Top 5 Beauty and the Beast Retellings

By Cynthia Ayala ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor
Disney has finally released the trailer for their upcoming live-action adaptation of their classic animated beauty, Beauty and the Beast. The film, set to release March 17, 2017, stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and Luke Evans as Gaston. Beauty and the Beast has spawned a following since its first awakening back in 1991, and since then there have been numerous retellings of the tale as old as time. Here is a list of the top five retellings of Beauty and the Beast to read before the film opens in ten months. That is more than enough time to read these and more.

  1. Beastly - Beauty and the Beast Retelling
    Image Credit: Barnes and Noble
    Beastly (Beastly #1) by Alex Flinn

Beastly by Alex Flinn has already been made into a movie. The cast had chemistry, and the story was solid. In a high school setting, it all worked. The novel though is very different from the film. The foundation is the same, but some of the characters were changed to fit the bill of the movie. This novel is very much like the original fairy tale; it’s just a modern take on the story. The obnoxious pretty boy turns into a beast and then the beauty, Lindy, is forced into his protection. It’s a good read.

  1. Cruel Beauty - Beauty and the Beast Retelling
    Image Credit: Barnes and Noble
    Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1) by Rosamund Hodge

What a twist on the story. This story follows Nyx, who was betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Ignifex, by the foolishness of her father. However, her plan is to go through with the wedding, to abandon her life, and kill the beast. Ignifex is a considered a monster by his actions, but maybe there is a cause to the madness as Nyx soon discovers as she begins to fall in love with the king. With her heart split in two, Nyx must learn what is more important to her, her kingdom or her king. Fate and love are fickle things.

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses - A Beauty and the Beast Retelling
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    A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

In this novel, Maas is blending the story of Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore, which makes sense since it is a fairy that curses the Beast in the original. Of course, it is the devil in the case of the Grimm fairy tale version, but that is a different story entirely. Feyre is a young huntress who kills a wolf in the woods that belong to Beast, known as Tamlin in this novel. Now, trapped in his estate, Feyre’s hatred soon turns to passion and with a danger arising in the world of the Fae, Feyre must find a way to save the Beast she loves and his people.

  1. Of Beast and Beauty - A Beauty and the Beast Retelling
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    Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Princess Isra is blind, and her only duty in life is to be sacrificed for her city’s vitality. While on the outside of her city lies Gem, a mutant who fights for his deformed people, called the Monstrous. When Gem becomes Isra’s prisoner, Isra soon comes to care for him, beginning to question everything she was brought up to believe. Together they will change their world, but at what cost?

  1. Scarlet - A Beauty and the Beast Retelling
    Image Credit: Barnes and Noble
    Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

This is the second novel in The Lunar Chronicles series that started off with Cinder. Looking at the cover, it looks like Little Red Riding Hood, and it is, but it’s much more than that. Meyer was able to weave together two fairy tales and allowed both of them to shine in this novel. No one can read this story and think that the relationship between Wolf and Scarlet isn’t a tale of Beauty and the Beast. By the end, the writing echoes that of Beauty and the Beast than it does Little Red Riding Hood, which isn’t a bad thing—it only highlights the evolution of the story and the relationship between the characters.
If you have a suggestion for another novel or an opinion on any of these, just leave a comment below. Happy reading!

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