I gave “Bookish and the Beast” a 4.1/5 stars. Check out my Instagram for pictures of Princess Belle signing the cover while I was at Disney World. This was a clean, inclusive, easy YA read of a modern day beauty and the beast retelling. Unfortunately I never ended up liking Vance and was a little disappointed about that.
I recommend it for 16 year olds who also enjoy sci fi. But i probably won’t be reading the others in this series such as Geekerella. Parts of it reminded me of Alexa Donne’s “The Stars We Steal” in case you like her stories. By the way those dating games referenced I was clueless about. Is that trending with teens these days? My kids are only 7 & 9 years old so I have a few years before I have to worry about cell phone use and apps.
Here’s my thoughts while reading:
I was surprised the heroine seems to be a senior in high school. I’m unsure why I was expecting New Adult. So far I love the contemporary vibe even though there’s a bunch of cell phone talk since technology usually turns me off to a novel. But Rosie is obsessed with a romantic sci fi series and met a mystery boy at a cosplay event a month ago. She just quit her job because her manager gave her that pitying look about her mom dying. So Rosie already has some depth and I can relate to her love of reading and friendship but I wish she was 25ish instead of 17-18 years old. Sidenote- thanks to the author for representing a non-binary character in Quinn.
It looks like this will be a dual point of view with the second chapter in Vance’s point of view, also written in first person- present tense narrative.
Vance seems to be an entitled, spoiled rich kid who is also a celebrity that pisses off all the journalists. It seems like he has chronic migraines which may be the cause of his sour mood but I can’t like him yet if he admits to hating books. At least he loves dogs.
It seems a bit unrealistic that Rosie is so crushed about losing a minimum wage job because first, she can find another and secondly, that wage isn’t going to make a dent in her college tuition like she’s hoping.
I love that it’s set in my state of North Carolina.
I enjoy Rosie’s relationship with her dad and how he’s into punk of all things. It sets him apart from other book-Dads.
The Garrett situation feels like 13 year old drama so that took me out of the story a bit.
At page 73, Vance still isn’t a likeable character. I’m not going to throw him a pity party. He isn’t showing me a reason of why I should be rooting for him.
I’m sad that the best night of her life that she refers back to was never shown on page. That should’ve been a whole scene in the beginning. It’d be a game changer for how we view Vance too.
At the end of part 1 I’m glad Elias stood up to Vance at least once.
At the halfway mark I’m mirroring Vance’s endless grumpy mood because I just tested positive for Covid. Again. First time was on my birthday. This second time was while in Disney. Effin Fabulous!
At the end I wish Vance had more options to change his life path. I’m unsure if he is happy with his career choice or not. Though this is Rosie’s story. During her all is lost moment, her awakening was entwined with how she’s been grieving her mom and for some reason that didn’t feel like the strongest pull of WHY she snapped out of the mini-depression. It’s relevant, yes, but didn’t feel like it should’ve been the whole reason.