Genre: YA Fantasy
Author: Megan Spooner
Release Date: 14 March 2017
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?
What I Liked:
Yeva is such a badass. I mean, I totally connect to the more bookish version of the Beauty character from other versions of the story, but Yeva is so cool. I have a weakness for strong, bow-wielding female protagonists, so move over Katniss and Merida, Yeva can shoot like a pro AND she’s the lead in my favorite fairy tale!
I also adore Yeva’s family. he is the youngest of three sisters, and all of the sister’s are loving, compassionate, and strong individuals. There is no envy or fighting between them, which is nice to read for a change. So often, female relations (sisters, mothers, cousins, etc.) are set as competition to each other in stories or have very rocky relationships with each other. I loved reading about a family of women who loved and believed in each other, no matter what.
While this book is mostly told in 3rd person limited point of view from Yeva’s perspective, there are several short 1st person internal monologues from the Beast. Describing it like that makes it seem awkward and out-of-place, but it’s really not. It give the reader a really good look into the Beast’s head, and you really get to feel his emotions and anguish.
What I Didn’t:
I’m not familiar with the tale of the Firebird, but it felt a little bit…tacked on, maybe? I understand it’s purpose and it definitely adds a something to the story both character growth and plot wise, but…I don’t know. I just feel like maybe it could have been explored a bit more. That being said, I’m mostly just babbling here, because I know this book isn’t perfect, but I really, really enjoyed reading it.
Beauty and the Beast has been one of my favorite fairytale’s since I first saw the animated Disney movie 25 years ago (Gah! I’m getting old!). I have read many, MANY different retellings of the story from the great (Beauty by Robin McKinley) to the…not so great (Beast by Donna Jo Napoli, wherein the prince turns into a lion and the first thing he does is have sex with multiple female lions!!!!!). Hunted is definitely one of my favorite retellings of this classic story.
I loved the characters, the slow burn of the romance, and the bits of the Firebird fairytale that was thrown in there as well. Yeva was strong, strong-willed, and all around awesome, and the author has added an overarching theme to the story about what happiness is that I very much appreciated. Overall, I couldn’t put this book down and I definitely see myself rereading it in the future!
My Rating: 4.5/5