Beau and Bett

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

This novel was read as due to the English Syllabus there is a fairytales section and I was hoping to find a novel that was not the retelling of Cinderella.  This was loosely based on Beauty and the Beast but was more of a young teen's romance novel.  I could see this made into a teen movie.
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I found this book had far to many layers for a true story to really form. I didn't see how it could relate to Beauty and the Beast and it really didn't make much sense in some areas. The Khalil storyline wasn't needed nor was the Maisie storyline. I think this story would've been much better if it was streamlined and not having all these other stories running throughout it.
The story while enjoyable just wasn't for me and I struggled to get into it.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read my first ARC read! This was very worth it and I do not regret reading it at all! I’m glad that this book is being published soon and you all should try to read it.

I requested for the ARC of Beau and Bett on NetGalley after I saw the “a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast” on the cover. I was expecting something like Beauty and the Beast; however, the book didn’t live up to its name. I was very surprised when I started reading about half the book since that was where the romance part started. Although the book wasn’t quite a modern retelling of B&B, it was a great read. 

I usually don’t read YA romance except for John Green’s books. Beau and Bett definitely went to the top of my list! The relationship between Beau and Bettina was very sweet.

At the start of this book, I wasn’t immediately hooked. However, there was something going on that started quite late in the book. The pacing is great and all the descriptions and settings were vividly written.

Read the review on my blog: https://knottypapers.home.blog/2019/05/21/beau-and-bett-arc-review/
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This was an easy light read but it wasn’t my favourite retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast. The wording was odd, there wasn’t enough humour and the storyline was pretty random. Beaux didn’t seem like a strong enough character. Overall it’s a nice book with a happy ending.
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"'I didn't need to hide, because a person could be a safe place too. I was in a safe place when I was with you.'"

I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Amberjack Publishing. Trigger warnings: sexual harassment/assault, bullying, victim blaming, snakes, illness, injury, hospitals.

When Beau LeFrancois's mother is in a minor car accident with Bettina Diaz, nicknamed 'The Beast' at her school, Beau agrees to work weekends at the Diaz Ranch to repay the debt. His family can't afford any legal entanglements since his father's accident put him out of work, and they're still struggling to make ends meet. Beau is determined to keep his head down and do his time in spite of Bett's infamous temper, but the more they get to know each other, the more he realizes that people aren't always what they're made out to be.

This is marketed as a contemporary Beauty & The Beast retelling, and you can see the resemblance if you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little. It hardly needs the comparison though, and for the most part, it's a quick, fluffy contemporary romance. The writing is unremarkable and the beginning a little slow to take off, but the characters, particularly Bett, have a surprising amount of depth once we're able to see past the surface. It's also an articulate comment on the consequences of victim-blaming and the #metoo movement, which was probably my favorite aspect of the book.

Beau is a little lackluster as a narrator. He's nicer and more responsible than the average teenage boy, in part because he's had to be, but he would have been more believable with a flaw or two. However, I like seeing a male character who knows how to politely back off when a girl doesn’t show interest in him, without being offended or holding it against her. He doesn’t have any sense of entitlement to the girls he likes, which is (sadly) a refreshing change. I also like the attention Berla pays to families in poverty, particularly those who have suffered accidents or illness, and Beau's family dynamics are really sweet.

Bett is really the star of the novel, and it's always nice to see a POC heroine. She's a spoiled brat, but she isn't as vicious as she's made out to be; she's just very literal and says what she thinks, which are not ways to make friends in high school. She's also terribly lonely, and it's probably this aspect that defines most of her character and her actions. Their banter and their romance are fun and mostly light-hearted, and in spite of the issues it touches on, it's a pleasure to read. Recommended for fans of contemporary YA romance, particularly those who like something a little off the beaten path.

I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
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I love avocados are at the heart of this story!  It was very sweet, creative Beauty and the Beast gender swap story.  I thought the characters were fine, but not to exciting.  The romance was minimal, but it was a quick, enjoyable read.  There was one twist I didn't see coming which was nice, but overall it was fairly predictable.
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Beau and Bett is an easy, breezy read. It's a story of connection between two teens from different worlds who discover that maybe they aren't so different after all. I enjoyed the story, for the most part. The only real complaint I would have is there isn't anything new to the story. This is a tale as old as time - there's my one Beauty and the Beast reference for ya! I felt like the conflict towards the end sort of came out of left field and was really unnecessary. It felt like a way to prolong the story for another chapter.
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***DNF***

The premise of this book sounded very intriguing—a modern day Beauty & the Beast role-reversal. What’s not to like?

However, almost immediately the characters cuss frequently, and frankly, it was very unnecessary, and really ruined reading what might have been a unique, fun read. 

Unfortunately, the amount of profanity was too much for me, and I will be marking this one a DNF.
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Beau & Bett by Kathryn Berla
Rating: 5/5
Queer: N/A
ARC: Yes, I received an ARC for an honest review.
Summary: A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. When Beau’s mother gets into a car accident with Bettina, Beau offers to work for her family to repay the debt. Beau spends his weekends at Bett’s ranch, and to his surprise, Bett starts hanging around him.

Review: 

Holy shit! I was nervous going into this book because I absolutely adore Beauty and the Beast. I also had concerns about this book making it seem like a handsome guy saving the ugly girl, because that’s not a lesson I wanted to read about. But not only does this book completely ignore that kind of narrative, it’s so, so, so important and good.

Beau’s mind was so much fun to be in; it felt very comfortable, relatable, and honest. I loved his family, and his friendships outside of his budding relationship with Bettina. His interactions with Khalil were so ridiculously important. I’m very grateful for their friendship. Their discussions surrounding consent and kindness were great and felt very organic. I appreciated that Beau never put his crush on Masie, never made it something she had to deal with, and how he accepted that they were friends. Beau was such an awesome character, and I appreciate him so much.

Bettina... oh my, Bett. What an incredible, fun character. I’ll admit the first part of the book was a little slow, but then when Bett shows up, it sparks to life. She’s such an interesting character, and one that I wish I could just hug. She’s brave, smart, funny, interesting, and likeable. I appreciated her wackiness and all of her outfit changes. Her mistake was rough to read when I neared the end, but I’m so glad she made it. It allowed for this beautiful book.

I’m definitely going to be rereading this book at some point. It drew me in, and the world felt so real. The characters were all very much unique in their own way, and not copies of one another. It was a fun read, and one I’ll definitely be recommending to people.

Content Warning (MILD SPOILERS):

* Bullying (mentioned, a few instances described)
* Past sexual assault (not described heavily in detail, dealt with care, older boy attempts to force a younger girl)
* Cat-calling (but this behaviour is immediately called out for being bad, and handled really well)
* Hospital scene (not described heavily)
* Snakes (not described heavily)
* Flu and mentions of v*mit and diarrhea (not described heavily)
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A sweet and quick read, great for fans of Alex Finn. It had everything you'd expect from a fairy tale retelling, but with clever gender swap of the usual beast and beauty scenario and a beast that is more misunderstood than wicked. I liked the relationship building between Beau and Bett, and the loving interplay Bett has with his family. If anything, I wish there had been more time spent on the secondary characters like Khalil and Brett's parents because they all just seemed like such enjoyable characters.
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I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This by no means affected my opinion of it.

💋

BEAU AND BETT is a quick, fast-paced, and light retelling of Beauty and the Beast - in a contemporary setting, which, as far as I know, is an original concept, not to mention the gender reversal. In addition, Berla naturally includes themes of family, belonging, identity, and friendship. (FYI, this book is YA, but on the lower-to-middle aged YA spectrum - despite the age of the main characters.)

The story flowed nicely for the most part, but there were some pages that just didn't contribute that much to the plot and came across as boring filler. The romance developed beautifully, as I was expecting, though it seemed a bit lacking in chemistry at first. However, I certainly was expecting a bit more in regards to character development. No character should ever walk out of a book the same as they were in the beginning, and yet, Beau remains the same bland cardboard box caricature throughout. Recommended with caution.
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Beau and Bett was a cute story. I enjoyed reading this book. I do wish that the plot didn't start towards the end. It made the ending feel rushed and it made me a bit stressed. The ending was better than I expected though. Overall it's a fairly good read.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️
3 STARS
Release Date: June 25, 2019

First off, I am usually fond of fairytale retellings and I was excited to see a retelling of my favorite—Beauty and the Beast. While you can see from my rating that this wasn’t my favorite, I did overall think it was a cute read, but there were certain things about the story that fell flat for me.

What I liked:
-The idea-obviously. I liked the role-reversal and the modern take on a classic.
-I felt like the pace was nice and quick, which made for a short and simple read.
-I loved the character of Bett (she was actually the only character I really liked 🙈). She was honest, even brutally-honest at times and I admired her for that.
-The overall message of this book was my favorite part of the book. The author really conveys the importance of not judging others, whether by reputation, class or otherwise. This is also a cute story of friendship and first love.

What I didn’t like:
-I felt most of the characters lacked substance. They came off shallow and were hard to take seriously.
-There was definitely a lack of character development. I felt that Beau (we read from his POV) did not read as a teenage boy. He came off unrealistic to me, and that was what ultimately led to the 3/5⭐️ review. He was TOO respectful (not that that is a bad thing), he didn’t even think about WANTING to kiss the girl he was crushing on? In my opinion, his character was just blah—he fell flat for me.

Overall I felt this read was definitely more for teens and by that I mean 12-17 range. It was a cutesy, clean & easy read for teens with a great message about friendship, first love, and not judging others. 

Thank you to @netgalley and @amberjackpublishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!

*I voluntarily received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
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I enjoyed following the story and seeing what happened to the characters. Well written and a great read.
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I really enjoy fairy tales and this modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast was fun.

The roles are switched in the teenage romance, with the poor beauty being Beau, and Bett as the haughty beast. 

The dialogue was crisp and fun, and the book, while faithful to the fairy tale, offered enough fresh ideas that it made the book enjoyable. I would recommend this book for YA readers who enjoy fairy tales and romances. 

I look forward to the next book by this author. 

Thanks to NetGalley.com, the author and publisher for my ARC.
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This beautifully written story showing how love blossoms in unexpected places was perfect. I personally loved it..
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*I was given access to an ARC via Netgalley and so I will be as brutally honest as possible*

Where do I start?
First of all, for the most part this book was short and simple and sweet and had a cute story between the main characters Beau and Bett. I liked the gender reversal when it came to retelling Beauty and the Beast. The pace was also nice and fast which is always nice. I also hope she keeps the cover art because it is beautiful.

Now for the problems: 
The moral of the story was a little forced on you at the end of the book. You probably don’t even need those last 2 sentences because the “lucky in love” part was a lot cuter seeing as how it is actually tied in to the rest of the story. And there were some parts that just didn’t matter too much in my opinion. 
The whole assigning-animal-spirits-to-people thing was interesting but it might have been better if characters were actually described. Instead, whenever I tried to picture someone, all I could think of was what animal Beau had assigned them and ended up with a zoomorphic character, much like Zootopia or Robin Hood. I didn’t even know what Beau looked like, or his parents, and I felt like that would have been nice to know. 
I don’t know if this is Kathryn Berla’s first time writing in a teenage boy’s POV, but it could use some work. I think she should give more credit to boys. I kid you not, one of the sentences reads something like “I feel bad for him because he was overwhelmed by her sexiness. Who wouldn’t be?”, and I just feel like this wasn’t the best portrayal of boys for girls and boys to read alike. Her writing was okay when it didn’t get too intimate with the audience - as in I don’t really like reading ‘hella’ outside of dialogue. All I really learned about Beau is that he is HELLA shallow. (See what I mean? Kind of uncomfortable to read)

I would recommend this book to maybe younger audiences, maybe the 12-15 age range as it isn’t as heavy or deep and is just a simple contemporary read. Bett was my favourite character while everyone else was kind of shallow and hard to take seriously. I hope that Kathryn Berla has a long writing career ahead of her because this book shows great potential and her work can only get better. Just more fine-tuning and character development and this book would have easily received a 4 star from me.
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This was, sadly, a DNF for me.  I rarely don't finish a book.  But a little more than halfway through, nothing had really happened.  Though this is billed as "Beauty and the Beast" retelling, gender-swapped, it fell short of the mark.  We learn that Bett, the mean rich girl, is called the Beast at school, but at the midway point of the book, there's still no real clear reason why.  The POV character is Beau (male Belle), a teenage boy who seems to live nowhere but in his head.  He has minimal interactions with his peers, doesn't have any friends, and volunteers to help his mother fix her problem (a car accident with Bett) by approaching Bett's father and offering to work off her debt.  There is nothing truly likable about either of the characters, and by the midway point of the book, I wasn't willing to invest any more time in a book that was not holding my interest.
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Hoping to right a very expensive wrong, hard working Beau LeFrancois agrees to work off payment on the Diaz Ranch after his mother causes damages to Bettina (Bett for short) Diaz's SUV. Beau can handle just about anything, but Bett is something new altogether. Prone to disappearing in the middle of conversations and not having the best first impression, Beau can't always figure Bett out and wonders why her classmates have nicknamed her "The Beast". As Beau's debt winds down, so do the days left with Bett as he slowly pulls layer by layer back to reveal the raw truth behind her unfiltered, yet guarded social awkwardness that is anything but "beast" like. 

Beau and Bett is a short, sweet, contemporary spin on "Beauty and the Beast" with an all too real message in today's world of speaking up and out for yourself. While Bett was hard to like at times if I'm being completely honest, the reasons later revealed behind that behavior made complete sense. She was broken and alone before Beau came along and he was the only one who not only wanted to understand her, but MADE the time to understand her. Sound familiar yet? ;) Allllll the heart eyes! 

Of course with stories like these you are not without conflict and there are certainly little pops here and there throughout, but it is with little to no angst (even the lie mentioned in the book blurb) which definitely works in this case. And I'm a girl who loves her some good angst, so that's saying something! 

If you are a fan of "Beauty and the Beast" retellings or just enjoy a good, sweet, clean contemporary with an important message, this is the book for you!
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Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel.   I enjoyed this retelling of beauty and the beast.  It was a bit slow to start but got better as the plot progressed.   The author did some clever twists from the original story.   Not the best retelling I've read but overall, enjoyable.
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