Fairy Tale Retelling Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel BeautyCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This mash-up of Greek mythology and Beauty & the Beast retelling is somewhat lackluster. It reads more like a paranormal romance than a fairy tale, right down to the “Beast” being described in a such a way that you can only picture him as a vampire. Although the book came across as overwritten, especially in the beginning when Nix just kept obsessing over her fate as a “sacrifice” offered in return for a bargain her father had made years ago, at the same time some aspects of the story just didn’t come together for me. I never did totally understand the mechanics of the spell on the “Beast,” and I’m not sure if that’s because it wasn’t explained well, or if it was because there were slow spots in the book that allowed my mind to wander and miss things.

Much of the book takes place inside Nix’s own head since the cast of characters is very small. I don’t mind introspective books, but it still kept the story feeling a bit slow in places. None of the characters particularly appealed to me, although I suppose the Beast piqued my curiosity in places. Still, there was never a moment when I really connected with the story, and the subplot in which (view spoiler)

I didn’t hate this book — it was an interesting take on Beauty & the Beast and it had potential. It was mostly well written. It just kept coming up short for me.

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