The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

Fangirls, I love books.  Sadly, I haven’t read many novels lately; I usually end up reading comics of graphic novels instead of novels because I can read more of them in a short period of time.  A coworker of mine lent me The Beast Within by Serena Valentino, though, and I’m glad I sat down to read it.


Luckily, this is a very easy read.  So I read it once, and still had time in the day.  I really like books, but I’ve got stuff to do, ya know?  As much as I love reading, there never seems to be enough time in the day.  Until it comes to teen novels.

Unlike a lot of teen novels, The Beast Within isn’t just another romance.  It’s the story of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with a littler more information from the Beast’s side.  Unlike the movie Maleficent, it doesn’t paint him like an angel, or completely change his character; it shows that he really was a jerk, and even gives examples.

In this “extended” version of Belle and the Beast’s tale, we learn that the Beast was once in love with a beautiful maiden.  He and his best friend, Gaston (weird, right?) were talking one day, and Gaston told him that his beautiful maiden was nothing more than a pig farmer’s daughter.  The pre-beast Prince (he’s just known as the Prince in this), didn’t believe Gaston, so they went to her house.  When they got there, the Prince’s future wife was feeding pigs, covered in mud!  He immediately shunned her, and told her never to return.

As the story goes, an old crone visited him later that evening.  When she was not allowed to be let in, she revealed herself to be his once-betrothed maiden.  she called him out for being a beast, and worked up a curse; that he must remain a beast until he falls in love, with someone who loves him back.

His transformation is slow; first his attitude is more beastly, then his mannerisms and temperament, and eventually his appearance.  He becomes betrothed to another eventually, but later tells her that she can not love him, or he wouldn’t look the way he does.  Eventually he meets Belle, and the story follows the Disney moviee.  But things are difficult for the Beast.  He no longer sees his servants; the way the curse affected him makes it so he doesn’t realize that they’re the furniture the way the movie shows it.

He feels alone, but Belle starts to change and fix that.  She cares about him, and starts to make him a better person.  The mob comes, the Beast kills Gaston (only after doing so does he remember that they were once best friends), Belle confesses her love, and the story is over.

I enjoyed this quite a bit.  I loved Serena Valentino’s book Fairest of All about the Evil Witch from Snow White, and I really liked this one as well.  I think the next book she’ll do will be about Ursula, who was briefly mentioned in this book.  I would love to learn about how the Sea Witch gained her powers.  So Fangirls, check out The Beast Within from Disney Press.  It’s a great way to experience more of the Beast’s side of Beauty and the Beast.







All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

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