I love fairy tale retelling and unique twists on traditional stories so when my Goodreads friends started freaking out about Hunted by Meagan Spooner, I knew this was a book I needed to find. In this retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Beauty is a hunter with one goal: killing the Beast who killed her Father.
No magic roses or ballroom scenes here! Unfortunately, neither is there quite as much adventure or action as I had hoped. The beginning is incredibly slow. While the ending picks things up and ties everything together, I almost didn’t make it that far. The third person, past tense writing style places a barrier between the reader and the characters that is hard to overcome. Despite being a hunter and fueled by hate for the majority of the book, Beauty lacks personality. Most of the characters do. They fulfill their roles but little else.
However, I like how the author handles the Beast. She both shows and describes his dual nature. The story does a lovely job with magic, fairy tales, and mythical creatures. If the whole book were more like the last quarter, I really would have enjoyed this one.
As it is, I didn’t dislike Hunted. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Considering how well worn this story line is, the author does something creative and really gives it a fairy tale feel. It is a nice addition as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, though perhaps less interesting as a stand alone novel.
This afternoon, my beautiful, amazing, and wonderful Mother kidnapped me from work and we went and watched Beauty and the Beast (again.) Still a lovely movie. We were both amazed at how quiet the theater was for a Friday afternoon. There were maybe 20 people in the movie theater with us. It was completely different from when I took my youth group girls on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the place was packed. We barely found seats together in the third-to-front row. To our left, there was a Mom with a baby. The baby was very well behaved but tended to gurgle and applaud. She got up and returned 4 or 5 times with the kid during the course of the movie. In front of us, there were two grade school girls. Their Mom was sitting behind us. Any even remotely scary scene had them freaking out and near the end one had to come sit by her Mom because she was sobbing so hard.
However, the most memorable part of the theater experience came during the ballroom scene. This is the iconic, Beauty and the Beast moment. Beast looks up and sees Belle in her yellow ballgown, the music starts, and suddenly…someone started booing! The guy booed on and off throughout the entire scene. It was quite an experience. I thought they danced rather well!
I took my youth group girls to see Beauty and the Beast on Tuesday and it was magical. The costuming, the music, and the characters all came to life. Like Disney’s live action Cinderella adaption, Beauty and the Beast stays true the original cartoon while also fleshing out the story. I particularly liked what they did with the Beast’s character. I think it makes his relationship with Belle more believable. The movie also avoids or answers several inconsistencies from the cartoon.
However, I would rank Cinderella’s adaption higher than Beauty and the Beast’s. A great deal of Cinderella’s charm comes from the fact that the live action adds very little to the overall story. It is simple but beautiful. Beauty and the Beast tries to be more. There are new backstories, new relationships, and new songs. It is a bit overwhelming and left me feeling dissatisfied at times. Simple is definitely not a word for this movie. It is elaborate and stunning but occasionally disjointed.
As for the “homosexuality” in the movie, the reality is so far from the hoopla that I feel ridiculous even mentioning it. I’ve heard some people say LeFou is confused rather than gay, but to be honest, I’m not even sure he is that. There is no homosexual kiss or any other thing that parents need to be worried about. At most, there are two men dancing together at the end for a brief moment and one looks confused.
There is a fantastic post that I highly recommend you read addressing the above issue and other reasons Christians should see this movie – The Bigger Reason You Should Be Worked Up About Beauty and the Beast.
I am glad I got to see this one in theater and I am definitely going to re-watch it many times. Despite my criticisms, I must say it was beautifully done and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do not let the hype keep you from enjoying this latest Disney classic.