Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) & Beastly: Lindy's Diary (Kendra Chronicles #1.5) by Alex Flinn

Kyle Kingsbury is one of the beautiful people. The type of person who always gets his way, has money, who is charming and confident, and as deep as a puddle. When Kyle plays a mean trick on Kendra Hilferty, a witch, she casts a spell on him turning him into a beast. Now his outside matches his insides. The only chance that Kyle has of breaking the spell is to find someone who can look past the beast and fall in love with him. He has two years to break the curse. Without hope, Kyle retreats from the world, with only his housekeeper, Magda, and his blind tutor, Will, to keep him company.

Linda "Lindy" Owen is a scholarship kid with a drug addict for a father, and is largely invisible to the rest of her classmates. She has always noticed Kyle and thought that there was more to him than meets the eye. When her father breaks into Kyle's house, Lindy's father offers up his daughter in exchange for Kyle not going to the police. Lindy finds herself dropped off on Kyle's doorstep, and while at first she hates her new situation, she soon gets to know Adrian (a.k.a. Kyle). Over the time they spend together, their friendship grows, but will it be enough to break the curse?

Lindy's Diary offers readers the chance to see Beastly from Lindy's point of view. It is told through diary entries, beginning with Lindy first coming to live with Kyle. Both books were equally enjoyable, but definitely for a younger crowd. It really is a classic retelling of Beauty in the Beast, just set in modern times and in New York City. Kyle (a.k.a. Beast) is just as shallow and in need of a healthy dose of humility. Lindy (a.k.a. Belle) is a book loving, sweet soul, but perhaps not a traditional beauty like in other versions. There is still a witch, but instead of a castle, we get a brownstone in Brooklyn.

I have been wanting to read this book for some time and since I am impatiently awaiting the release of the third and final Chemical Gardens book and didn't want to get too involved in something, I decided to pick this up in the meantime. I saw the movie Beastly that came out a few years ago. I didn't know the movie was based on a book and it happened to be on HBO one day, so I watched it. It is your typical pre-teen romance movie, but I liked it enough that when I found out it was based on a book, I added it to my "to-read" list. Those, like myself, who pick up the book after watching the film might find themselves a little confused, as they definitely made some artistic changes - most notably Kyle's transformation into a "beast." In the book it is a much more traditional transformation with him being covered in fur and more wolf like, where in the movie he is just more disfigured with tattoos and scars. Lindy also goes through a transformation - changing from a more average red head to a dark haired beauty in the film.

Regardless if you ever see the film, Beastly and Lindy's Diary are sweet stories and any fan of the B&B tale or hopeless romantics will enjoy it. The characters are well developed and the story flows nicely. It is not complicated and there are no major plot twists, but if you are looking for a good book to relax with, this would be a series I would recommend. At a combined 448 pages, they are quick reads and perfect for a rainy (or snowy) afternoon. 

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