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Reaction to... Of Beast And Beauty by Stacey Jay

"Beauty is wherever you find it, and Beast is there when you need to defend it."
My God, man. What an incredible story. I deliver that to you first, daring to hope that it'll carry to you the simple awe I feel packed in that one statement. Within the many genres this story fits, Jay has done daring, beautiful things with it that make it one of those unparalleled stories you have a hard time expressing your gratitude for. What this woman has done with a story that never really spoils in the retelling of it surpasses all that come to mind; I absolutely love every infinitesimal piece of this unexpected tale.

Stacey Jay writes like a lavish storyteller, every sumptuous word and beautiful phrase not added for flourish but to better paint the picture she wishes you to see more than read. Her writing broke this world open and let me into every stone, every rose, every scale until I was as wrapped around it as the dome which wraps around the city of Yuan, where live the ancient gods and cursed men who come into play.

"In the beginning was the darkness and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret. The secret was as old as the cracked cobblestone streets of Yuan, as peculiar as the roses that bloom eternally within the domed city's walls, as poisonous as forgotten history and the stories told in it's place."

A world's spirit rendered into two, a curse caging cities in their corruption. Of Beast and Beauty is about acceptance, hard realities, a falling city, greed, and a love that can save all things. If a boy and a girl from both ways of life can look beyond themselves and where they came from and love each other truly, the curse that demands sacrifice in the domed city of Yuan, that starves the clawed Desert People, and has them turning on each other, will be lifted. And unbeknownst to the change they could bring, a queen whose power has been stifled and a warrior desperate to bring hope to his people are set on a path to restore balance to the planet their ancestors disturbed and damaged.

Full of hate, fear, and suspicion, Isra and Gem are the perfect candidates for a bout of forbidden, torturous, nonsensical love. Their struggles, their reluctance, their mutual shock over the lack of disgust that should be there is lived through so perfectly by them so that you're caught in this emotional torrent of hope, uncertainty, nerves, and unbeatable determination. The glorious transition from friends onward isn't painfully slow, but just slow enough to be right. I could bathe, burrow, and drown in their touches and looks, love and despair all day. All night for that matter, because I haven't had a bleeding ounce of sleep since I awoke at ten this morning (note: it's 4:30am now).
"For the first time, she doesn't smell like roses. She smells like cactus milk--clean and salty and of the desert, like my people--and I suddenly wonder if she would taste like all the girls I've kissed in my life. There were other girls before... I always assumed there would be more, but I never thought...
Even a moment ago when I...
I didn't think... imagine... that she might...
A part of me still refuses to believe it, but another part knows what a girl wants when her fingers linger too long on a boy's mouth, and it knows better than to hesitate. So I don't. I pull her hand away, and risk a kiss.
"
The miracle of them combined with their world and the way in which its written, as well as reminding me a touch of Under the Never Sky, proves Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay has no faults with me. It is undoubtedly one of my favorites of this year.

Hardcover / 400 pgs / July 23rd 2013 / Delacorte Press / Goodreads / $17.99

I received an e-galley of this from Random House via Edelweiss.

20 comments:

Princess Ash said...

Ever since I got wind of this book I thought it looked absolutely amazing. I'm so glad to hear that you. Especially considering you compared to Under the Never Sky. I definitely need to get my hands on this little beauty (hehe see what I did there? ;) ) as soon as I can. Whoo!

Princess Ash said...

I'm glad to hear that this was good! I'm even more delighted to hear that it reminded you of Under The Never Sky, because I loved that book. I actually just pre-ordered this yesterday, and you've made me much more excited for it! Thanks. :D

Princess Ash said...

This is one book that I've been literally counting down the days for the release!! I love fairy tale retelling already, but I've seen so many glowing reviews of this one, it's just left me dying to get my hands on it! Glad to hear you enjoyed it, too! That first quote is so beautiful!

Princess Ash said...

I had a few minor complaints about JULIET IMMORTAL, but Jay has such an imagination - and knowing that you loved this book so much has me even more excited to read it for myself. :) Thanks for the review and for staying up so late to write it all down.

Princess Ash said...

I'm so excited for this and am thrilled you loved it! I love a good B&tB re-telling and am hoping I love this. It'll be my first Jay novel too, so I'm curious to see what I think of her writing style. Amazing review!(:

Princess Ash said...

I can't wait to read this! B&B is my favorite disney fairy tale haha so I love any retellings! Good to hear that it's amazing! Just one more day until it's released!

Princess Ash said...

In just the first paragraph I knew I had to add this to my tbr and I am now super, super keen to read it! This is such an incredibly beautiful review and the need it gave me to read the book myself was really wonderful! I love retellings, so I'm sure I'm going to adore this!


Romi @ Wherethewritercomestowrite.

Princess Ash said...

I wouldn't say the comparison runs too deep but in a loose, sort of superficial way without going much deeper you can feel like the two are connected. And I loved that book! It is absolutely amazing, with gorgeous writing and characterization. Hehe, oh, Alice, I live for you comments, m'dear. <3 READ IT ASAP.

Princess Ash said...

Yay! I'm glad I could relieve your mind and now you can jump into it without worrying you've made a mistake. Because this book IS as incredible as I've pitched it and has goodreads lol. I hope you love it!

Princess Ash said...

*dances* I'm so happy to hear how excited you are for it because it's WORTH IT. So, so worth it. It deserves every glowing review it's gotten. You can see, without it feeling overdone or forced, how much work was put into this book to make the perfect read that it is. I don't think I put it down in the four and a half hours it took me to read it. Not many books have the kind of power to keep me from sleep after I've toiled away at my job for 8.5 hours xD And that quote is one of my favorites as are MANY others, but some of them are spoilery so I didn't want to give anything away :D

Princess Ash said...

I still have to read that series and I definitely want to after this book. Jay's imagination is incredible, and more she's able to convey it so beautifully and vividly that I never once felt separate from it. I HOPE YOU LOVE IT. And I was dedicated to l let everyone know about this one, the hour be damned :D

Princess Ash said...

Oh, Keertana, this one is so beautiful. I feel like my review barely touches the surface of how great this book really is. From the writing to the characters to the world-building, I just... I want EVERYONE to read it. I think you'll love it too. Thank you <3

Princess Ash said...

It's actually my favorite as well; I'm obsessed with Belle. But this retelling is both dark and different and beautiful but still stays true to the romantic core that perpetuates the original tale. You can get it today now! :D

Princess Ash said...

Oh, please, please read it. It's one of those books that I'd hate for people to miss out on. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. And I think if you enjoy retellings AND incredible writing you'll dig this book :D

Princess Ash said...

"In the beginning was the darkness and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret. The secret was as old as the cracked cobblestone streets of Yuan, as peculiar as the roses that bloom eternally within the domed city's walls, as poisonous as forgotten history and the stories told in it's place."

Wow. I haven't heard much about this author's writing or her books, but I'm completely sold on those couple of sentences alone. I see why you call her a lavish storyteller! This honestly sounds fantastic, and you've more than convinced me now. Fantastic review, Asher!



Also, has the cover of this been changed slightly? It looks different to me, but either way, I LOVE IT.

Princess Ash said...

I have been so excited about this book! I love Beauty and the Beast, and re-tellings are so my thing. So, I am super pleased you enjoyed it! The cover and that quote, coupled with your amazing review has me even more EXCITED now. *runs of to Amazon* :D

Princess Ash said...

O.o! Yay! I'll be sure to pick this up the next time I'm getting a book haul haha

Princess Ash said...

Oh, Sam, YOU MUST READ THIS. I have no doubt you'll be one of my friends who DOES enjoy this one. The cover was changed but I like both of them. And I'm just so happy there's a beautiful story inside to match.

Princess Ash said...

YAAAAAAAY! I'm so happy to have posted a review you might've been worried about. GO MY FRIEND. GO TO AMAZON where this AWESOME story awaits you. It's absolutely incredible.

Princess Ash said...

I wonder if that'll mean soon because I often have book hauls xDD