is a YA modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Dylan does not look like his age. Instead of fifteen, he looks fifty being nearly seven feet and hairy like an animal. That's where his nickname came from- Beast. He prefers to hide under his long hair and baseball cap. The bullying worsens when the school bans both. After shaving his head, Dylan goes up on his roof to relax, only to fall off and break his leg. Thus, the hospital makes it mandatory to attend group therapy, even though he swears it was an accident.
At the therapy, he meets Jamie, a beautiful girl. Soon, their relationship evolves to become more than just friends. However, that first day in group, he was not listening when Jamie was talking about being transgender. That should not change anything, right? Society says otherwise, and Dylan is so blinded in self pity that he might just lose the only girl he has ever loved.
Beast was meant to be a contemporary version of Beauty and the Beast, but it should not be defined by that movie. It is much more. The movie was inspirational enough already, but Beast takes the powerful message to a whole new level!
This book clearly showcases society's biggest downfall, and forces readers to think about their own actions. People say that what you look like does not matter, but out in the "real world," it does. Society holds standards and expectations that are nearly impossible to hold up to. Discrimination is real, and those who read this book are forced to admit it. After reading this book, even I will look at certain people differently. Beast challenges the audience to look at the hard truths about themselves. It forcefully conveys that everybody is equal, no matter what they look like, especially what gender they are.
I highly recommend that you read this book!
Author: Brie Spangler
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 Stars