Book Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Of Beast and Beauty
By Stacey Jay
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: 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.

Review: Oh Stacey Jay, how do you do it? I absolutely adored her Juliet Immortal series, so I couldn't wait to crack into this one. Not to mention I can't resist a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

Princess Isra has been brought up under the dome knowing her fate as the human sacrifice to ensure her city's protection was close by. Isra was also taught that the Monstrous, those who live outside of the dome, are beasts who only want to destroy them. But when Isra's men capture a monstrous and she spends some time with him, she realizes he's not the beast she was brought up to believe. Then, Isra's sight is returned after living blind for years, and her eyes are open to a whole lot more than she could have ever imagined. Has everything she's been brought up on the whole truth? Or were things let out that could change everything?

Wow, I had no idea a retelling of Beauty and the Beast could be this cool. I loved Isra right from the start. I don't think I've ever read a book from the point of view of someone who is blind, but the way Stacey Jay wrote from Isra's point of view was just so perfect that you didn't miss out on anything. In fact, I feel like I got even more detail of Isra's world because she was seeing with everything but her eyes. And her world is so interesting. Living under a dome that's protected by a rose garden who demands a human sacrifice every 20-30 years? I love how the rose from the fairy tale was used that way. 

Not only was isra's character great, but I loved Gem. Since the chapters switched point of view, we actually got to see Gem change from the monstrous who hates anyone under the dome to someone who could actually start to care about the very being he was brought up to despise. Then, his journey to earning Isra's trust and starting to trust her back was great. Who knew a beast could have feelings for someone?

Not only was there some romance, but the action and suspense in this book was just awesome. At every moment I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next and guessing who to trust and who was actually the enemy. Even though this is a retelling, the story was so original and I completely fell in love. I already gave my sister my copy, insisting she reads it as soon as possible. And I insist all of you to do the same! You'll absolutely love what Stacey Jay has for you in her newest release.