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For today’s Fiction Friday, Stephanie, Kati, and I all read “Cruel Beauty” by Rosamund Hodge so we could bring you a joint book review! For those of you who have never heard of this book, it’s a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale with mythological elements, as well as its own unique spin.

HEIDI:  What did you both think of Cruel Beauty?

KATI:  I really liked it. But the main character did drive me crazy in the one scene near the end.

STEPHANIE:  I loved it! I’ve always loved Beauty and Beast, and I loved that this was true to that story, but I also felt it added some unique elements. But, I also think I know what drove Kati crazy and I agree!

HEIDI:  I liked it quite a bit, too. I loved that it was Beauty and the Beast, but that the heroine wasn’t super pure of heart and sweet. It was a nice change.

KATI:  I also loved the Pandora’s box references.

STEPHANIE:  Yes–I loved the way she tied in mythology. I really liked the characters. I don’t know about you two, but in the beginning Nyx was so difficult, I wondered if she was kinda supposed to be the beast.

HEIDI:  I wondered that briefly, too! But then I decided they were both a mixture of both.

STEPHANIE:  Aw, yeah.

KATI:  But she really did feel like a product of her environment. Her family was pretty awful.

STEPHANIE:  I agree with that too. I didn’t blame her for how she was. Her family sucked.

HEIDI:  I thought it was a little unfair how they were to her aunt, though. It seemed like it was a really bad thing for Nyx’s father to remarry, and I couldn’t figure out why.

STEPHANIE:  I just thought it was weird…

KATI:  It does seem weird to marry your dead sister’s husband.

HEIDI:  Yeah, a little weird and icky, but it had been years…sixteen, right, since Nyx’s mother died?

KATI:  After 16 years, I still wouldn’t want to marry Sean.  ; p


HEIDI:  Watch it, there, lady! I would haunt you both! >: (


HEIDI: So…what did you think of Nyx and Ignifex’s growing relationship? Did it feel believable to you? I think sometimes those hate-turned-to-love romances don’t always work, but I thought this one did.

KATI:  I liked it. It felt believable.

STEPHANIE:  I thought it was unexpected and well done.

KATI:  They felt very similar to each other. Plus, they loved each other for their faults, too.

HEIDI:  I loved that neither one of them thought the other was perfect.

STEPHANIE:  I agree–I thought the romance was best too!

KATI:  For me, it was a toss up between the romance and the setting.

STEPHANIE:  Oh, yeah, I thought the world building was awesome.

HEIDI:  Oh, I thought of my other favorite part – I LOVED the deals that were made, the trickster part of Ignifex.

STEPHANIE:  Yes! I thought that was really cool–although it was depressing, but I liked it!

KATI:  I did like them, but some of them were so sad.

STEPHANIE:  This was another thing I liked, I feel like a lot of books that have strong characters have weaker plots, but I felt like this book had a great combo of plot and character.

KATI:  Good pacing, too.

HEIDI:  I agree. Great plot, unique, strong characters, and, even more unique, it’s a standalone book. Did you have a favorite character?

STEPHANIE:  Oh, good question. I feel like it’s a toss-up.

HEIDI:  Definitely Ignifex for me.

KATI:  Ignifex.

STEPHANIE:  I really liked Ignifex. He was interesting, and I liked how he treated Nyx. But, I also thought Nyx was a great character.

KATI:  She was a great character.

STEPHANIE:  Here’s my final question: Would you recommend this book?

Kati:  Of course. It was well written, with believable characters, great setting, and a great pace.

HEIDI:  Definitely! Two thumbs up! I think anyone who enjoys romance, or fairy tale retellings, would love this book.

Kati:  Or mythology.

STEPHANIE:  For sure! I agree with it all!

How about you? Have you read this book before? Do you have your own favorite retelling?