Beauty and the Beast, Book Review, Books, Fairy Tale, Fantasy

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen: Book Review

“Because you can’t go around breaking curses willy-nilly. It doesn’t work like that Curses are strict There are rules to follow and conditions to meet. That’s the beauty of them. And why they cannot be broken.” – Alan

Goodreads Synopsis: Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

Commentary: Reading fairy tale adaptations are my favorites. I picked this book up because the plot was very interesting since the girl is the beast and she’s trying to remove her curse. I thought it was going to be a young adult novel, and a bit more romantic. This novel is really bittersweet. First of all, the curse is a bit confusing for me. The males in her family become beasts while the females become birds, and Sarah becomes a beast. I thought she would have became a bird like her grandmother and mother, not a beast. Not that I have a problem with Sarah being a beast, but one would assume she would become a bird. Yes, it’s true that the protagonist develops feelings for Alan, a beastkeeper, but romance does not play a huge role in reversing the curse. I loved how true love’s kiss would break the curse. Sarah had to discover how to change back by discovering her family’s secret. I felt really sorry for Sarah, her family sucked. Her mother left her, her father left her, and her grandparents love her. I didn’t feel any emotional connection towards any of her family members. They were really selfish. Now, the curse was placed on her family because of bitterness and jealousy. Sarah was the only sane member of her family. Her grandmothers were reluctant to share any information on the curse. The curse could have been lifted if her witch grandmothers would have talked instead of being angry with each other. Sarah is the only character to mature, and I liked her journey to become human. I also liked how Alan and Sarah chose to become friends. This story is not your typical happily ever after and it was far more different than I imagined. It’s a fast read, but not as entertaining as I thought it would be. Would I recommend it? Yes, I fell in love with the author’s writing style and though the ending was bittersweet, it felt a bit more realistic than a happy ending.

Quotes:

“You can’t make someone fall in love with you…and that is where the storytellers write their own sugary versions of the truth. A pack of lies until they reach ‘The End.’ But no story ever comes to an end, at least not one so neat. There are vioices silenced, characters erased at the storyteller’s whim.”

“People fall out of love slower than they fall in, to be sure, but there’s the story no one wants to tell. It’s dull. Boring. The good ones don’t always win. Nothing lasts forever.”

“It was love that cursed, and love that saved.”

“The people who should have loved her hadn’t; her enemies wore smiles, and her family, snarls.”

“You told me yourself that curses always go in circles. I am choosing to step out of the circle. Maybe I can’t break it, but I can refuse to be a part of it, to step away from revenge and jealousy…I can do what you couldn’t. I can forgive.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

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