Release Date: September 7, 2009
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Just about everyone has seen the movie, read the fairy tale, or seen the play of Beauty and the Beast, but I guarantee this is not the version from Disney or what’s written in the books, or even the Broadway play or even the musical. This is a version all its own. This is a version that will show you a modern twist and a new side to the same old fairy tale.
The “Beast” in this case, is actually not a beast at all, his name is Lucius Wolfe (is that not a cool name or what?) and he’s a sophomore in high school. But he’s not going to be at the same high school he was the year before, not since the accident, the accident that cost him both of his arms. The prosthetic metal hooks that are in place of where his arms used to be, that is was labels him as “The Beast” in this tale.
The “Beauty” is actually Aurora Belle, she is beautiful, naturally beautiful and not in that I-don’t-have-to-plaster-myself-in-makeup sort of way. There’s something about Aurora that is different than everyone else. Aurora is sweet, nice, and friendly to everyone until she has a reason not to be. But most of all, Aurora is not afraid. She’s not afraid of Lucius, of his quietness, or even of his hooks.
Upon their first meeting, they both know there is something about the other that intrigues them that draws them to one another. All they have to do is navigate the “popular” kids, high school, and their own issues and find out just why they are so drawn to each other. And that is what makes this story so adorably beautiful.
There’s something about going back to that time in high school, to those kids that always got what they wanted and always had it so easy, that makes this story so relatable, even with its fairy tale roots. But that’s the thing; Lauren Baratz-Logsted has stripped down the typical Beauty and the Beast story and got it down to the bare roots that made this fairy tale so beautiful in the first place. She’s found the love, redemption, and the power of forgiving not only each other, but also forgiving oneself.
Throughout the story, the point of view switches between Lucius and Aurora, which I found quite different and refreshing. I loved the different take on the same situation, and that made it easier to not only understand the characters, but also understand what they were thinking and how they were feeling. It also made it that much easier to fall for these characters and to know them better, at least in my opinion. And in a story that’s just under 200 pages, getting to know these characters quickly and thoroughly becomes important for the reader, and important for the story itself.
I found it remarkably easy to relate Lucius. I mean, who hasn’t been through the taunts and dealt with the bullies that come along with being in high school? It’s easy to fall into a story that you can relate to a narrator, and Lucius may be the easiest I’ve found relatable in a long time. Maybe that’s why I didn’t want the story to end.
It’s easy to forget that Beauty and the Beast was more than just a Disney movie with talking/singing household items and a beautiful girl in a castle with a beast; but it’s so much more than that. It’s the story of redeeming yourself, of falling in love with no boundaries, of forgiving others, and forgiving yourself for things that you can’t change anymore and Crazy Beautiful reminds you of that. It’s beautiful, refreshing, and totally rereadable.