Sunday, August 20, 2017

*Review* Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 391


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 received an audiobook copy of this through Audiofile Sync's summer reading for teens program absolutely free of charge with no strings attached. This is my honest review. 

This story sort of flips the roles from the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. The beast is the one that becomes the prisoner, but it's quite possible that the beautiful people are the real monsters. 

With this story, I found myself imagining that settlers of this planet were basically us, because they did arrive on massive spaceships to develop new colonies, but then the story "devolved" into fantasy with magic, but all of that happened hundreds or thousands of years before the present time. The inhabitants of this world sort of know of their history, but the stories seem to feel a bit more like myth than actual history. 

Of Beast and Beauty is told from dual points of view, so we get to see things from both Isra's and Gem's sides at different times. Obviously this makes it easier to relate to both characters, but it also leads to some irritation about their stubbornness because things are pretty obvious when you get to see both sides of the story. In spite of how obvious everything was to me, I still found myself rooting for Isra and Gem and feeling a bit unsure about the outcome of things for them. 

The narration of the story was acceptable. It has a single narrator, a woman, and her male voices sound a bit like caricatures, but I got used to them rather quickly, so that didn't bug me too much. 

Overall I give Of Beast and Beauty 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering). She writes YA fantasy romances and adult urban fantasy. Learn more at


  1. Great review. Sounds so different. When read the title I thought it was a retelling of The Beauty and The Beast. Glad that it's totally different. I need to check it out. :)

    1. It is definitely a reimagining of the Beauty and the Beast trope, but it's nothing like the Disney movie version of the tale for sure. - Katie