Jul 22, 2014

Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Title: Of Beast And Beauty
Author: Stacey Jay
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication Date: 7.23.2013
Pages: 391
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from a friend

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.


I love Beauty and the Beast when I was a little girl. Who didn't? Stacy Jay's slightly darker, twisted version but a whole new perspective on this childhood story that makes me love it even more.

Isra's world under the dome quite the host of issues. You don't really get an idea of what her city looks like except for the glimpse when she finally does a walk through. Though, you get the general idea that it is quite vast and has it's citizen caste areas like any normal city. The dome itself lacks any real description other than it's glass.

I believe the focus of this book was more on the characters and their story, which is why the setting wasn't as important. Isra has lead a lie of a life since she was four only to find out that it was someone important to her that made her that way. She is a strong woman in all that she faces and while she may seem childish, she handles it all beautifully.

I loved the relationship build up of her and Gem. It was somewhat typical but keep in mind the original Beauty and the Beast. Love conquers all, even in real life. Even though this has a bit of magic in it, anyone in the real world can see how it applies to our lives.

This reinvented tale of our childhoods puts a new light to it. It's a wondrous tale that was hard to put down. A little bit of adventure with lots of love and suspense makes this my favorite tale of an old story.


  1. Oh my goodness! I love this book!!! So glad to hear that you enjoyed it too!

    I did a read-along for this book a few months ago and if it wasn't for this event, I would have never read this and fallen in love.

    Awesome review!

    Vonnie's Reading Corner

  2. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did, Gabrielle!
    I'm looking forward to more FTs from her!

    And B&B is a favorite of mine, too! Have you read "Heart's Blood" by Juliet Marillier? It's my favorite retelling of all!

  3. While I generally need more worldbuilding and description, I like that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. That's one we don't get many retellings of!

  4. I bought this book because I love the cover and I also love the story of Beauty and the Beast (I've probably read at least 5 retellings!) I'll be sure to read this one soon. Great review Gabrielle :)


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