Publish date: 1978
Source: Classroom library
"Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.
When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"
Robin McKinley's beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple, Beauty and the Beast." (Goodreads)
I first heard of Robin McKinley when I added The Hero and the Crown to my TBR list on Goodreads after reading a list of great fantasy somewhere. I wish I could remember where! Anyway, I now have a variety of McKinley's novels in my classroom and my coworker recommended Beauty, so I brought it home to read over winter break and it ended up being my first read of 2012!
Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I was a little worried that it might get tiresome since I know the story, but it wasn't at all! The book is slow, but a good kind of slow. It takes a while to get to the point of meeting the Beast, but I enjoyed all the back story and learning about Beauty and her family. I thought the ending came up a bit quickly, but I suppose I was used to the slow pacing of the earlier parts of the story.
One thing I really loved was McKinley's writing. It was just beautiful and I found myself rereading certain sentences because they were so wonderful. I also used a couple as examples of great writing in my English classes. I will be book talking this soon and can't wait to read more of McKinley's work. I am thinking The Hero and the Crown next?