throughout the story and the author makes sure to point the readers towards God.”
Ethan’s father did a number on him, to say the least. In his passing, he left Ethan a wealthy man, but a severely damaged one. More than one person has considered him to be “beastly”. Annabelle is unique and could be his only chance at love, but she has secrets of her own. Can they achieve true forgiveness before their world collapses?
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About the Author
Carol E. Keen enjoys fresh coffee, hot tea, and a good book. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses.
She is the author of The Beauty Series and The Corandira Station, to name a few of her works. She currently resides in the South with her husband and family and spends her time writing, reading, working in photography, and being with her much loved critters.
Beauty and the Beast is my most favorite fairy tale. I adore everything Belle represents and believe she is a superior role model for young girls. She is educated, intelligent, a critical thinker, kind, compassionate, strong, courageous, and she sees beyond mere appearance to the heart within a person. She also bucks the system when it rationally and emotionally doesn’t suit her. She doesn’t do things just because everyone else is. These are all qualities I attempt to teach my own child on a daily basis. In fact, Belle is the inspiration behind my daughter’s name — Isabella. At home, I often call my daughter “My Belle.”
When I saw that Monstrous Beauty was up for review, I definitely jumped at the chance to read this book. Carol Keen did a good job of taking the popular Beauty and the Beast tale and making it her own unique story. I do appreciate that. This story is nothing like what we think of when we hear Beauty and the Beast.
I think that this book would be a good read for young girls in the tween and early-teen years. I think the insta-love quality would definitely appeal to that age group. Thinking back on who I was when I was 12-14, I easily would have devoured this story and fallen head over heels for Ethan. In many ways, his brokenness and his need to protect and take care of Annabelle would have made me swoon when I was that age. And, the message of seeing past the outside of a person to the heart within is a timely message ALL girls need during that very vulnerable time.
As an adult, however, I struggled a bit with this book. Annabelle has lost the strength Belle traditionally has in the Beauty and the Beast variants I have read and watched in the past. I can say this change in her character disappointed me. I am all for damsel-in-distress novels when they are done well, but that should never happen to a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Belle needs to be strong no matter what. I also struggled with the setting of this story. I am not 100% certain when this story takes place. There are carriages and fancy dresses, but there is also mention of antibiotics, and way too many moments of modern-age speech patterns. It confused me quite a bit and took me out of the story often. I do think the author could have done a better job in this area. And, the wedding scene does not make any sense at all. I could not follow the action — there is chaos at the chapel, no good explanation as to why, and then the priest hastily weds the main characters and tells them to go home. I was definitely left unsatisfied at the end of this story.
Overall, this story is fast-paced and easily read in one sitting. I believe the targeted audience is a tween/ early teen-age girl, and I do recommend the book to this age group. I am grateful to have read the book so I have one more novel to recommend to my Freshmen students.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.