by Elizabeth Lowham
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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 23 May 2023
Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain
Yes, I went to the woods to save my father. But I also went hoping I would be eaten by the Beast. Because I didn’t think anything else could save me.
Beauty’s life is the stuff of fairy tales. The youngest in her family, Beauty isn’t trying to catch Stephan’s eye. He is the lord baron’s heir, well above her family’s modest station, but when he kisses her hand at a party, Beauty is swept away by his charm, his wit, and his passionate declarations of love.
Hearts can be untamable creatures, especially when touched by the fires of first love, and Beauty doesn’t see the truth of Stephan’s intentions until it is too late. Until he stops asking for Beauty’s love—and simply takes it from her one night despite her refusal.
Beauty locks away the secret of what happened to her, and when her father emerges from the enchanted forest with a stolen rose in his hand and the tale of a vicious beast on his breath, Beauty seizes the chance to run as far from Stephan as possible.
She has some experience with beasts, after all. Certainly the one in the forest couldn’t be any worse than the one she’s already encountered.
Breaking the Beast’s curse might be the key to discovering her own path to healing—and finding the courage to allow herself to feel reborn.
Content warning: References sexual abuse
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 60 members
Wow I am really surprised how much I liked this. When I first started I was impressed by the writing then I noticed how much it was like one of my favorite books Beauty by Robin McKinley. I wonder if she got her idea from that book. I have read that book so many times I knew where this one was different and the differences were awesome. There is room for improvement in the movement of the book. I would get a little lost at times. There was a lot of back and forth. I wonder if it the released version this will be broken up better. It was so fast paced I swallowed this book up so quickly. Beauty by Robin is a much slower book. But at the same time I wanted it to slow down and wanted more! This is an author I will be following. Just loved the writing.
Here is a sample of a couple of my favorite lines.
''We were shoulder-deep in truth, and I felt the thorns"
"I think......." I swallowed. "I think God makes light out of darkness. But the darkness still exists.'
This is not a book filled with religion but there is a part near the end with talk of God. I included a bit of it above. This is a sweet romance with a couple of kisses.
There is a rape and the aftermath that drives this book. It is handled beautifully. I would let my 16 year old read this.
A retelling of Beauty and the Beast with significant twists
This book although a retelling of Beauty and the Beast maybe darker than what you expect. This retelling has Beauty fleeing to the castle not only to save her father but escape her suitor who has abused her and forced himself on her while she was unable to defend herself. The book is well done but that dark thread weaves its way throughout the story as Beauty struggles to move on with unknowing help from the Beast. It also introduces the idea of finding happiness and joy when you strive for contentment in your circumstances. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy. This is my review and all thoughts are my own.
I love Beauty and the Beast and reading various renditions of this classic story. Combining a classic fairytale with Fantasy makes for an intriguing story. There is a lot more backstory and history of Beauty's story that creates a creative and unique spin on this classic. It is also emotional and perhaps darker than other re-tellings. Instead of focusing on what the the Beast did to turn into a Beast and the ugliness of his character, if focuses on Beauty what true beauty is. There is trauma in her life that completely flips how she views the world, others and herself. It can be triggering for some as it is very sensitive in nature. She rises from the ashes of this traumatic event to learn to love and trust others and more importantly, herself. Andre was wonderful and so caring and patient. I loved the "not necessarily happily ever after, but still a happily ever after" epilogue. I loved this book and would recommend it for lovers of this classic tale.
This was absolutely stunning! The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were well-developed; complex, and intriguing. I highly recommend this beautiful telling of the power of love. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
Beauty Reborn is a pleasant retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I really enjoyed the main characters, Beauty and Beast. Their intersections were genuine and honest. I loved Beauty's whimsy and their playful banter with one another. If I could change one thing, I would add more to the details of the story--giving the reader a more complete tale. Overall an enjoyable read.
This is a new author to me and am definitely going to have to look up more of her work. This was such a fun re-telling of beauty in the beast.
3 1/2 elevated to 4.
This was a surprising, intriguing read.
The cover and the premise pulled me in and the writing kept me going. It's a different twist on B&B but one that works. It's not a light version; there is trauma and darkness that drives the characters, and the development of the relationship between the main characters is the strongest point.
I receive a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Although not very long, Beauty Reborn is a fantastic new addition to the YA genre. Readers who enjoyed Robin McKinley’s Beauty and those for whom Laurie Haulse Anderson’s Speak was written will find Beauty Reborn an important book to access on the shelves, as both a creative retelling of a well known fairy tale that still feels unique and as a character who reacts realistically to the trauma she is recovering from.
Beauty begins with the family recently impoverished and required to move to a small cabin near the woods and quickly differentiates the characters, making them decently well rounded for the short time we meet them before Beauty is alone in the Beast’s castle. The author deals with a hard subject well, weaving the history of what occurred into the current timeline and allowing Beauty to be both a human with mistakes as well as a person who was attacked and needs to find a way to recover. This balance is important; too often characters need to recover from traumatic events and are portrayed either as inhuman in their ability to “get over it” or as a victimized character that never made mistakes at all. Yet Beauty straddles the fence expertly, and should be offered hand in hand with Speak.
"He reached for me, pulled me close. I raised on my toes to kiss him. He was as gentle in his kiss as he was in everything else. This was no consuming fire. It was comfort. Safety. And a little thrill all the way down to my soul."
This was a sweet, slow-burn Beauty and the Beast retelling. It was easy to read, and had enjoyable characters. While there are similarities to the original tale, this story still stands on its own. The magic and storytelling was throughly enjoyable. For those looking for a retelling without the spice, this story is very tasteful and clean.
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the free ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
I found this retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story a bit basic. While there were some variations between this retelling and the fairy tale, I would have loved to see the story stretched a bit further.
Beauty's character arc was very well written. I loved getting to see how she gradually was able to recover and rise from the pain of her past.
Beast was a nice, considerate love interest, but I never really fell in love with him. I feel like seeing him encounter the villain would have made him a much more loveable character.
Content warning: This book refers to rape (nothing is shown). Age range: 14+
Overall, I enjoyed this story about the individual worth of each person, no matter their internal or external scars.
I received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Enjoyable but not for me at this moment. The characters and world building where good but something about the story just didn't click with me.
To say I was "pleasantly surprised" by this book would be an understatement. From the first sentence I was drawn in to a unique and wonderful retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
In an un-assuming story there are simple truths every woman needs to understand - Beauty can come from ashes, bad in the world does not mean everything is bad. There are, in strange places and people, amazing things found and discovered. Haven't we all hidden, run away, built for ourselves walls that no one was meant to breach? And, when the shadows press, have we not also faced them; pushed through the thorns, accepted the scratches and scars and faced down our fears? And what if in doing so something beautiful blooms, a rose so rare that it is a sacred thing? What if running to our certain demise turns into our destined salvation? This is the story of Beauty as never seen before. A story of undoing, and of becoming. A story of fire that burned a world to ash, first loves that destroyed and gentle grace that made the ash beautiful and second loves better than the first. Do not pass on this re-telling.
Beauty is the youngest of the Acton children, given to whimsy and musing. The Beast is an enchanted prince in a castle surrounded by an enchanted forest. And Stephan - well Stephan is painted in a much different light than ever before.
This book is worth the read, it's worth pre-ordering on Amazon. This book deserves a space on everyone's shelf.
Some of my favourite quotes from the book follow
"...But I knew it would fall again. Because what was lost would not regrow, and it would continue to struggle, so there was nothing to do but fall."
....it would have thrilled to the old Beauty. But this one was in hiding, and down the path ahead of me, I saw only exposing light. The beast had secrets, but so did I. Best to leave secrets in the dark.
"I'd foolishly opened the door, and the wind had blown in grains of truth I couldn't sweep back out"
"It was too much to ask a man to resist the beauty before him..../He [Stephan] would have said the rose had deliberately plated itself in my father's path to temp him. "Men fall for the sake of a rose," I said...."
"....I would have to pick through the pieces carefully, see the intentional harm when I didn't understand it, try to find where the cracks had begun, wonder if I should have noticed them sooner. I would pick through the tray of glass fragments until every piece was slick with blood and I could no longer see the edges and I was no closer to understanding and all I felt was pain"
"I lived in a different castle one," I swallowed. "And I gave a man a room. But when I wouldn't give him anything else, he took the castle by force. And then I had nothing left to give."
" ' there is a piece of me,' I said, 'taken by force. That is yours. Content yourself with it. My hope is that it will become a fire, and on your lowest night, it will turn on you and scorch your conscience'"
A Beauty and the Beast retelling, complete with magic, a fairy, intuitively responsive furniture, and many enchanted things. I could have frankly done without the magic. The thing is, I think there's a really powerful story here about sexual assault and I would have preferred to read it in a book based more in the realm of reality. That said, I do like Beauty, most of her family, not Astra obviously, but her father and brother were both great and supportive. Andre could have had more of an arc, but I did like that their HEA was not typical, that was more realistic for sure. Overall, a worthy read, I'm probably not the target audience but that doesn't diminish a book's worth. I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.
this worked so well as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it had what I enjoy about the retelling genre and the fairy tale genre. It had a great concept for a story and worked really well with the original tale. I enjoyed the way Elizabeth Lowham wrote this world and the characters within. I hope Elizabeth Lowham writes more fairy tale retelling as this was really well done.
"The dark trees loomed like giants, reaching crooked branch fingers toward the tips of the golden fence posts. Somewhere in that forest was a fairy with eyes of larkspur blue. Had she given the beast his castle? Had she been the one to enchant him to speak?"
Here is the review I posted on NetGalley.
Thanks again for allowing me to read this book.
** I’m not a native speaker 😊 **
Thanks to #Netgalley for offering me the chance to read a free copy of this book.
Beauty Reborn is a beautiful retelling of "Beauty & the Beast". While it follows parts of the original story and gives a nod to Disney's version, it also offers tons of original elements.
In BR, Belle is much more than a beautiful & clever girl. She has the kind of backstory that will make you curious about how her story ends... even if you know about her tale.
The first part of the book felt a bit rushed or at least very quickly paced. But the story slowed down after a while, offering enough flashbacks to provide all the needed decorum to fully enjoy reading Belle's journey.
Looking forward to seeing whether E. Lowham will offer us another retelling :)
Thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for approving my request!
Overall I thought the book was good, the written was phenomenal, Beauty's character was really good. Beast I can't say a lot because he didn't talk that much lol.
This retelling is very close to the Beauty and the Beast, no much different.
I just wished there was more romance, and that the beast would had talked more.
I thought that the first 70% of the story was OK, after that it picked up and the real drama started lol.
⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️
Reference to S.A.
Well, like I said the book was good and I would recommend it.
Hopefully there is a sequel about Astra. I would love to read it and find out what happens with her character!
I have always loved Beauty and the Beast and most retellings. This is a worthy addition!
A short read but once you get into it, it draws you in and then this passage knocked me over:
“I lived in a different castle once.” I swallowed. “And I gave a man a room. But when I wouldn’t give him anything else, he took the castle by force. And then I had nothing left to give.”
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Pleasantly surprised by this book. There are many beauty and the beast retellings but I found this one whimsical, fast paced, and and an overall enjoyable read. I liked the characters but didn’t feel like they had enough development (my only complaint). But overall, I really enjoyed this and the writing style.
I love a good Beauty and the Beast story. This one was unique and touched on a subject that is often not talked about and hard to read about, but it was done in such a way that was healing and hopefully helpful for anyone who has had that trauma happen in their life.
I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! It captured my interest from the very beginning and I quickly and instantly fell in love. I wish I could read it again for the first time.
A lovely retelling of beauty and the beast embedded with the very difficult theme that many can relate to. It reminded me of McKinley's retelling of Beauty as well as Deerskin and the trauma that comes from assault. While I found a few gaps in the narration and character development they were minor; I enjoyed the book and would read more by this author.
I absolutely loved this book. A beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty is a strong, brave, and clever heroine who leaves her family to find out about her self and save a cursed prince.
2/5 stars! I love a good fairytale retelling. My concern will this story is that it was barely a re-telling. It was almost just the normative Beauty and the Beast by a new author, rather than a unique re-telling utilizing only some of the original constructs. An enjoyable read but it doesn't feel fair to rate something so unoriginal higher.
I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
First of all, thanks to NetGalley for the eARC.
I do quite like fairytale retellings in general, so I was really looking forward to this one! I did find it quite slow…this story is definitely more about conversations and character interactions rather than action and major plot points for me. The world building was done really well, I would have liked a bit more background building. Also, check TWs! Overall, a solid, mostly enjoyable book without being particularly brilliant.
2.75 stars out of 5.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The first 60 pages of this book I didn’t really like it that much, it dragged on for me and didn’t have that much depth. The second part picked up its pace and was way better.
I did not love this book as much as I thought I would though, the characters didn’t have that much depth to me and the story itself like I mentioned before took a really long time for me to get into.
Overall it was good, but maybe with more pages it couldve given the characters more personality traits other than Whimsy and a Beast. I know almost nothing about Beast, except for what he was and that was at the end of the book.
I did find the way of healing very comforting in this book, please check the trigger warnings if you’re going to read this book by the way!
I was able to read this as an ARC provided by Shadow Mountain Publishing and Net Galley
I love fairy tale retellings. I love Beauty and the Beast. So, it was enjoyable to get another take on the tale with the author's unique perspective and approach to the tale.
The author remains true to the classic tale we all know, with the magic of fairies and curses that make a man a beast and a castle alive with helping hands.
Something I do appreciate about this book is how the author ties in real issues like sexual assault and emotional abuse in family dynamics. So, it was good to see that approach and have that representation and I liked seeing that growth and how it was addressed especially in building trust with someone new.
There were some developmental things that I had issues with, plot wise especially, and I feel like we could have gone more in depth with character and explored this world a little more. It felt basic, surface level. I wish we could have explored the magic of the world a little more and that the side characters felt more fleshed out and less cartoonish, especially in regards to the sister. But I think this is still a good book and I would recommend it to others!
I was pleasantly surprised with this story. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but once I understood more (by continuing to read) I became invested in the story.
While drawing closely to the normal fairy-tale, I think there are enough differences to call it a retelling. The character arcs were by far my favorite aspect of the story. I loved Beauty’s reflection upon herself, her actions, and the treatment of her family. The lessons she learns in while in the castle and the slow rebuilding of trust were extremely well written.
I love the humility of Beast. He had truly changed as well and while we don’t see that change on page, we see the effects of it. I also really enjoyed how Beauty was able to help him.
I was concerned with the depiction of God and religion in the beginning, but I also realized that Beauty had changing to be done, and there was growth that need to occur so I continued to read and I was glad with the later mentions of God and religion.
While I ultimately enjoyed the book and found much to compliment it on, I would not label this as YA. The sexual assault, while also off page, is a heavy topic and leads to heavy feelings and lingering issues for Beauty. I have a teenage daughter and I would not be comfortable with her reading this. It was too much for YA in my opinion. I do think it is fine for an adult level.
Thank you NetGalley for an ARC. All opinions are my own.
3-3.5 stars really, but I rounded up.
This book starts out all over the place. It was very hard to follow at first. The set-up and tie-in for the classic Beauty and The Beast tale was pretty nonexistent at first. It's a lot of narrative and jumbled thoughts from Beauty, trying to follow the setting, the history, the plot. After the beginning settles down into a consistent timeline, then I was able to follow the story better. The premise is excellent. The retelling with that twist is good and thought-provoking. It's the execution that needed more refinement. There are the similarities to the original (movie I guess since I've never actually read the original fairytale), but it does veer into its own world and own plot. There is a rose. There is a beauty. There is a beast. There is a father and a town and an enchanted castle created by a fairy. But it is completely different at the same time.
The times where Beauty and Beast interact and are growing together and their play/imagination are excellent and the best parts of the book. The past that Beauty is recovering from and healing from needed even more development, in my opinion, to really show the contrast between the two. There's no Gaston/villian-type resolution like there is in the movie (not sure about the original fairytale as I've never read that one). That would have had a tremendous impact on the story as well. Beauty does confront him and get her resolution, but it falls short for the impact.
Beauty's family is bigger than in the movie (again, I'm not sure about compared to the original) so there's more dynamic there, but even that needed more development, at the beginning of the book would have been good, where it was so disjointed that I didn't connect with any of it. For a retelling, there's very little set-up and explanation of THIS story, which it desperately needs. We need to know THIS story, THIS background, THIS setting, Beauty's family in THIS situation explained, developed. And it's all really missing, until further into the book, when I was already confused and struggling. Again, there are such magical moments between Beauty and Beast and the castle and the enchanted objects that I LOVED those, but it came just too late. The set-up needed to be stronger, bigger, more developed sooner. It is heavy and darker/noir-feeling because of why Beauty needs to be "reborn" so that contrasts with the magical/happy moments and does portray the seriousness of Beauty's harsh past with love. Beauty's sister Astra's moment at the end was a bit odd, for me. I could see why it was added, but it felt like it was used in place of the Gaston/villian character and didn't 100% work for me. The fairy was also portrayed so differently in this version than in the movie as trying to help Beast (and others) learn a lesson but just as a mean, though almost indifferent magical character who didn't really care about the people she granted wishes to, only how her magic is used.
Overall, the 3-3.5 stars rating. So why did I round it up to 4? Because of the good moments, the excellent writing moments, the hope and promise and redemption for Beauty and Beast that do come, the ending portrayed in the epilogue, and the potential I see in this writer for further books to develop even more on these good moments she showed in this book.
Content: Clean, although there is the subject of rape and mention of when it occurred, although not overly described in graphic detail. This is not a light, happy retelling. It is dark/noir/heavy in a lot of ways, but the moments that are bright are wonderful. If this is being billed as a YA book, I disagree. More for older/New Adult readers instead, in my opinion.
I loved the premise of this book. I adore Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I was really looking forward to reading. Unfortunately, the beginning felt really disjointed and it was hard to follow what was going on. The author tends to tell, not show, and that made it more difficult to read as well. As I kept reading, it did get a bit easier to understand and I was able to enjoy it more. The moments between Beauty and Beast where they started to learn and care more about each other were really lovely to read and the best parts of the book. The other characters felt a bit flat, and I think the relationship between Beauty and Beast needed more time to develop.
Other than that, I liked this story. If the execution was cleaned up a bit, it would be a really good read!
Best retelling of beauty and the beast I have ever read!! It is definitely a different take on the story, but with so much development and the characters have so much depth, even the extras. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes good writing.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lowham for an advanced reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
This 100% needed a trigger warning at the beginning of the book. I would have enjoyed it more had I expected the heavy topic of rape. Especially from a publisher like shadow mountain. I was impressed with the writing and satisfied with the story, the way the rape was handled and how everything tied up, but my experience reading would have been so much better had I been emotionally prepared. I also think it could have used a lot more dialogue to move us quicker through the story.
It’s an important story that needs to be told. But omg use a trigger warning.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC! I love a good fantasy retelling, and I enjoyed reading this one! It was a nice quick read, and I needed something light and easy to read after reading a few Agatha Christies.
SO, things I liked about this book! I liked the Beast and Beauty's relationship, they're cute together, and I really liked all the descriptions of the castle. I liked the fact that there wasn't a ton of conflict, because I really didn't want the book to be stressful. I kept expecting the Blue Fairy to be worse, but like the only real big conflict is when Astra goes to the castle and stuff.
Things I didn't like! I think most of the characters were kind of flat, and I found Beauty a tiny bit annoying, but honestly not that much, so I don't mind it. I wish the story had been a bit more of a twist on the original, because while I liked this book, I wish I could have seen more of the author's ideas and creativity in it.
I love Beauty and the Beast, so I was excited to read this re-telling. In this story, Beauty runs toward Beast rather than away. Why?
For me, this book was more about Beauty’s growth and healing than the romance (and I’m ok with that). I liked watching the process as she remembered and tried to work through her past. The romance was slow-burn and sweet, and I love the way they forged their connection. This was an enjoyable read, and I look forward to more from this author.
TW: rape - not detailed
Thank you Netgalley for the e-arc in exchange for my honest review.
As a big fan of Beauty and the Beast, I knew this was a book I had to read.
It was well written and drew me in straight away. Not a version of the story I had ever come across before. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own
I’m a fan of fairy tail retellings, and the last time I read a Beauty and the Beast retelling I loved, it was Beauty, by Robin McKinley. Beauty Reborn delves into healing after SA. Beauty, the FMC, would rather go in her father’s place and risk a beast in a castle than the beast of a man she knows back home.
I enjoyed this retelling, and Beauty’s voice, especially as it touches on topics of healing and trauma, family vs obligations.
Beauty Reborn is a fairytale retelling full of self discovery, healing and self-examination. Beauty goes through some tragic things and in her journey to heal herself she saves the Beast as well. This book went quite a bit deeper than I was expecting. It deals with some intense topics and is not meant for the faint-hearted. That being said, it is written very well. The character development is spot on and the redeeming arc is so satisfying at the end.
Elizabeth Lowham's "Beauty Reborn" is a darker version of the well-known fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast." The book tells the story of a young woman named Beauty who goes on a heroic quest to save herself after a traumatic experience with the lord baron's heir, Stephan. The author's writing is excellent and descriptive, engrossing the reader in the narrative and Beauty's world. The reader may become confused by the narrative's back and forth because of the book's occasionally jagged pacing. Despite this, the novel is intriguing to read due to its emotional depth and character development.
The author provides a unique perspective to the traditional fairy tale by delving into topics like courage and healing. Overall, "Beauty Reborn" is an excellently written and compelling retelling that will appeal to both original story aficionados and those seeking something new and different. Readers who like dark fantasy, fairy tale retellings, and books that delicately and sensitively deal with difficult subjects should consider reading this book. The author, Elizabeth Lowham, is definitely an author to watch and I will be following her future works with great interest.
Thank you so much Elizabeth Lowham and NetGalley for providing me the eARC in exchange of an honest review.
Beauty Reborn is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with both similar and unique twists to the original tale. It’s a decent length—not too long but not too short—and each chapter wasn’t that long either, so I was able to get through this book pretty fast (plus, it helps being a very fast reader 😉).
I’m giving this book 4 stars for two reasons, one positive and the other constructive criticism. So let’s start with the positive.
There were some scenes in the story that I really liked between Beauty and Beast. Some that were tender and pure and touching. And I liked that how, while this story shared some similarities—Beauty’s love for books, their slow enemies-to-lovers trope, etc.—there were unique elements, such as Beauty’s fear of relationships because of past trauma, which the author handled very well. How Beast treated and cared for Beauty and was so respectful of boundaries after what she’d gone through was so touching.
And now the constructive criticism….
The beginning of the story was much too fast paced and not enough space of the book was devoted to setting up the story and establishing a solid beginning plot. Also, the climaxes of the story fell short for me and definitely left me wanting more. The rest of the book was fine, but definitely the pivotal scenes in the book were a tad disappointing to me.
However, all that to say, the author has a lovely writing style and I’m glad to have read this book!
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an eARC of Beauty Reborn. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are expressly my own.
"It’s true what the folktale says: I did choose to live with the beast. But not for the reason you think. Not to save my father. Not even to save myself. In truth, I was hoping I’d be eaten"
Wow I was captivated by the first paragraph. As a fan of Beauty and The Beast I was excited to read this!
The story has different backgrounds for the characters and doesn't follow the original, it made the story unique and darker. The start of the story was a fast paced one, I actually got confused at first because of the back and forth narrative and the transition felt a bit rough. But after I got the hang of it I could follow the pattern.
It was unfortunate that this story had a short climax where it started around 90%. It was too rushed. I also felt unsatisfied with Astra' and Stephan' endings. Their endings were abruptly ended, I don't think they got what they deserved after everything they've done.
Have I mentioned that the interactions between Beauty and The Beast are the cutest?! Love them and their developments!
To those who enjoy Beauty and The Beast retellings, this book might just for you!
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I will be honest, I love fairy tale retellings. And Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites. This one hit the ball out of the park.
Beauty has been a used by a man, a man she once loved. Her family has fallen on hard times and has moved to the country. Life is hard, and soon her father comes back with a rose and a tale. Beauty chooses to run from her family and her pain.
Beast has his own story, not a prince gone bad, but a humble man making bad choices and wishes.
I loved the relationship these two built, the trust that grew, the opening of hearts and honesty that developed. I loved watching them both heal from their past. I cheered for their ability to change their past into a new future. Well done!
There are some things I liked about this book and others I definitely didn't. I really appreciated the few new twists on an old and beloved fairy tale with differing motivations behind what many of the characters did. I did not, however, like how closely this follows the tale of Beauty and the Beast. I prefer my retellings to be more "inspired by" the original. The author's writing style is easy to read and flows well, which allowed this to be a very quick read for me. I enjoyed this book but feel like it may be missing something. I like how it focuses on healing and grief as Beauty deals with the tragedy she's been through. I do wish we could get more personality from Beast and the epilogue is too long.
*TW: rape (not graphic or specific)
Thank you to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for my complimentary copy of this book. All opinions here are my own.
I just finished Beauty Reborn and my mind and heart are bursting with praise. This was beautiful. I loved the imagery and the writing style. “Then I took the staircase to my room and played my violin until I was certain the grooves in my fingertips would never fill again.” There were details like this throughout the story that really added to it. I get like I was there. It’s been awhile since I’ve been so attached to a character. I felt that Beauty was so well developed and I really cared about her sorrows and phantoms. There were triggers for sure in this story. I know victims of sexual abuse and I felt that this story really told their story. That the author really understands and beautifully told the reality of that situation. It gave me hope for my dear friends in this situation. That God can make Beauty from ashes. This is a unique take on this fairy tale and I think it absolutely adds to the fairy tale. This wasn’t a stockholm syndrome story nor was it a happy ever after Beauty is now a princess story. I liked how the wish from a fairy taught a valuable lesson about being human and the importance of living with lessons learned instead of regrets.
This book was clean. Some mild kissing and alluded to sexual assault. (Was not described in detail at all) There are several instances where different situations cause Beauty to have moments of trauma/ remember what happened to her but it’s also vague.
I absolutely recommend this book and I absolutely would read it again. I’ll definitely be purchasing a print copy for my personal collection.
I'm so captivated with this Beauty and the Beast retelling!
(Mind you, this isn't a fanciful, Disney retelling!)
In this version, our Beauty flees to the Beast's castle to escape an abusive suitor.
I loved the wit between Beauty and the Beast. The way that things slowly unfolded in their relationship.
This story is fast paced, and made reading it quick!
If you're a fan of fairytales and retelling you'll enjoy this one!
Rounding up from 4.5
*Trigger warning, discusses sexual assault.
This book overall was really well written. This was the first book I read by Elizabeth Lowham, and I enjoyed her writing. It very much had the fairytale feeling that you want in a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling. I thought the characters were well done and I enjoyed reading a new take on this story.
The story does have some heavy parts though. The book does discuss Beauty's sexual assault by Stephan (the Gaston character of the book). I do think this topic is important, and so I appreciated that it was discussed but it does definitely make the story heavier. Beauty does struggle with trauma and is rightfully deeply distrustful, so that adds to the heaviness.
Overall, the details are thankfully very vague on the actual assault other than a basic sentence saying it occurred. The story mostly focuses on the emotional aftermath of it In all, for anyone who has experienced sexual assault, I feel it's important to know that this topic is cover before making the decision to read.
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite faitlry tale and I love retellings. This one was amazing.
The characters were well written. They had a depth that came off the page. They could have been real people. The story flowed and the jump between the past and the present was flawless.
She took the fairy tale as we knew it and add to it and it enhanced the story.
The downsides were while I liked Beauty's character, she came off stiff. The way she did something or said something at times were hard to believe. I also think there could have been more to the story. More interactions between Beauty and Beast. It felt like a chunk of the story was missing.
Stephen's character didn't really add to the book, except for what he did to Beauty. You could have taken him out and it would not have made a difference.
Overall, beautifully written and would recommend. I hope to see more from this author.
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me a chance to read and review this book. This review is entirely my own.
This novel, "Beauty Reborn", was a fascinating retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I am here for it! Great read.
A YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast, not overly original, taking the same ingredients, the same settings, but adding chatterbox features to Belle. I did not really enjoy the main character and had just hoped for more new-ness in the story. The writing was good, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed, there is just too many good takes on the Beauty and the Beast out there for this one to stand out.
Beauty Reborn is a beautiful, poignant, and bittersweet retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast. Whether you're a fan of the classic or the Disney movie versions, you will be happy with this version.
There are definite differences that make this version new. Many elements of philosophy-- what determines who or what is beauty and what makes one a beast?-- are explored in the plot. Very integral to this story is Beauty finding her strength to stand up for herself in a very important way.
The story flows well and is a real page turner. Highly recommend!
This is a retelling of beauty and the beast. Very similar to the original tale but also has some twists and turns. I loved that Beauty still loved books and the beast got a different story for why he was a beast. I liked their tender relationship and how it developed. If you like retellings I would recommend.
At first I wasn’t sure if I would like this rendition. But in the first chapter the author sticks to the orginal not Disney style of this lore and I knew it was gonna be good.the author adds enough differents to the story to make it unique and wondering what’s going to happen next.. I loved the way the characters relationships progressed through the story..
It’s an easy read and perfect for anyone who loves Beauty and the Beast.
The cover drew me in, but the gorgeous writing had me finishing this book in one day. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with some unique twists and turns. Beauty (her actual name) goes to live in an enchanted castle to pay a debt incurred by her father. Once there, she meets Beast.
The story is so well written and beautiful, I found myself highlighting most of it. Beauty's humor and sarcasm, however, were my favorite parts. Great storytelling with a unique spin. Any lover of fairytales will love this book.
Trigger warning: Sexual Assault
Thank you Netgalley, Elizabeth Lowham and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Beauty Reborn was very fun and intriguing. I love how the beast was too shy to show himself to Beauty, it made him more interesting as a character. The relationship between the sisters was also realistic. I would love to know what happened to Astra and how she, if ever, completes the curse and hope it would change her as a person.
Beauty and Beast retelling tag and that alluring cover image were enough two reasons for me to request this book from Net Galley and truthfully was happy I did so.
Elizabeth Lowham’s imagination of the tale is sweet and romantic and at the same time kind of touching. With a different background provided for Beauty for walking into the forest and a different reason for the Beast to be turned into what he is, the author brings a fresh perspective to this oft repeated tale. The slow burn romance between Beauty and beast was wonderful with tender hearted moments that left me sighing.
Beauty’s traumatic ordeal I wish had evoked more empathy in me, somehow it just seemed to be something that was just there and not really felt. The author’s writing was exceptional with amazing quote worthy lines.
"I lived in a different castle one," I swallowed. "And I gave a man a room. But when I wouldn't give him anything else, he took the castle by force. And then I had nothing left to give."
Easy to read though I wished the pacing was kept to a standard, the beginning and climax felt kind of rushed while the central part of the story went at a moderate pace. Well, if you are a fan of the Beauty and Beast retellings, then this one is surely up your alley.
Many thanks to Net Galley, Shadow Mountain Publishing, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
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