Beau and Bett

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

Billed as a modern day gender swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Beau and Bett by Kathryn Berla is a short but surprisingly sweet and touching read. Beau agrees to work off the debt caused by his mother hitting spoiled rich kid Bett Diaz's  car just one week after she cancelled her insurance policy due to lack of money. Beau and the rest of the LeFrancois family are struggling since their father had an accident at work, and it couldn't have happened at a worse time with his sister's wedding coming up. In an effort to ease the financial pressure Beau agrees to work on the Diaz family ranch at weekends until the debt is paid. While he is more than willing to work, he is less enthused by having to put up with the spoiled and capricious Bett, and he soon thinks he has figured out why she gained the nickname Beast at her school, but as he spends more time with her he grows to understand her and even finds himself falling for her, until the moment when she is caught out in a lie that threatens to destroy their budding relationship. 
While I liked both Beau and Bett as characters, I really did not think that the author did enough to have Bett live up to the "Beast" , it really seemed that her grandmother was a far nastier character. I did like how the author divulged more of Bett's story and allowed the character to develop over the course of the book, and her actions definitely added to the humor of the book as a whole. The book is told from Beau's point of view, and I really  enjoyed his voice. I also loved the family dynamics in his home, the banter between siblings felt very authentic. What felt much less authentic was the romance between Beau and Bett, it just never felt quite real which is a shame as that is kind of the heart of a retelling like this. The gender swap did work well, so kudos to the author for that. 
I read and reviewed a copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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This was definitely a twist on Beauty and the Beast that I wasn't expecting! I enjoyed this book a lot more than I actually thought I would! I went into it not really knowing anything about it and I think that's the way this book should be handled. With an open mind, this was amazing!
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Actual rating 2.5 stars.

This was a really hard book to rate and review. I found it readable enough. I liked some of the characters. But I just couldn’t work out what the book was trying to do. I had no particular investment in any of the characters and I wasn’t particularly concerned about the outcome.

Now that I’ve lambasted the book with that opening paragraph, I should say that there were certain things I liked. I liked Beau’s part-Cajun family and their dynamics. I liked that Beau was kind of the oddball in the family. I really liked the descriptions of the Diaz ranch. That is something I haven’t really come across in a YA book before, and i liked that Bettina wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She wasn’t going to leave the ranch either – she saw herself staying there and running it eventually. But all the characters ever did was build a fence. Like, every time Beau went over there. Sometimes Bettina would make them a beautiful lunch in the middle of the day, then they’d go back to the fence.

I guess part of my issue was that the links to Beauty and the Beast were pretty tenuous.. I didn’t really buy the romance at all. I think part of the reason for that is that Beau is interested in another girl for at least the first half. And the lie that Beau catches Bett in, according to the blurb… I mean, I got why it bothered him. But I was expecting something a bit bigger.

Additionally, the reasons for Bett being called Bett the Beast at school were kind of flat, and everything around that suddenly seemed resolved at the end. It felt like perhaps the author was trying to do something with the whole #metoo movement and make a comment on rape culture, but it just wasn’t explored enough.

It’s possible that without the claim that it was a retelling, I could have enjoyed this a bit more. As it was, I really looking for parallels with the fairytale, and not really finding them, so ultimately I was disappointed.
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I received a Netgalley ARC of Beau and Bett, a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Kathryn Berla. While I was thankful to the publisher for this ARC and truly excited to dive into a classic retelling, this one simply fell flat for me. First, the connection between the classic fairytale and this YA romance was tenuous at best. Bett is the “Beast”  because of how she is abrasive and misunderstood at school while Beau is the “Beauty” who sees her inner goodness; however, change the names and readers would likely draw no parallels between the stories. I wasn’t exactly looking for talking clocks, but it didn’t feel like enough of the original story made it into Berla’s novel. Secondly, the narrative voice rang false to me. Beau, a teenage boy, is our narrator, but comments such as when Beau describes another character as “He was a panda bear. Too big to be cuddled but still stirring those feelings in you—as if you wanted to take him on your knee and tell him a bedtime story or something. Just a big old adorable bear. Well, maybe not adorable but . . . endearing somehow” did not sound valid. What teenage boy talks this way? Instead, the entire book read like what it was, a female voice impersonating a YA boy. Finally, I didn’t feel like the characters were well-realized; details about them, such as the interesting circumstances of Beau’s parents’ courtship or Bett’s strict grandmother, seemed haphazard and did more to distract than to flesh out. The avocado orchards, vineyards, and California landscape felt better described than most of the characters, and the scenes where this was the focus, as when Bett gives Beau a tour, were the best in the book for me. It’s clear that Berla is talented in painting a setting, but in the end, while the premise was promising, libraries would likely be safe in passing this one by.
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I am a sucker for any kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling. The fact that this was a gender-swapped, modern day retelling really grabbed my attention. I do think this book was more middle grade than young adult, and had a bit of trouble really connecting with the story and the characters. I would have liked to see more interaction with both Beau and Bett's families, as well as some more backstory on both main characters. While the relationship growth seemed very organic and believable, I typically enjoy stories that show me what is happening, rather than just telling. This book lacked description in a lot of areas, and I think that could have really helped to flesh out the characters and the setting more. Despite the criticism, I do think that this is a very original story and would be perfect for younger YA readers.
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I love a good retelling and this one was no exception! Berla’s writing is cute and keeps the attention well. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 

Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for this free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a fun read and I loved the gender reversal on the Beauty and the Beast. I loved Beau as a character and his family, but I felt there were just a little character development in the book and mostly in the end.
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Title:   Beau and Bett
Author:   Kathryn Berla
Genre:   4.2 out of 5
Rating:   YA

When Beau’s mom hits Bett Diaz’s fancy SUV, it’s just more bad luck for the LeFrancois family. After all, his dad is laid up with an injury and his sister is getting married soon, so money is tight, and without car insurance, the family is teetering on the edge of disaster. So, Beau offers to spend his weekends working at the Diaz ranch to pay off the debt.

Beau doesn’t mind working, but he’s not sure about working near Bett, a.k.a. “The Beast,” as she’s known at school. Her temper is infamous, and he wants nothing to do with it. But as he slowly gets to know Bett, he realizes there’s more than snobbery and anger beneath her prickly exterior and soon they become friends. Then he catches Bett in a lie and isn’t sure if The Beast is the truth—or quirky, socially-awkward Bett.

I enjoyed Beau and Bett. Having Bett be the Beast is a nice twist, and her reasons for being so angry are revealed slowly as the trust between Beau and her builds. I also liked the behind-the-scenes look at a family like Beau’s, and I found the novel both entertaining and enlightening. 

Kathryn Berla believes in love at first sight and happily ever after. Beau and Bett is her newest novel.

(Galley provided by Amberjack Publishing in exchange for an honest review.)
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This book has been marketed as a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I had high hopes, but unfortunately, this book did not deliver. The similarities between Beauty and the Beast and this one seemed like a reach.

I found the characters quite shallow and the story a little too plotless for my liking. It is a contemporary romance, but the appeal was lost for me.

Some other people might enjoy this, just not me I guess...


🌻 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐✩
🌻 Hero:⭐✩✩✩✩
🌻 Heroine:⭐⭐✩✩✩
🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐✩✩
🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐✩✩✩
🌻 Character Development:⭐✩✩✩✩
🌻 Romance:⭐⭐✩✩✩
🌻 Pacing:⭐✩✩✩✩
🌻 Ending:⭐⭐✩✩✩
🌻 Unputdownability:⭐✩✩✩✩
🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐✩✩✩

☁FINAL VERDICT: 1.81/5 ☁
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I always get sucked into anything beauty and beast leaning.. some of these are great and other Les leave me wanting. This is a very loose b&tb retelling. It was ok but not great. A fun summer read. Thanks netgalley for my copy!
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I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I am a huge sucker for any Disney-type retellings. I thought this book was super adorable! I liked the fact that the guy was not the beast in this story. Beau was super relatable and sweet. He continuously was concerned about what people thought of his family situation, often embarrassed to share it with anyone, but not ashamed. I think that is very relatable when being foiled by characters like Bett and Khalil who never really had to worry about money. Overall, I loved the bond formed between Bett and Beau. Plus, the twists were not super predictable, which is a win.
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I'm gonna start off by saying that I really didn't enjoy this book. I was expecting a really fluffy and cute Beauty and the Beast retelling but there was just no substance to any of the elements to this story.

The fairytale is modernised so it's now set in California and we follow two teenagers, Beau, who comes from a Cajun family and Bett, who is the daughter of a wealthy ranch owner. The main plotline is that after Beau's mother damages Bett's car, Beau has to work off the debt on the ranch and whilst there he develops feelings for this girl that everyone has told him to stay away from. And that's it. That's all that happens.

There was just zero development in this novel. I felt like the story was happening so quickly but nothing was actually happening that had any purpose. There was literally a sentence explaining to us how he rinsed out a soapy bucket; "I emptied the soapy water out of the bucket and rinsed the sponge and bucket, then squeezed the water from the sponge and set it on top of the wall to dry". Do we really need a step by step of this?

Both characters were infuriating and just so boring. Beau has slightly more characterization but that's mostly because we're seeing everything from his point of view but he's just so obsessive and kind of creepy. He has a big crush on this girl at his school, who's name I can't even remember, but all that he likes about her is her hair and her 'sexiness' and he keeps on asking about whether they'll fall in love and break up within a week like she did with her last boyfriend. Beau just really needs to get a grip.

Bett is just the absolute worst. She's spoiled and entitled and so incredibly rude to everyone. When she first meets Beau she tries to trick him into doing the dishes for her when she promised her grandmother that she'd do them herself. I get that she's supposed to be the beast character but my god she didn't possess any manners whatsoever. She explains her behaviour away by saying that she's an introvert and she doesn't trust people easily but I'm an introvert and I definitely don't treat people like crap until I get to know them better like she does. There is a further reason why she is the way she is but I also felt that wasn't developed well, it was only revealed within the last few pages so we weren't really able to get any further understanding about the situation.    

As for the writing style, I didn't like how short the chapters were. They felt very jarring and very stop and start, they also ended in really odd places so the pacing of the entire book wasn't great. I also felt that the dialogue was a little too cheesy and a lot of the times just did not make sense within the context.    

If I had to say I liked anything about this book it's probably the fact that it's a gender-swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast which is what intrigued me about the book in the first place. I liked the idea of the boy being the sweet and innocent character whilst the girl is more standoffish and icy. Unfortunately this book just didn't deliver for me and was just an overall massive disappointment.
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I could not finish this book as I found it very dry for someone my age (24). I feel it is definitely for someone younger. It was not as exciting and capturing as I thought it was going to be.
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While working off his family's debt, Beau was forced into proximity with Bett, aka The Beast, aka the spoiled rich girl. As they spent more and more time together, Beau began to see the real Bett underneath her beastly armor.  

• Pro: Beau came from a wonderful family, whose motto was, "We don't got any luck but we gotta lot of love." And, the love among and between the members of this family radiated off the page and warmed my heart. 

• Pro: Bett was a product of her environment. Between the grownups, who were supposed to protect and love her, letting her down, and the way her peers ostracized her for doing the right thing, it was understandable that she created this offsetting personality to repel others. But, it was amazing to see how far a little kindness went in tearing down those walls. 

• Pro: The ranch setting was something different, and I really enjoyed it. I learned a little about grapes, avocados, and even snakes. It was also lovely to hear Bett talk about the ranch, because her love for it transformed it into a most magical place. 

• Pro: When I first met Beau, he was crushing hard on his locker mate, but the more time he spent with Bett, the more he realized how superficial his infatuation with that other girl was. It was quite interesting being in his head as he came to these realizations, and it just made me like him more than I already did. 

• Pro: I always get pretty excited to have a book told from the male protagonist's point of view, and Beau was the perfect character for the job. His voice pulled me in, right away, and it came across as wholly authentic to me. 

• Pro: This was another enemies-to-friends-to-more stories, and I thought Berla allowed this relationship to develop and unfold so well. It was slow going, but along the way, we got to see Beau discover so many things about Bett and himself, and we got to see Bett transform, bit by bit. 

Overall: A sweet, charming, and subtle Beauty and the Beast retelling, filled with family, warmth, and lots of love.
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Beau and Bett was slow and sweet. All in all I'd enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast retelling with a twist.
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I love reading Beauty and the Beast adaptations, but I feel as though I have read so many so I was a bit worried going into this one that it would be some of the same things I’ve read so many times before. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book and I really loved the concept of it and how everything was played out. I loved that it was a modern day retelling and that there wasn’t any magic used. 
This story spoke about things that are happening on a daily basis and the actions and consequences that can be felt by both sides of the situation. I loved the conversations that this story brought to the table and I cannot wait to recommend this book to other Beauty and the Beast lovers.
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A modern YA contemporary twist to Beauty and the Beast, where the Beast (Bett) is a rich spoiled girl, Beauty (Beau) is the older son from a struggling family of 6, the rose is an avocado and the 'sentence' is working off the damage from a car accident.

Seen through the eyes of Beau, a POV where you are immediately comfortable, this is truly an original take on the classic story. It's not what you are expecting, but in a good way. But it is fun. Also cheerful, amusing, with instantly likeable characters (probably not 'The Beast' but she is intriguing).

Society puts us into a variety of 'boxes' due to income and we are presented with different ways in which it might be dealt with. Looks and perceptions can be deceiving. And loneliness can be found in the oddest of places.

You will really like the protagonists verbal confrontations. The growing of mutual respect and understanding. Ending with a promise, I wished the story would have lasted longer.
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I'd say this is 3.5 star read! I actually really enjoyed it! Started out light hearted and was a truly wholesome read! It had a good theme throughout and I enjoyed not reading a bunch of cuss words or about drug use/sex. 
It was humorous and I really enjoyed the inner monologue of Beau. He was funny and willing to help his family without groaning or complaining. I really appreciated that! It was so refreshing to read!
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I enjoyed it for what it was. It didn’t blow me away like I was expecting it too, and some of the characters were pretty flat. Overall it was just okay for me.
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I just enjoy the tales of retellings of classics. And while I see reviews of Beau and Bett not seeing the link of it, I think I just read so much of it be it either in book form or fanfic that I can see the connection always. 

And this one was such a nice retelling, with the Beast being the Bett, the girl, rich and snobby. And Beau being the hardworking son. While no, we don't have the wicked magic turning Bett into a monster with the rose and all. We have a beautiful tale of friendship and slow building romance that it's so well written you just devour the words Berla wrote down. Not ever wanting to end the book.
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