Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
Release Date: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4.5 STARS
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
This book is really...interesting. I can honestly say I have never and probably will never read another book quite like it. The people who surround Isra are kind of...sucky. Basically this is a book where you hate basically everyone. The only people you really like are Isra and Gem and even they will piss you off at some points. But the story is really cool and amazing. Just like the social differences between Yuan and the Monstrous and how they became the way they are and how they stay that way. Its really creepy at some points, like the roses are super scary and not right. All and all its a great story that basically says it doesn't matter how you look its what's inside that counts.
Now Isra...she's blind, so it was interesting to see (Ew bad pun) her perspective of things and how she manages to cope with her disability. I mean, she climbs out of a frickin tower like its nothing. She is truly amazing. My only problem is that she lets people push her around. Even though she's going to be queen and ruling government she lets other people do it and think she is incompetent, especially because she's blind. I just really think she should have pushed harder, because when she did push she brought up truly serious problems that no one seemed to care about. And I hate all the nobles and the guards, they all treated her terribly. Oh, they'd follow her orders but snicker and gossip about how much of a failure she was as soon as she turned her back.
And Gem. Sometimes Gem really pisses me off. I mean right from the get go he just uses Isra's need for a friend, any friend to manipulate her with the plan to either kill her or leave her in the desert to die. She obviously realizes this but she still tries to save him and get him better living space and treatment so he could at least TRY to like her! Other than that he's a cool person. I really can't give much more away but he does become sweet and start to care about Isra...so that's good.
Anyways Beast and Beauty is a really cool, interesting read. Its not particularly fast but it is captivating. Happy reading!