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Beast
by Brie Spangler


Overview - A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Rainbow Book List selection
A witty, wise, and heart-wrenching reimagining of Beauty and the Beast that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan.
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    Beast (Library Binding)
    Published: 2016-10-11
    Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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More About Beast by Brie Spangler
 
 
 
Overview
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Rainbow Book List selection
A witty, wise, and heart-wrenching reimagining of Beauty and the Beast that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan.


Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn't look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg--and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.
Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy--until he meets Jamie. She's funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She's also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality.
As Jamie's humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn't know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn't listening. Something that shouldn't change a thing. She is who she's always been--an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?
Praise for Beast:
-Writing smartly in Dylan's voice, Spangler artfully represents both main characters: the boy who feels like a freak and the witty, imperfect, wise trans girl he loves. Very lightly borrowing on the classic fairy tale, she allows them to fail and succeed without resorting to paper villains or violent plot points to manipulate compassion. A believable and beautiful human story.- --Kirkus Reviews, Starred review
-Spangler's captivating portrayals of Dylan and Jamie offer piercing insight into the long, painful battle to shatter stereotypes in order to win dignity, love, and acceptance.- --Publishers Weekly, Starred review

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781101937167
  • ISBN-10: 1101937165
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 336
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > > LGBT
Books > > Social Themes - Dating & Sex
Books > > Humorous - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Picture book creator Spangler (Peg Leg Peke) turns to an older audience with a thought-provoking novel about two shunned teens who struggle to make sense of the world and themselves. At nearly six foot four and covered with hair, 15-year-old Dylan Ingvarsson has been nicknamed the Beast, but he doesn’t feel like one. Mostly, he leads a quiet life, earning top grades in his class and supporting his widowed mother. When Dylan breaks his leg falling off a roof, perhaps not entirely accidentally, and ends up in therapy for self-harmers, he meets an intriguing girl named Jamie, a talented photographer, who seems to like Dylan for who he is. For the first time, Dylan finds himself falling in love, but then he learns something he missed while he was zoning out in therapy: Jamie is trans. Sharply drawn relationships and true-to-life dialogue make Dylan’s interactions with Jamie, his mother, and his friends feel breathtakingly real. Spangler’s captivating portrayals of Dylan and Jamie offer piercing insight into the long, painful battle to shatter stereotypes in order to win dignity, love, and acceptance. Ages 12–up. Agent: Mackenzie Brady, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Oct.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Standing out and finding where you fit in

Hairy all over and rapidly approaching seven feet tall, 15-year-old Dylan resents how perfectly he fits his nickname: Beast. After a particularly bad first day of sophomore year, Dylan climbs out onto his roof to get some peace and quiet, and wakes up in the hospital. His leg is broken, and he’s been enrolled in group therapy for self-harmers. Though he’s determined to stay detached in group, to say nothing and hear nothing, he can’t help but notice beautiful, confident Jamie—and she notices him, too. The two connect in a way Dylan’s never connected with another person before—let alone a girl—but Jamie has a secret. It shouldn’t change anything, but it changes everything.

Brie Spangler’s young adult debut offers a smart, sensitive approach to finding your place when all you can do is stand out. Dylan and Jamie are both radically different from their high school classmates, but Spangler’s just-right touch reveals their complexities as outsiders. Jamie is completely in tune with the challenges she faces as a transgender girl, yet this one aspect of herself does not define her. In the same way, Dylan is much more than his nickname. Both protagonists have a lot to learn from each other about acceptance—of others and of themselves.

Sometimes touching, often funny, always honest and human, Spangler’s Beast is a powerful debut and a wonderful read.

 

This article was originally published in the November 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews