Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Of Beauty and Beast by Stacey Jay - ESSENTIAL

Jay, Stacey Of Beauty and Beast, 389 p. Delacorte (Random), 2013.  $18.  Language: G.  Violence: PG; Mautre Content: G.

  Princess Isla is blind – raised to be a sacrifice for her domed city’s continued health, as has been the destiny for the city’s queens for generations.  She doesn’t let her blindness stop her, however, and many nights manages to escape her tower room and roams the extensive gardens and streets.  The rose bushes, however, are her greatest attraction, because if she offers them a little blood, they will give her a few moments of vision.  One night, however, she sees a mutant in the garden, one of the Monstrous.  The Monstrous used to be human, but they live outside the domes and have been changed by the planet’s atmosphere.  Gem, the monstrous, is after the city’s roses.  Instead, the two may create an entirely new course for the future of everyone and the planet itself.  

There is much too much depth to this book to describe it in a short summary.  Jay has honed her romance skills in her first two books, but this time the romance is eclipsed by the excellent plotting and the complexity of the situation.  I didn’t pause to make a single note as I read the book – I didn’t want a moment of distraction.  But reflecting on what I read, while there is some violence, nothing is graphic nor gratuitous. No other warnings come to mind.  Sell this one to a few key students and watch them pass it on to their friends.  

MS, HS – ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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