I guess it’s time to admit that I’m drawn to Beauty And The Beast retellings. I’m always interested to see what they hold. But, it’s not secret that I’m always drawn to Ashley Poston books. I adore the Heart Of Iron duology and I loved Geekerella. (I haven’t read The Princess And The Fangirl, but I want too!) So, I was very, very interested in reading this one.
Like most Ashley Poston books, this one has found a special place in my heart. There’s just something about them that softens my heart. I always fall in love with them. There are some things about this book that I didn’t quite like, but I can’t help but loving the thing as a whole.
I never thought I would want a contemporary Beauty And The Beast retelling, but wow did I want a contemporary Beauty And The Beast Retelling. Poston is a genius at adding Easter eggs (the ones in Soul Of Stars were very artfully placed). They came at just the right times and made up for the fact that some things couldn’t happen because of the lack of magic. Plus, the things that were changed to fit the contemporary setting were brilliant. The library, the castle, the villagers. It fits and it works so well.
I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Vance as much as I did. Yes, he’s a jerk and he’s made many mistakes. But he’s also lonely, scared, feels split into so many different pieces. He’s also incredibly sweet underneath all the Hollywood. There’s just something about him that. He also has a dog named Sansa!
I also really liked Rosie. She was a fantastic Belle. She’s sweet and stubborn and awkward. I really liked her.
I also really, really liked all the side characters. Rosie has the best friend group. They’re supportive and there is so much love between all of them. PLUS ONE OF THEM IS NON-BINARY. Rosie’s dad and Vance’s guardian also have crushes on each other and it was absolutely adorable. Yes, more older queer people.
On the queer note, I loved how casually queer this book was. Vance has been with both girls and guys. There’s a non-binary character. And there’s two older queer guys. It was amazing.
Also, I always love seeing more of the Starfield universe. There are multiple scenes and trailers describe in incredible detail. I’m honestly in awe at how well Poston was able to capture those scenes. It’s beyond brilliant.
There were also so many references. To Star Wars, to Tom Holland, and so many other things. I will always love it when books do this. Sometimes I feel like books exist inside a bubble, in a completely different world than our own, and I think it’s really great when there are grounding details like that.
There were some things I didn’t like. There were some contextual errors. For example, Rosie would say she’s wearing a dress, but on the next page she says she’s wearing a skirt. This is an ARC, so this will probably be changed in the final copy! I just mentioned it because I felt like it blended into some of the emotional development for some of the characters.
Speaking of emotional development, I felt like Rosie’s could have been more well rounded in a sense. It’s hard to describe, but I just felt like I wanted more out of it. I think I wanted more out of her character, but a lot of time was spent moving the plot forward. Which is fine, it’s just my personal preference.
Also, the reason this book is orange is absolutely hilarious and you should absolutely be looking forward to finding out why.
All in all, this book made me incredibly happy. I fell in love with characters I wasn’t expecting too, there was a dog named Sansa, dating sims video games, and so much geekiness. I really did love it.
Thank you for reading!