What I liked:
It was a pleasant surprise to find out that this book retells a few of my favorite childhood fairy tales (having missed reading about it before picking up this book) with meddling from Kendra. Beheld starts off with Little Red Riding Hood, but then moves on to Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling. Each story features a different point of view from each starring role of the fairy tales and they take place during different time periods of Kendra's long life up until our present day.
My favorite retelling turned out to be Rumpelstiltskin's, for the main character by the name of Cornelia is an avid reader and much of the story revolves around her appreciation of the written word and how this influences her love life. I particularly enjoyed the spin to this fairy tale's ending-- incredibly sweet and perfect for the characters. It certainly left me wanting more! However, the rest of the retellings are equally enjoyable and extremely hard not to fall in love with.
Having read Beastly (the first book in the Kendra Chronicles) such a long time ago had made me forget how quickly the author, Alex Flinn, manages to suck readers into her stories. Her writing is fantastic and imaginative, smooth and easy to follow with no chance of ever getting bored. And the good part is that most of her works can be read as standalones, including Beheld!
What didn't do it for me:
While I loved falling in love with the fairy tales characters and their relationships, I wish to have done the same with Kendra's and Jame's relationship. Somehow their romance felt a bit bland in comparison with the other fairy tales and that's not what I was hoping for. It needed more.
Beheld by Alex Flinn is the book to go if you are a fan of retellings and stories within a story. From Little Red Riding Hood to The Ugly Duckling, every reader is bound to fall in love with these fairy tales (and Kendra's antics) all over again!