3 stars · Viki's review

Review ‘Bellamy and the brute’

Title: Bellamy and the brute
Author: Alicia Michaels
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young adult
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When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and Golden Boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness that has caused deformity…turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job she must promise to never, ever visit the 3rd floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth being hidden there.

Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…

As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head, in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?

My Thoughts

I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings especially when they are put into a modern setting. Unfortunately the good ones are really rare at least in my opinion. This one is for the re-imagination of Beauty and the beast  and I was curious how it is because honestly the Beauty and the beast retellings are coming out of the woodworks by the dozen lately.

The cover is amazing and was the first thing getting my attention then the title just sealed the deal for me. I love how the author played with the worlds in it but the brute adjective I find a bit strong but I don’t want to spoil the story.
In all honesty this was my second book from the author and was relived because the writing is something phenomenal unlike my other experience with her books. It’s clean but really beautiful. The story started out really great the first chapter just sucked me in immediately and the scenes just came to life but unfortunately during reading it just lost its magic. Around pages 100-120 it became mediocre for me and stayed like that through the whole story. Also I didn’t really understand the importance of the prologue for quite a while and it was a bit bothering.

Bellamy is just my kind of a girl. She is smart, funny and hard working. She also doesn’t engage in conflicts she knows doesn’t worth it. She is mature for her age and I really liked how she let things roll of her. When she makes up her mind about something she doesn’t lets it go.
Tate on the other hand is quite annoying. He is so vain, and I know that’s partly the essence of the Beauty and the beast story, but it still got on my nerves. Even after opening up for Bellamy this streak of his stayed strong he just became more aware of. But after his initial grumpiness you can’t really call him a brute.

My biggest problem with the story is how aggressively it forces the inner beauty theme. It also part of the Beauty and the beast story but a more subtle presentation would have been better. But beside the retelling part it has quite a story in itself creating a beautiful spin on the original story. The whole supernatural element just put the icing on the cake, although the investigation part is went too smoothly for two inexperienced teenager, but whatever.

It was an okay story for me but I didn’t like the epilogue. The whole ghost showing up and urging you to investigate their death is just not my cup of tea. It also reminded me of the Halle Barry movie with where she see ghost and gets locked up in an asylum.


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