I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Beast’s Heart is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, narrated entirely from the Beast’s perspective. The Beauty in this book is named Isabeau, and the story focuses a lot on her sisters, Claude and Marie. Isabeau also doesn’t have any prior suitors or an angry village mob to worry about; it’s purely about her family, the Beast, and her.
The writing style is long, flowery, and elaborate; reminding me a bit of Jane Austen’s novels.
And this book -feels- long. Despite seeing the story from the Beast’s perspective, at points it felt like he was just the narrator of Isabeau’s sisters’ lives, whom he spends seemingly most of his days spying on through his magic mirror (he’s hooked just like us watching Instagram stories in 2018).
The Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite fairy tales growing up because I melted at the idea that a love so pure could magically fix a monstrous person… Until I grew up and learned how harmful that idea is in the real world, because it disregards the fact that a person needs to -want to- fix themselves for anything to change, regardless of the amount of people that are trying to help. Outside of fairytales, a girlfriend can’t fix an abusive boyfriend out of love alone.
But the HUGE plus in this book is the Beast wants Isabeau to grow to love him, even before he knows she is indispensable to break the curse. And there’s no ulterior motive; he KNOWS that the only way to achieve both of those goals is to genuinely become a better person. He does commit a series of glaring mistakes (that I’m sure feminist readers could easily spot, and also anyone who hated Twilight), but he is self-conscious and regretful about them and actively thinks of ways to improve not just his behavior, but his overall essence.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it occasionally felt too long, and the action between Isabeau and the Beast was very repetitive at times.
I would recommend this to: readers who love fairytale retellings, someone who wants to read a book that contains romance but isn’t in the romance section, and people who have always felt compassionate for the Beast and wanted to hear his side sometime.
This book comes out on February 12th 2019!