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Waiting on Wednesday: Stitching Snow

Hiya!

For this week’s upcoming new release let’s talk about Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis!

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewisassuming she wants to return at all. Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Guys!

It’s a sci-fi retelling of Snow White! WHAT! WHAT!

Seriously, I’m incredibly interested in reading this one since I always enjoy a fairy tale retelling! Also, this computer chip inspired cover is pretty darn awesome! I am a little nervous that its going to be a lot like Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, but I don’t want to assume that it will be. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the change to read Stitching Snow in October 2014 when it is scheduled to release! That’s not too long of a wait is it?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Camelot Burning

Happy Wednesday!

For today’s Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) I’m highlighting a fantasy (as usual haha) debut that sounds like it has potential to be fun, Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose.

By day, Vivienne is Guinevere’s lady-in-waiting. By night, she’s Merlin’s secret apprentice, indulging in Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rosethe new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It’s a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.

More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn’t include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn’t have Merlin’s weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.

I’m not a huge fan of the cover, although I do like the girl’s (Vivienne?!) gown and cape. I’m intrigued by the idea of a secret apprentice learning spells and potions! Also, I like that this seems to be a kind of retelling of the King Arthur/Camelot story since I’m into fairy tale retellings.

Camelot Burning is a 2014 debut and is scheduled for release on May 8, so I’ll have to brush up on my King Arthur knowledge before then! What titles are you waiting on this week?

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A Dreamy-Weamy Fresh Mix: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Hiya!

Those of you who have been following BookTasty for a while know that one of my favorite genres is fairy tale retellings. I just love seeing what happens when an author adds their own creativity to a classic tale. And you might even know that Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series is one of the most imaginative fairy tale retellings I’ve read in a while. Cress, the third book in the series is no different…except for the fact that I kind of think it’s the best one so far!

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Honestly, the covers in this series are all so pretty to look at, especially this one! *gazes dreamily at cover*

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Okay, so book one, Cinder, was focused on the story of Cinderella, while in Scarlet, the second book, we meet Little Red Riding Hood.  Well, in Cress, we meet Rapunzel. All of these well known characters have been plucked from their traditional settings and have now been dropped into this rich sci-fi setting. Our Rapunzel isn’t a prisoner in a tower but is instead a computer hacker isolated in a satellite that orbits both Earth and Luna. How freakin’ cool is that?!

After reading, and loving the first two books, I have to say that Cress is by far my favorite of the series. First you have Cress, who I find that I can so easily relate to. Cress is a hopelessly dreamy-weamy romantic who crushes on none other than one of the criminals she’s been tasked with locating. She is the kind of girl who is so innocent and awkward that she hides in embarrassing situations and frequently imagines she is someone else. Awww Cress, I just feel like I get you and your ability to make a situation totally more awkward than it has to be and it’s why I love you! Despite her ungraceful ways, Cress is a brilliant hacker and has the ability to draw from internal strength she never could have guess she had.

In addition to the adorable Cress, Cinder and her whole crew are back. We get to see more Captain Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, Iko, Dr. Erland and even Prince Kai as the group moves closer and closer to stopping Queen Levana in her quest to control both Luna and Earth. With all of these characters there is a lot going on in Cress, but I never once felt overwhelmed. The action was so captivating that I just wanted to keep reading and stay in this imaginative Firefly-like world forever! There is a freshness about Cress that, partly comes from Cress herself and in part comes from the old and new characters mixing to creating exciting new storylines.

I genuinely cannot think of any major flaws, except that I really wanted this 500 plus page book to be even longer. There is so much that I want to figure out and I hated having to say goodbye to these characters, who feel like good friends, for another year before book four, Winter, is released. If you haven’t yet started this creative and fun series, please go to your library now and start reading! If you hurry you can get to Cress by tomorrow’s release day!

And a big huge massive friendly thank you to Kyle at A Reader’s Pensieve who loaned me her ARC! She’s pretty awesome, and if you aren’t familiar with her blog, you totally should be! :)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel &Friends (Feb. 4, 2014)

Format: ARC

Length: 560 pages

Series: Third book in The Lunar Chronicles

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Cress (Lunar Chronicles)

 

 

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Fairy Tale with a Twist of Sci-Fi: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Welcome back BookTasty friends!

Whew! Moving is intense! First the packing and living in chaos, then the cleaning and packing up the truck. This is then followed by driving the truck and your cars to new home (from Florida to South Carolina in our case) and unpacking said truck. Finally  you unpack boxes and organize. It’s a good thing we have amazing friends in both states who were ready to help!

Recently I was able to snatch up the audiobook of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer from my library – I literally did a little happy Scarlet by Marissa Meyerjumping dance in the middle of the teen section when I saw it sitting on the shelf! I absolutely loved Meyer’s first book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, so I knew Scarlet (book two) was one I had to read!

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth. Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Marissa Meyer just knows how to write a fun book! Fairy tale retellings are some of my favorites, and Meyer took the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale and added a kick-butt futuristic, sci-fi twist to it. LOVE!

In Cinder, we met Cinder and Prince Kai. Their stories were great – a cyborg Cinderella meets reluctant prince amidst a plague epidemic in futuristic Asia? But what I love about Meyer’s storytelling is she doesn’t stop with them and make them the central focus of each book, she adds in new main characters to move the plot forward but also add new story lines. In Scarlet we met, Scarlet (who always wears her red hoodie) and Wolf, an intriguing mystery guy who knows more than he lets on.

As a main character it took me a while to warm up to Scarlet. In the beginning she seems unnecessarily reckless and rebellious, but her sarcasm (which I’m always a fan of) starts to grow on you and you can’t help but be on her side. Plus, the more and more I remember the original story of Red Riding Hood, Scarlet’s personality reflects Red Riding Hood pretty well. Not following authority’s recommendations?! That’s Scarlet!

On another character note, Cinder is much darker and snappier than she was in the first book, but then again if I was on the run from the law I’d probably be a little snappy too! Oh and Captain Thorne?  You remind me of someone just as naughty and honorable…(pssst…it’s Captain Mal from Firefly). Of course, Queen Levana is an evil and manipulative as ever, while her “army” is terrifying!

Meyer’s sci-fi futuristic world is fabulously imagined, but isn’t the focus of the story. The reader isn’t laden down with technology and scientific descriptions of things. These characters live a world of robots, vid-screens, trackers,s pace ships, and cyborgs but ultimately the reader can recognize the world as one that’s not so different from ours today.

So, all in all I really enjoyed Scarlet and can’t wait for the next book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cress which is to be released in early 2014. So, if you’re looking for a quality fairy tale retelling, or are in the mood for some fun science fiction you should definitely read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (only you should start with Cinder since, you know, it is the first book!).

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (February 5, 2013)

Format: audiobook

Length: 11 hours and 19 minutes

Series: Second book in The Lunar Chronicles

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)

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On Its Own Merit: Poison by Bridget Zinn

Southern Book Bloggers ARC ToursHi there!

I’m honored to be a part of the Southern Book Bloggers Poison ARC Tour! Poison just happens to be Bridget Zinn’s debut YA novel, so of course it counts for the 2013 Debut Authors Challenge as well! YAY!

So, let’s talk about this book shall we?!

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she

Poison by Bridget Zinndoes best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

When I first saw the cover for Poison I automatically knew this would be a book I would really get into. The cover is reminiscent of classic fairy tales but also has more modern themes woven in.  The cover does a good job of depicting the story itself – classic fantasy mixed with more contemporary themes. Plus it’s just a really pretty cover…and look at the pig!

The main character Kyra is not your average girl. She has a ton of secrets and is on the run, although you don’t find out from what until a little ways in. She is multifaceted character with conflicting feelings and emotions which makes her pretty darn relatable. Kyra is emotionally scarred, and on habit (and necessity), tends to protect herself from the world by building walls and pushing people away.  And while she is fiercely independent, she is also incredibly loyal and will stop at nothing to do what she believes it right. In some ways, Kyra reminds me a lot of  Katniss Everdeen.

Zinn’s writing is pretty humorous and Kyra can be pretty sassy sometimes. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, it kind of freshened up the traditional fantasy/fairy tale genre and made it more modern. There were a few scenes and dialog that had me laughing, especially the river crossing scene…you’ll know what I mean when you get there.

What I like about the narration style is that we don’t know all of Kyra’s secrets. She reveals them to us when she wants (or in some cases when others call her out on them), which makes learning about her more realistic.  It’s like we’re getting to know Kyra as we would get to know someone in real life. The minor characters, Fred, Ariana, and Rosie (yes Rosie is that sweet little pig on the cover!) were also likable and fun, although we don’t get to know as much about them as I would have liked.

Honestly, I could see Poison making a really good movie. It has adventure, romance, mystery and some really loveable characters (including the pig).  The whole story would translate well on-screen and I would definitely go see it in the theater.

On another note… if you’ve also read Jolted by Arthur Slade, you’ll know that I’m pretty sure Rosie (the pig) is related to Josephine, Newton’s ultra talented pet pig. Two sweet and talented pigs in books? They MUST be from the same family.  :P

In the end, I finished Poison craving more. I want more Kyra and more Fred and more adventures in this fantasy world they live in. I want to know what happens next, in fact I’m sure most people who read Poison feel the same way, but sadly Bridget Zinn passed away, after battling cancer, in May 2011, so we won’t get any more of these characters. To read more about her story visit her website. I do want to be clear about something though, her book stands alone on its own merit without the unfortunate circumstances behind it, which is, I think, very important.

If you are in the mood for a delightful fantasy (and why wouldn’t you be?!) then you should definitely pick up Posion by Bridget Zinn, you wont regret it. The story is perfect for middle school aged readers and those of us who are a tad bit older *cough cough* and definitely has the BookTasty stamp of approval!

Author: Bridget Zinn

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (March 12, 2013)

Format: e-galley (ARC)

Length: 288 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  Poison

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Waiting on Wednesday: Strands of Bronze and Gold

Hi there!

Every week I like to participate in Breaking the Spine’s Waiting on Wednesday event.  This meme was created with the purpose of bringing some attention to an upcoming new release.

Today I am waiting Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson, which seems to be a retelling of the Bluebeard fairy tale. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her over-generous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

If you follow my blog at all, you probably know by now that I’m a lover of retold fairy tales.  Seriously I LOVE them!  I have to admit that although I’ve heard of the Bluebeard story, I haven’t read it and really don’t know what it’s about.  I do know that I love this cover and the summary intrigues me.  According to GoodReads, Strands of Bronze and Gold won’t be released until March 12, 2013 by Random House Children’s Books, so I have a little ways to go before I can read it.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Princess of the Silver Woods

Bonjour!

Happy Wednesday to you!  As you probably know Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It was created as a place to spotlight upcoming titles that we’re excited about.

This week I am pretty excited about Jessica Day George’s third installment in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series, Princess of the Silver Woods.

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor’s twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day Georgeneighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it’s not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

I’ve actually only read the first book in the series (Princess of the Midnight Ball) and have yet to read Princess of Glass (book two), but I’m hoping that the release of Princess of the Silver Woods coming soon I’ll actually make time for book two! Jessica Day George is one of the best middle grades fairy talei-sh authors out there and I’m excited to read ANYTHING new by her!

What are you waiting on this week?

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So Legally Blonde: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Hello there!

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison is the seventh of the fifteen Florida Sunshine Book I’ve read this summer.

My Fair Godmother by Janette RallisonFinding your one true love can be a Grimm experience! After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight.

When I first saw the 2012-2013 Sunshine State list, I could tell automatically by the cover that its my type of book!  The title and cover just scream “FAIRY TALE!” which you know I love (!) I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I do and I don’t care!  Isn’t it (the cover) adorable!?

So yea, I completely, 100% love fairy tales re-tellings and mash-ups.  There is just something so fun about hearing a story you’ve heard since childhood be told in a different way.  My Fair Godmother has smatterings of Cinderella, Snow White and other fairy tales mixed all up into one giant fun story!

At first I actually liked Jane best, but soon I came to love her sister Savannah even more.  This surprised me at first because Jane is so bookish and focused on school, which was totally me in high school, so I had a hard time when Savannah actually turns out to be the main character. But in the end, like I said, I came to love Savannah and she makes a likable, if not flawed, main character.

Savannah’s fairy, I mean fair, godmother is hilariously bad at what she does. I love the idea of a fairy godmother who is more concerned with shopping and socializing than her actual magical  work.  Chrysanthemum Everstar adds a very Legally Blonde-like atmosphere to the story which is just adorable.

So, all in all My Fair Godmother is an incredibly enjoyable trip down fairy tale lane that I know my students will enjoy and you will too if you’re a fairy tale fan.  Also, I’m going to have to get my grubby little fairy-tale-loving fingers on the sequel, My Unfair Godmother!

Author: Janette Rallison

Publisher: Walker Childrens (December 22, 2009)

Format: paperback

Length: 320 pages

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: My Fair Godmother

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Waiting on Wednesday: Scarlet

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week the book I’m trying to wait patiently for is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the second book in her Lunar Chronicles series.

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerCinder is trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Cinder snuck up on me. When I started listening to the audiobook, I didn’t expect to enjoy the story and characters as much as I did. I really, really loved that book and I still think about it because I loved it that much! You can read my full review of Cinder here. So, as you can see I enjoyed the first book so much so I’m extra excited for Scarlet to continue the story!

So I have until February 5, 2013 to wait to find out what happens to Cinder and Prince Kai!

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I Really Wanted to Like It: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Well hi there!

Let’s talk Beastly 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 Beastly by Alex Flinnfangs 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.

So, Beastly is a modern-day retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, set in New York City. Beauty and the Beast had always been one of my favorite fairy tales ever. I felt a that Beauty (at least the Disney version of her) was a kindred spirit since she always had her nose in a book. She’s bookish and I’ve always loved that about her. I’ve always loved this story so you’d think I would have loved a modern retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales. Well, you’d think so, but you’d be wrong. I was pretty disappointed in Beastly. Flinn’s version of the story just didn’t connect with me.

I’m not usually a fan of male main characters, so maybe that has something to do with my disappointment. I just couldn’t like Kyle Kingsbury. Yeah I know he transforms from his snooty, wealthy, narcissistic self into someone kinder and more gentle, but I still just didn’t like him. I also felt that Linda (our story’s Beauty), although bookish and nerdy (yay!), was pretty boring and one-sided. Now, this could have also been the fact that I listened to this on audiobook and wasn’t impressed with the narrator’s female voices. Oh well.

This is pretty much a point for point retelling of the classic tale without much new to add to it other than the setting. I will say, that I did enjoy the chat room scenes. Kyle joins an online support group for those who have been magically transformed and meets some other famous fairy tale characters, like the Bear in Snow White and Rose Red (another of my faves!), the Frog from the Frog Prince and the Little Mermaid. These scenes are super cute, fun and too far and few between. Other than those bright scenes the rest of this story was slow going and I had to force myself to finish it.

So, overall I was disappointed in this story. I had high hopes because I love fairy tales retold and I’ve so many people recommend Alex Flinn’s books to me. I really, really wanted to enjoy it, it just fell flat with me. Maybe I started with the wrong Alex Flinn book? Suggestions anyone? Now, just because I wasn’t a huge fan, it doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy Beastly, in fact I know many who do. If you’re into fairy tale retellings go ahead and give this one a try, it might end up being something you like!

Author: Alex Flinn

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (June 22, 2010)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins

Narrator(s): Chris Patton

Series: First in The Kendra Chronicles

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Beastly