OK, so here's the deal...um, last week's book Cinderella Ate My Daughter did not get finished because I started reading Beastly by Alex Flinn. I had to read it because the movie comes out soon and...Lit Muse is reading it for their next meeting and then we're watching the movie.
Literary Muse (Lit Muse for short) is this group I sponsor at the high school. We meet at the library or a coffee shop or a restaurant and discuss the books we read. I don't lead the discussions, I participate. I don't choose the books, unless someone wants to choose a book in a series (then I make the group either read the whole series, as with Twilight, or pick a different book) nor do I discourage the students from reading books that my high school may not let them read. We read 2-4 books a year and, also, occassionally write and enter contest (depends on the year and the students, after all it is their club, not mine!).
Over the years we've read (these are the ones I can remember): Big Fish Different Seasons Rules of Attraction Sense and Sensibility The Twilight Saga The Kite Runner About A Boy The Godfather The Road The Prestige
I missed the meeting we had at the beginning of this year for The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud (good thing, as I have not read it yet) and promised them I would come to the meeting for Beastly and watch the movie. So, I read Beastly like a mad woman, forsaking all else during the day and read Orenstein at night...I finished Beastly first. It really wasn't a race, Beastly is just an easier read.
Frankly, I wished I would have gone into the movie a little blind. The book is lovely and I can already tell that the movie will pale in comparison. Kyle Kingsbury is a jerk, and Adrian is the perfect beast. If I met Edward Cullen or Kyle, I'm not sure which I'd chose. Lindy is, hands down, the best YA heroine I've seen in a long time. I'm pretty sure that she does not, not even one time, cry over a boy...over the loss of her freedom and her father, yes there are some tears, but no tears for the loss of a boy. In this book Kyle/Adrian gets to be the crier and he gets to be the one who laments, hoorah! Sensitive guy, strong female (I knew there was a reason that I've always liked the Beauty and the Beast story). There isn't any way that they can possibly have all the wonderfulness that I imagined while reading...I was in it, in it, people...ask anyone who tried to talk to me during my planning period or tried to get me to eat lunch or do hall duty...in it.
Unfortunately, Vanessa Hudgens, is not in anyway how I imagined Lindy would be. I'm not going to spend time bashing Ms. Hudgens or her acting or singing ability...I am in no way her target audience, so what I think isn't going to do anybody any good. I just imagined Lindy acting a little less like Gabriella and looking a little more like this (you know a beautiful red head who has the ability to not look so pretty to the shallow of heart) with the acting chops to boot.
This is the same way I felt about the Twilight movies. When they first came out I thought, OK, these movies may blow chunks...however, I may be able to tolerate them if...they don't screw up the baseball scene (which, with Muse as background music how could they?) and the vampire sparkles (which were done exactly how I imagined them)...first movie was a win, the second movie was so badly a loss that I haven't watched the third.
Back to Beastly, I like this book because it allowed me to truly imagine the beast from his point of view. I think it's lovely that we don't officially meet the girl who is supposed to save everyone until 100 pages or so in, but we do meet Kyle and we do see him change and we do see how he is that attractive, popular boy that we all dreamed of, but was definitely too shallow and mean for us to like. I think every kid could learn something from his transformation...humility, what it means to be prideful, how and when to be stubborn, why we shouldn't blame our absentee parents for our problems, but rise above them and so on. I suppose that will all play off in the movie even without a redhead as Lindy.
Hmmm...I guess I'll be OK, as long as they don't screw up that scene with the green dress.