Mannering, G.R. Roses. Sky Pony Press, 2013.
The strange girl with the silver skin and white hair, a ward of a wealthy house, is hidden away and unnamed until she escapes her captors and is named Beauty by a passing stranger. Soon after, Beauty and other people of magic are forced to flee the city in order to escape execution. She lives with a horseman in his rustic village, until he steals a rose and angers a horrid beast. In exchange for the horseman's life, Beauty offers to stay with the beast. Will she ever be free again?
I enjoyed this book, not only as a retelling of a common fairy tale, but also as a great fantasy story with an interesting world to explore. The traditional beauty and the beast story doesn't show up until much later in the book (past page 170), but I was so interested in the first part that I didn't mind at all. Unlike the traditional stories, in this book Beauty is considered to be a freak, and her name is meant to be ironic. She is a curiosity in the city where she grows up, and an outcast in the small village she escapes to. This book will hook stronger readers with the lyrical writing and world-building, and even less-strong readers will be drawn to the story because of the fairy-tale tie-in. There is already a waiting list at my library just from this book sitting on my desk for the past week. I will be recommending it to fans of Beastly and Of Beast and Beauty, as well as my kids who can't get enough fantasy.
Recommended for: tweens, teens, fans of fantasy and fairy tale retellings
Red Flags: Beauty "accidentally" shoots her cousin, but the scene isn't graphic
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Goodreads' FirstReads program for the purposes of review.