It starts off showing us the history of Kendra back in 1666, England, where most of her family dies of the plague. She runs off with her one surviving brother and finds a cottage made out of gingerbread. Yes, Flinn takes this classic tale and weaves her own take on it. Then flash forward to the present day and meet Emma at age 13, who finds out her stepfather has a daughter. Lisette's mother just died and will be coming to stay with Emma's family. Emma's mother senses that not all is what it seems with the beautiful Lisette. But after the shock of finding out about having a step-sister, Emma tries to befriend her. Let's just say beauty isn't skin deep.
I loved the twists and turns throughout this story and couldn't put it down. I'd received the galley of CLOAKED to read and decided to read BEASTLY first. So I downloaded a copy on my Nook and couldn't put it down. There's a little of everything: spells, romance, betrayals, and one very cool witch. Emma's character isn't the stereotypical wicked, vain stepsister but rather a studious teen who only longs for her stepfather's love. Lisette also isn't all dark but is more passive aggressive at the beginning then hits hard with insults and even goes as far as stealing Emma's boyfriend.
I totally loved the climax of this story where Emma decides to do something to get her world back and finds out like Scarlet in GONE WITH THE WIND, that maybe what she really wanted, wasn't what she wanted at all.
There's also mentions to LITTLE MERMAID--let's just say this Arial didn't end up like the Disney version; a modern day plain stepsister, and a reference to the Titanic.
Engaging tale with amazing characters, dialogue, and pacing. I can't wait to read more of Alex Flinn's stories. A must read for fans of twists on fairy tales.
2. Loved the POV of Kendra, the witch from BEASTLY
3. Twists and turns with a totally surprising ending