Beau and Bett

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

· “If you were lucky in love, you sure as hell were lucky in life.” ·

I guess it’s only fair to begin my review by admitting the obvious—I’m a big sucker for Beauty & The Beast retellings! But this one? This one took the retelling to a whole new level, for there’s a very clever swap in characters’ roles and that’s what sold me the story in the first place!

Btw, can we take a moment to stare at the cover? Isn’t it just beautiful ♥?

Now, let me point out a few of the things I loved about this book. The first one is no doubt the POV—we have a first person male protagonist that manages to drag us into the story in a very convincing way. In my opinion, Beau makes for a great narrator, showing us his world and Bett’s too through his eyes and keeping it real all along (even when he’s describing Bett’s many outfits, he sounds like a guy, which is obvious but does mean the author did a great job at knowing her characters). That being said, the story flows beautifully and it kept me wanting to know more. 

Another thing I loved was to be dissapointed. Yes, that’s right. I was slightly dissapointed at the way Bettina turned to develope as a character because it was nothing like I expected her to be. However, that was a very good thing. Because I was pleasantly surprised. The more Beau described her, the less I felt I knew her and the more curious I became.

And even though Bett’s story is a sad tale, it was really nice to discover she wasn’t that clichè “beast” I was expecting, but something entirely different.

Lastly, Beau’s family is also an important element I’d like to point out. The LeFrancois’ may not have it all (in fact, they may not even come remotely close to having it all), but they have love and they have each other and that pretty much means the world, right? After all, knowing you have a family you can count on to celebrate a special ocassion or to rely on in a time of need is priceless.

So, in short, I’d say that “Beau & Bett” made for a great retelling with some excellent twists, a beautiful narrative voice (and cover!), and great morals.
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This was a fairly quick read, but it took a lot to get into it, and then stay in it. I kept switching between this book and the other two books I've been reading, but I ended up just sitting down and finishing it so I could get through the story.

Overall, it was a good story, but unless you told me it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I would have had a hard time picking up on that on my own. That being said, it was a good story on its own and didn't necessarily need to sit on the fairy tale retelling theme to be a good story.

[ Beau and Bett are destined to be together, and that's evident right from the first time they meet. The tension between them is palpable, but by the time Beau gets to know Bett, the tension melts away quite quickly. The ongoing struggle with their very different worlds continues to provide good plot points, but sometimes there was too much dialogue and explanation for what was happening that the story seemed to lag a bit.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this ARC! I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, so I prefer not to leave a negative review. Thanks!
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I received an ARC of the book from Amberjack Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Beau and Bett is a contemporary young adult novel by Kathryn Berla.

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SUMMARY:

After Beau LeFrancois’s mother wrecks Bett Diaz’s luxury SUV, his family faces an impossibly large bill—with no car insurance to help pay it. To pay off the debt, Beau spends his weekends working at the Diaz Ranch.

Beau’s prepared to work, but he’s definitely not prepared for the infamous temper of Bett Diaz, also known as “The Beast” at school. As Beau learns the secrets behind Bett’s tough exterior, he finds himself falling for her … until he catches Bett in a lie.

A contemporary twist on a classic fairy tale, Beau and Bett is a timely story of family, friendship, and the power of speaking out and standing up for yourself.

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Beau and Bett is a novel that you will finish in one sitting. It is described as a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and although I usually love retellings of fairy tales, this story ultimately fell flat for me. Bett, the female protagonist is supposed to be equivalent to the Beast. However, I had a hard time making the connection as to why Bett and Beast were considered to be alike. There is a given reason, but it does not really make sense to call her a beast. She does not share the same characteristics as him. It makes more sense to see Beau being compared to Belle but even that is considered quite a bit of a stretch. I wish the author hadn’t labeled this novel as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast because it really does not feel like that at all. But even if this novel hadn’t been considered a modern twist of a classic story,  it is hard to feel the connection between the two main characters.

There are parts of this book I like, and other parts that I don’t like. Kathryn Berla’s writing is sweet; I did enjoy how she manages to work in big themes such as conflict, isolation and friendship into the novel naturally. That being said, I think at certain parts of the novel her writing did not flow very well. The pacing was slow, and sometimes it felt too slow for my liking. The dialogue did not feel natural; most of the conversations in the book felt a little boring to me as I read them.  It is great to see that the gender roles for Belle and Beast are switched in this story, as that is the one thing that makes the book stand out. But my biggest problem with this novel is that both of the main characters were undeveloped, and although they were presented with their own personalities, these personalities were never fleshed out during the story. I wish the author spent more time trying to figure out  this story and I believe if she focused on better developing the story overall that this novel would have been much stronger. I suggest this book to anyone who wants to read a short and sweet novel. This book teaches you that it is important to remember to never judge a book by its cover.
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So the story of Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite. ALL TIME. I went into this expecting to like it just based on the fact that it is another rendition of it. What I wasn't expecting was to completely be blown away by it, and left in a book hangover afterwards. 

Ya'll. This writing. HOLY COW. Blew me away. And the story? Aaaaaaamazing. I have no other words other than that, as I can't seem to form words that properly describe how wonderful this story was.
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I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Let me recognize upfront that I knew that this was a YA gender flip take on Beauty and the Beast and while it was a cutesy version of the story, I felt it lacked real substance or character development. It was a blah/meh type of book.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Amberjack Publishing for an ARC of this book to review! 

I absolutely love fairy tale retellings... especially gender-swapped ones. Beau and Bett, a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, was told from the perspective of Beau-- a 17 year old boy whose father has recently lost his job due to an injury and whose mother gets into a minor car accident with a rich girl named Bettina (Bett for short). Beau goes to the house to offer to work of his mother's debt by working on the ranch every weekend for a month. Love story ensues. 

What I Loved:
- The idea is a great one. The premise is very interesting and I expected the story to be adorable and make me squeak. (It didn't quite live up to this but yeah.)
- Towards the ending, the responses via Instagram to a photo posted about Bett were related to a very important social issue (trying to avoid spoilers here is super awkward, guys), and I really appreciated that moment and thought it was incredibly important. 

What I Liked:
- The distinct differences between class in such a small area were very apparent and aside from it being an important element of the story, I felt like it was an important takeaway for the readers-- privilege and wealth often have certain dividing lines, whether that's between school districts or how people think about getting a new car, etc. 
- Bett's honesty and forthrightness. I appreciate unapologetically honest and sometimes ruthless girls. 

What I Didn't Like:
- Unfortunately, there's a lot. *wince* I wanted to like this book a lot, but so much of it read as utterly ridiculous. The entire book is from the perspective of a 17 year old boy. He literally doesn't seem to talk to anyone whatsoever at his school, aside from this girl he has a locker next to, and he has a sorta weak crush on her. For someone who has other popular siblings in the school, who enjoys the company of others, who seems attractive and not precisely introverted.... it didn't make a lot of sense. 
- To that end, the voice just didn't read like a 17 year old boy. AT NO POINT DOES HE THINK OF SEX. LIKE NONE. I'm not saying it has to be so vulgar or out there, but for a boy to not even fantasize about kissing a girl he has a crush on or getting distracted by the sight of her just seemed unrealistic and incredibly naive, even if he was the most respectful, chaste, and unsexual teenager in the history of teenagers. I feel like this book would have made a great deal of sense from the perspective of much younger teens, to be honest. Beau read as immature and super naive. 
- There was so much promise for this idea and it just fell so flat for me. The moments where Beau and Bett were together were probably my favourite parts of the book, and they were limited and the dialogue felt stiff and awkward. 
- There is a SEVERE issue with under-delivering in regards to Bett's characterization. Aside from the one mistake she makes with Beau (WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED GIVEN HIS REACTION TO WRAPPING UP HIS WORK ON THE RANCH), she was literally just a.... semi-opinionated girl. She's a bit blunt, but she's not bitchy or mean or awkward. Everyone calls her the Beast because of one specific incident but even when other characters talk about how mean she is or how they've never been so intimidated by anyone, it just doesn't ring true? I mean, these other characters must have led extremely charmed lives for a girl glaring at them every once in a while to be enough for them to think she's a raging jerk. Even the times she was "too honest" or whatever were not mean... it's just someone sharing a more literal interpretation of the world.
- To that end, Bett's chip on her shoulder involving how people think of her is rooted in something that her grandmother said when she was younger, which she overheard. I know small moments can shape us as people but again... it was so shallow and ridiculous that it just made me absolutely HATE the grandmother and then made me want to punch Bett for letting her whole worldview rest upon having overheard, at age ten, that her mother left because she was a "bad baby." Like. What. 

Basically, there were too many moments where I was completely unconvinced about character development and character motivation to believe half of this story, which was frustrating for me. There was SO MUCH POTENTIAL and I loved the idea for this book, but the execution left me irritated and eyerolling. To me, it literally didn't seem to speak to any teen voice that I have literally ever heard in my life. 

Would I recommend this book? Not particularly. But if you have a younger reader in the house and are looking for very clean romantic stories and fairytale retellings, then this could be a good option. The characters and the romance was so sanitized that it would make it a good middle grade read and could initiate conversations about a few different deeper social issues. 

2.5/5 stars
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It was a light, good read. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I would have liked to and not as much as I would have expected to. 
I love retellings of pretty much every single classic story of our time. In this case, we are talking about The Beauty and The Beast. I love the stort and I'm not against good retellings, especially the ones taking place in our contemporary world. When I read the synopsis of this book on NetGalley I thought it would have been really great to read it, because it was a retelling (duh...) and if I remember well I haven't never read retellings of The Beauty and The Beast so why not? I usually love them and they are often very original despite their origin and sometimes they are even as good as the original story. 
I think that this retelling was good, but it's not for my age and I realised it from the beginning. It's not for young and new adults because of the way it's written, very 'middle school' age, and the way Beau and Bett act sometimes is chilidish, immature: I usually am used of reading YA stories with characters who act much more mature than the way the characters in this book do. Also, for me, since I'm a 21 year old woman, almost finished with University, is not that suitable, and I can say that most of the audience that this book attracts is more or less my age, and it shouldn't be. 
Apart from the type of audience, which the author mistakes for being YA/new adult, the book was good. It was a little bit short, though. I think that this story would have benefited with a few more chapters, especially regarding their new relationship and their personal stories. For instance, we don't know anything at all about Bettina except the reason why she's called The Beast (which is a little bit ridiculous and way too immature) and also we don't know so much about Beau, we do know something more about him than Bettina, since the book is in his pov, however, we don't know that much to really have an opinion of him. I can't really give an opinion about the two main characters because we lack of information about them. I honestly saw them as plain, bland and really lacking of personality. The author doesn't even try to develop them and to make them multidimensional and it's a pity. Also, there's lack of an emotional side in this story. I didn't really fell anything for the two of them. It was really bland in that sense. 
It was good, but not really incredible. It could have been better and the storyline had potential, but the author wasn't able to use it very well. 


*Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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This... was incredibly underwhelming. Throughout the novel nothing developed. 

I’m a big fan of beauty and the beast, so when I heard about this modern retelling I was honestly so excited. In this scenario the girl (Bett) is known as “the beast” but she.. isn’t even beast like in any way? People began hating her because she was the victim in a sexual assault scenario however she was not cruel or anything like the beast we are used to seeing in B&TB retellings. I found both Beau and Bett to both boring characters with no development. As for the plot, nothing really happens. At the beginning Beau’s mother hits Betts car resulting in Beau making a deal with her father to work on their ranch. After that, nothing happens. There was room for a potential love triangle which would have made things more interesting, however the author did not go that route. Masie as a character was pointless and added nothing to the story. Beau and Bett had very little chemistry and I just could not picture them as a couple. I thought that this was going to be a hate to love scenario but it really wasn’t which I found disappointing.

Overall, I just didn’t connect with this book. It just felt very underdeveloped and didn’t meet my expectations.
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This book was such a sweet read. You can really see details from the original tale but it didn't feel like a retelling, which I loved about that. I wasn't overwhelmed with the old material, it really felt like a sweet contemporary romance with hints to "Beauty and the Beast". Beau felt like a refreshing male character and that's what I loved about him. Bett was also a very nice surprised, I loved how hardworking she was.
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Thank you Netgalley for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a gender reversal modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This is a short, easy read and I liked the idea of a role reversal. It was a cute story but not an amazing one. The concept was good but I think the writing just fell a little short. The character development was lacking, especially Bett. She was very one dimensional and flat. Unfortunately it's a forgettable read for me.
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Beau’s prepared to work, but he’s definitely not prepared for the infamous temper of Bett Diaz—also known as “The Beast” at school. As Beau learns the secrets behind Bett’s tough exterior, he finds himself falling for her. That is, until he catches Bett in a lie.

A contemporary twist on a classic fairy tale, Beau and Bett is a timely story of family, friendship, and the power of speaking out and standing up for yourself.

Thank you to Net Galley and the Publishers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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This left me underwhelmed.

There was some dialogue that left me bored, they spent a whole page talking about mundane stuff that doesn't really drive the plot forward. The plot seemed to speed ahead while dragging along simultaneously.

I liked that this was a modern retelling that didn't rely on the use of magical realism. Not that I don't like magical realism but that seems to be the only way to make a modern beauty and the beast retelling work.
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I haven't read many Beauty and the Beast retellings that take place in a very contemporary setting so this was something new and exciting. It took a while mentally to adjust to the characters but I gradually grew to root for them. The story is a quick read that explores the adventures of an unlikely romance between two different social classes and touches on topics such as the importance of family and owning oneself's identity.
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Beau and bett is a modern day beauty and the beast retelling and don’t get me wrong if it didn’t say that on the cover I definitely wouldn’t think it was don’t get me wrong I loved the gender swapping from the classic and the little here and there’s that we’re definitely similar with the original such as if u know the avocados instead of a rose swap and few more. 

Beau and bett is about the slow burner and will they won’t they romance that’s start of with beau mother crashed into Betts car so to repay them back beau decides to go to Betts house and starts working for the family to pay back the debt from the car crash. Throughout the book U see the slow burn friendship between both the main characters which is hard at first because bett is kind of a introvert and quite a lonely and sad person which u find out why later on in the book. So beau tries his hardest to talk with her but could be hard for him. This slowly turns into liking Bett and wanting and waiting for bett to say that she want him back. 

Overall for me It was a good book the main character beau at points could be quite annoying but overall It was good so I gave it a 3 stars.

Arc provided by netgalley
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Book was very difficult to get into. I found the principal characters to be lacking and found no emotional attachment to them or their stories.
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This is supposed to be a gender-twist, modern day retelling of Beauty & the Beast but Aside from their name: Beau (male version of Belle) and Bett (female version of Beast), I can't find other similarities. And how Beau got her moniker "The Beast" at their school was pretty ridiculous. The story and characters lacks depth. It's pretty short and should be easy to read but it's quite forgettable
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One of those reads with characters who stick with you. Beau is devoted to his family. He tries to balance that loyalty with the desire to fit in at school, make his crush into something more (maybe?), and protect his family when it comes to it. When an ugly car accident befalls his mother when his father is out of work, Beau rises to the occasion to provide that protection. The arrangement for the financial obligation turns completely unexpected in some unusual ways.
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Beau & Bett was a super cute, super quick read. I read it in a few hours. It’s supposed to be a modern day retelling of the Beauty and the Beast- with Bett being the beast and Beau being beauty. I didn’t really get the comparison when reading it but it was still a very cute read. 
The LeFrancois family is unlucky in life but lucky in love, or so Beau’s Papa says. His Maman hits Bett’s Range Rover when taking an avocado from the Diaz ranch. The LeFrancois family is down on their luck and can’t afford to pay the $1,000 deductible, so Beau agrees to work off the debt. He meets Bett- which everyone at school calls The Beast. 
“There was nothing I could do about the “men” who turned Bettina into a beast, but at least my forced labor was helping her world in a small way.” 
Bettina was assaulted by a star baseball player from her school and her so called friends and the rest of the school turn on her. This opens up a great discussion about the way the world reacts when a woman claims sexual harassment or assault. Beau gets to know Bett when she starts helping him work. “I’d spent time learning who she was and each hour we were together, we peeled off a few more of the layers everyone carries around for protection. And that was the exciting part, like a mystery novel you don’t want to put down and you never want to end.” 
I give the book 3.75 stars. It was probably for a younger audience than myself but I still enjoyed the read and would recommend it for a quick, light reading!
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Beau and Bett by Kathryn Berla

Read: 04/16-04/16

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

After Beau LeFrancois’s mother wrecks Bett Diaz’s luxury SUV, his family faces an impossibly large bill—and no car insurance to help pay it. To pay off the debt, Beau spends his weekends working at the Diaz Ranch.

Beau’s prepared to work, but he’s definitely not prepared for the infamous temper of Bett Diaz—also known as “The Beast” at school. As Beau learns the secrets behind Bett’s tough exterior, he finds himself falling for her. That is, until he catches Bett in a lie.

A contemporary twist on a classic fairy tale, Beau and Bett is a timely story of family, friendship, and the power of speaking out and standing up for yourself.

Thank you to Net Galley and the Publishers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

What I Liked:

I really liked the setting of this book. It was so easy to picture Beau and Bett working on her family’s ranch. This was also a unique twist on the Beauty and the Beast fairy-tale. I especially liked that the roles were gender swapped. It also had a great modern twist to the classic story. Beau was a great main character. He was a hard worker and would do anything for his family. Berla did a great job of developing his character.

What I Didn’t Like:

Unfortunately there were quite a few things that I was not a huge fan of in this book. The main part being the character development. Beau’s character was the only well developed character in the book. Bett’s character had so much potential considering she was the beast, but she was one dimensional. And if I had to be honestly her character was not a very good representation of young women. There was so much that could have been done with her character but, Berla didn’t even scratch the surface. Each time I was left wanting more from her character. The other side characters also could have used more development and seemed only to be there to fill the time when Beau was not at the ranch. Lastly, the pace of the book felt a little rushed. I would have liked more time between Beau and Bett first meeting and falling in love because they had chemistry but it was only just beginning by the end of the book.

Overall, this modern retelling of a classic fairy-tale had a unique twist and a lot of potential but didn’t quite hit the mark.

Rating: 5/10

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