• The Write Way

Review: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge – Lisa Jensen

I really wanted to love this book.

Retellings of fairy tails have always been a popular thing. Disney made us count down to midnight with Cinderella, long for the sand between our feet with the Little Mermaid or even stay away from apples (in my case) because of Snow White.

Even in more recent times, we see great works and series such as the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (OMG MUST READ!) that captured the hearts and imagination of millions of readers. As beauty and the beast is one of my favourite fairy tails, I could not wait to read a new take on this story!


They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer.

A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie.

Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.


First of all: I could not finish this book. I am so sorry. I really tried.

I don’t really care about the rape or about Lucie’s thoughts after the tragedy (bordering on the edge of suicidal), the deal breaker for me was the writing itself. Where most Young Adult books (Young Adult being 12 to 18 years old in the literary world), boast vibrant and descriptive, flowing and quite simple writing, Lisa Jensen’s words sound to old for the genre. I would maybe even say the writing style bordered on literary fiction.

For example:

His stride is long, his movements agile and forthright, like a noble knight, like the thoroughbred animal he is. There is nothing indecisive about him, nothing hesitant. His youthful features suggest he cannot be above fiveand-twenty, yet he is in complete command of himself, of this place, of this vast green and fertile region.

And although there is nothing wrong with this passage, the language is too mature for Young Adult. In fact, even though the pace was adequate, the writing itself could not hold my attention and ultimately bored me enough to put the book down.

Like I said: I really wanted to like this book and I think the story has a lot of potential, but it was too mature for my taste. I think it might be a wise idea for the publisher to republish and rebrand it as literary fiction.


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