Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Of Beast and BeautyTitle: Of Beast and Beauty
Author: Stacey Jay
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date:  October 14th 2013
Pages: 368
Genre:  Ya Dystopian/Fairytale Retelling
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover


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.

I couldn't wait to get to this book. I have had it sitting on my shelves for a while and just couldn't get to it.... finally... I read this book. I LOVED IT! This is one of those reads that nothing I say will be adequate enough to describe how much I loved this book. This is the third Stacey Jay book I have read, and I have loved them all... this one is by far the best. It was sweet, intense, emotional, endearing, catastrophic, romantic, exciting, and so much more. 

This is a dystopian retelling of Beauty and the Beast except not. Isra is in line to take the throne, to give her self the land, and save her people. She has know this her entire life and has accepted it. That is until a monstrous from the desert makes his way into the city, kills her father, gets captured, and completely changes her life. Gem is the monstrous. He wants to save his desert people. The smooth skins (Isra's people) do not understand their kind and allows them to starve in the desert. He travels into the city with one mission, save his people. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen. He gets captured and does what he can to earn the trust of Isra. He needs her to save his people. What he didn't count on, falling in love with enemy.

This book was just wow, I mean wow wow wow. I loved so much about this book I can't begin to piece my thoughts together and put them into words, but I will try. Where to start. The story is just wonderful. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but so different. It has the main core... The beast, the capture, the roses, the falling in love, and of course the beauty. What is different,.. Well neither the beauty or the beast is really the beauty of the beast. They see each other as the beast and then they turn into the beauty. They are completely different and they hate the other with a passion. They fear each other. they don't understand each other. They only want to save their own. There is curse but its not on one person, its on the  planet. A very dark curse. Both Isra and Gem want to end it, they just have different ways to do so. The story is very sad and dark but very lovely and beautiful. Romantic and cruel. It crushed my heart and put it back together again. The story was creative and original for a retelling. One of the best I have read. 

The characters were just amazing. I fell in love with both of them right away. They were much alike but so different too. They were both scared, in the dark, and selfless. They both wanted to do what their own needed even it meant their life. They were loyal to their kind, brave, independent, and lonely. The main difference... Gem knew who he was, what he was, he accepted it and embraced it. Isra was afraid of herself, what she was becoming, she tried to hide and run from it. Gem had freedom and Isra only dreamed of it. They needed each other desperately and just didn't know it, not until it was too late. I adored these two characters. They were real for me, they came to life inside my head and I missed them every time I had to close my book. They were great together and their love story was beautiful. 

The romance in this book was just magnificent. It was slow building, intense, and sweet. I could see it building right from the beginning. I knew there would be a romance but I didn't need to. It was very evident in every moment Gem and Isra were together. They started out enemies, made it to friends, felt the attraction, then fell in love. They started off willing to die for their people but ended up willing to die for each other. Just splendid I tell you. 

It was just so much but not too much.The story, the characters, the writing. The writing was just exquisite. Beautiful, charming, elegant, just perfect for this story. The story never slowed. I was submerged deeply. I had to take my time reading this book and it was well worth it. One of those rare books I could start over and read again as soon as I finished it. I could read more. I wish there was more. I would beg for more if it would get me anywhere. I am definitely heartbroken it is over. 

This book will live forever in my heart and on my top reads shelf. One of the best I have read. 

Stacey Jay
Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering) with three pen names, two small children, and a passion for playing pretend for a living. She’s been a full time mom-writer since 2005 and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, waiter, math tutor (for real) and yoga instructor.

Learn more at


  1. WOW! Awesome review!! I still need to read this one too and it's now moving up in my TBR pile. I have a few priority books to get to first and it still might be awhile in the end. But I'm thinking I might get to it in June...there might be more priority books in May that I am not aware of yet! But yeah, definitely moving it up!! Can't wait to read it! Once again, amazing review!

  2. I have had this on my wishlist for forever, and I still haven't read it. Ugh. Everything about sounds amazing. Wonderful review.

  3. Going out to find this book today! Thank you for the great review :-)


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