Review: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.
Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after. They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.
My rating: 4/5
I made the mistake of reading a couple of reviews on Goodreads and seeing the low ratings before I started this book. I never do that because I do not want to be spoiled on details or biased in anyway. I want to make my own opinions about a story. I tried to put those things to the back of my mind as I started reading. Once I got to the part where I think a lot of people probably decided to put the book down, I decided to keep going. I wanted to see how the author would write the book. I wanted to see how exactly she was going to get me to come to like where the book was heading. I have to say that I am so happy that I did! This book is so much more than that act of violence. It is beautifully written with strong characters and great morals to the story. I loved how it played out and the ending was perfect.
The story starts with a prologue of Lucie watching Jean-Loup being cursed by the witch. We know right away that she is the reason he is being cursed and she wants him to pay for something he did. I will say that I thought it was just him being a mean boss and selfish. After the prologue, the book goes into how Lucie came to work at Jean-Loup's château as a servant. She becomes infatuated with him until something happens to shatter her illusions of who she thought he was. The story progresses from there until Jean-Loup is cursed and Lucie is there to see it all and witness his descent into becoming Beast. I didn't have very strong feelings for Lucie in the beginning. I found her a bit annoying actually at first and then I sympathized with her before finally coming to like her. She grew a lot throughout the course of the story. From a naive girl to one who could open her heart to love and forgiveness. I liked when she slowly starts to let go of her anger and need for revenge and started accepting what was in front of her. I think it took her too long to realize her feelings and what needed to be done but that was to be expected. She finally got it and that's all I can ask for.
I absolutely loved Beast. He was such a great character. He was kind, considerate, chivalrous, and cared about people. Once I realized that Beast and Jean-Loup were not the same beings, I was able to see Beast for who he was just like Lucie. Once that happened, he became one of my favorite characters. I felt so bad for him when we saw that he wanted friends and just wanted to please people but people couldn't seem to accept him because of his appearance. I hated how Rose kept making him feel inferior and like he did not matter because he was beastly. Those parts were hard to read when he was humiliated and felt as if he'd done something wrong. I did not like Rose. She was annoying and so childish. She just could not see past her own wants and needs. She kept hurting Beast because of what he looked like despite how he treated her. I was glad to see her grow as well but she still wasn't my favorite character by the end. Jean-Loup was despicable and turned my stomach. I was happy I did not have to endure him for the entire book. It was nice to find out what was going on and that in me rooting for Beast I wasn't rooting for Jean-Loup.
Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge was so much better than even I anticipated and it is one of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings now. I enjoyed it so much and I am so happy that I did not let my own biases and the reviews I'd read and low ratings steer me away from what turned out to be one of my top reads this year! I recommend reading this book and giving it a chance through the end. It'll be available tomorrow, July 10!