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The classical story of Beauty and the Beast, most
people know it and many have tried to retell it in movies, books and even a TV
series, some successfully, some not so much. If you are looking for a really
good and creative retelling of the classic tale, I recommend Stacey Jay’s new
novel, Of Beast and Beauty.
In the city of Yuan, the blind Princess
Isra or Beauty is held captive in a tower and raised to be a human sacrifice to
the Rose Garden a twisted entity which sustains life in the city. Outside
of the city in the desert, Gem or the Beast, is a mutant creature who leads his
people in a fight to survive against the smooth skin humans living in the
cities. Both are raised to hate the other kind. But when Gem is captured
by Isra’s people, the two are thrown together. As they begin to care for
one another, their strengths and beliefs are tested. Never would they
have thought that only by working together can they end the curse that blackens
What makes Stacey Jay’s novel so great
is that unlike most Beauty and the Beast retellings, which simply take the
classical plot and transfer it to a different city in a different time period,
Stacey Jay really takes ownership of the story. She truly transforms this classic
love tale, breathing new and creative life into an old plot line. Of Beast and Beauty is a fantastic
young adult romance.