Published: March 14th 2017 by HarperTeen
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 – and when I FINALLY managed to get my hands on a copy… I ended up DNFing it. I am so upset that I ended up DNFing this book because I usually adore Beauty and the Beast retellings and I was just so excited for this! I had quite a few issues with this book, but the cover is definitely not one of them – because this is cover love right here!
My first issue with this book is that I felt like the characters were mostly flat. I didn’t feel like there was an overriding difference between any of the characters and I often felt like they ended up blurring together. I didn’t feel any connection with the characters on a reader/character basis, which is an absolutely must for me if I am going to get along with the book. I feel like they were completely underdeveloped and really could have used lifting up. Yeva really bugged me. At lot of things that she did really grated on my skin, but I think the worst thing would be the fact that she fell in love with someone whilst blindfolded (she never even saw the guy!!) telling him stories because she thought he was her ally/friend. Despite the fact that he doesn’t try and help her escape or anything… some ally. I hated the fact that she was so fickle and that there was absolute no real connection before she started falling in love with him… until she obviously found out what he was.
I was also disappointed that we didn’t get to know our secondary characters. They were there, I knew they were there… I knew basic facts about them – one of her sisters is engaged, the other has a disability – but I didn’t really get to KNOW them. They were there, but they weren’t. I didn’t feel that bond that would have driven the sisters to take care of each other, or the bond between Beauty and her father that would have driven her to go out and look for him. It was completely missing and it was almost like reading a bunch of strangers, rather than a close knit family.
I also really struggled with the plot. A lot of the time, it is snow and trees and trees and snow with some superficial hunting stuck in the middle of it. The fact that she goes hunting for half of what I read because she wants to be on her own (surrounded by snow and trees… and more snow and more trees) was boring after a while. I struggled to get through the bit of the book that I read because it was repetitive. The plot also didn’t seem to develop after beauty met the beast. She told stories for ages and then did some more hunting.
All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this story. I found the plot to be extremely repetitive and the characters underdeveloped. I gave this book 1/5 stars.