Author: Cat Hellisen.
Published: February 3rd 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from. When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive. Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.
Sarah lives a normal, happy life until her mother decides to leave them. Her father descends into a dark place and he’s not ready to take care of Sarah alone. Sarah meets Alan in the not-so-Forest near her house and he is one of her few friends. That’s until her father dumps Sarah with her grandmother and grandfather in the middle of nowhere.That’s the moment Sarah learns about the curse that runs in her family and how it can pass onto her. Alan is there for her, but he is not exactly what he seems.
I liked the overall story and how the author twisted the original tale into something new. It is hard to identify it as a beauty and the beast retelling, which was good and a little disappointing at the same time. It is more the story after BATB. There is more magic involved and different characters then the original tale, like her grandparents. It is also way darker, something I appreciated (and it surprised me a little, seeing that this is a Middle Grade).
The shortness of this book makes the story feel too fast-paced. There is hardly any time for a set-up, so I didn’t feel any connection with Sarah. She wasn’t a bad character, but I never felt I got to know her and it prevented me from getting sucked in the story. The moment I was starting to get hooked to what was going on, was the moment I reached the last pages. It’s definitely enjoyable, but I wish there was more. It is still worth a read!