I enjoyed Alex Flinn's Cloaked, so my friendly neighborhood librarian thought I might enjoy Flinn's previous modern day fairy tale, Beastly. She also mentioned that there was a movie of Beastly, so I reserved a copy of that too. But being a book person, I ALWAYS read the book first. I think everyone should do that.
Except in this instance.
Beastly (both print and film versions) is a re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast story.
See that cover above? That's the book I read, but in the book, rather than being transformed into a skinhead with some weird cysts, Kyle Kingson is transformed into a hairy, claws-and-fangs monster.
Also, the book seems to be geared toward the high school set, not that I would let my high schoolers read it. There's plenty of making out, sleeping around, and crotch grabbing. Also, Kyle makes a lovely comparison between proms and prostitution. If his dad is shelling out for the limo, and he's getting all dressed up etc., he better "get some." Too bad for Kyle, as prom night is the night that he ticks off Kendra, the seemingly overweight tattooed witch/classmate, so much that she changes him into a beast. This event de-rails his sexual activity for the evening.
Like a darker version of Shallow Hal, Kendra is actually a beauty, and Kyle has two years to find someone to love him and to love, just the way he his, or the curse is permanent. His dad is a network TV star, and has plenty of image issues as well. Kyle's dad basically abandons him after learning that the curse cannot be corrected with cosmetic surgery.
In the end, Kyle, who chooses the new name, Adrian (meaning dark one) kind of kidnaps the nice-but-plain girl, Linda. Well, he blackmails her druggie dad into giving Linda to him in exchange for the surveillance tapes of the dad breaking and entering Kyle/Adrian's fortress of solitude. Oh, and Kyle gives him back his baggies of dope too. Linda eventually learns to love Kyle/Adrian. Kyle learns that looks are not the most important thing in life, but he gets his good-looks back in the end anyway.
Mary-Kate Olsen plays Kendra the witch, so there's no weight problem. Kyle doesn't turn all hairy, as you can see. And surprisingly for Hollywood, the film version is way less sexy. Disney starlet, Vanessa Hudgens plays Linda, and she's not kidnapped, but staying with Kyle for safekeeping. A dead drug dealer's brother is looking to kill her, because her druggie dad shot the dealer. Makes much more sense than kidnapping. It's so much easier to win a girl's heart if you're protecting her, not holding her hostage.
Anyway, the movie is PG-13, and I agree with that rating. There's no crotch grabbing or comparisons to prostution, or comments about "getting some."
Surprise, surprise! The movie wins.