I continued forward in a reckless charge, lance of self-righteousness held high, never imagining the day would come when I would be unseated, left to be dragged behind my horse into the wild unkown.
Beauty’s life is the stuff of fairy tales. The youngest in her family, Beauty isn’t trying to catch Stephan’s eye. He is the lord baron’s heir, well above her family’s modest station, but when he kisses her hand at a party, Beauty is swept away by his charm, his wit, and his passionate declarations of love.
Hearts can be untamable creatures, especially when touched by the fires of first love, and Beauty doesn’t see the truth of Stephan’s intentions until it is too late. Until he stops asking for Beauty’s love—and simply takes it from her one night despite her refusal.
Beauty locks away the secret of what happened to her, and when her father emerges from the enchanted forest with a stolen rose in his hand and the tale of a vicious beast on his breath, Beauty seizes the chance to run as far from Stephan as possible.
She has some experience with beasts, after all. Certainly the one in the forest couldn’t be any worse than the one she’s already encountered.
Breaking the Beast’s curse might be the key to discovering her own path to healing—and finding the courage to allow herself to feel reborn.
Thoughts & Feelings
I was in fifth grade when I fell in love with fairy tale remakes. It is pretty much impossible for me to pass one up when I see it. I don't even care what the fairy tale is and don't read the synopsis 99.9% of the time. When I saw Beauty Reborn at the bookstore it immediately made it into my hands, no synopsis reading required. If I had read the synopsis I'm not sure I would've pick this one up.
I loved so much about this novel but also need to admit, for the sake of transparency and honesty, that I really struggled with this book at the same time. Beauty Reborn is categorized as a YA Fiction novel but deals with a really heavy topic. I will try not to spoil anything but feel that this needs to be mentioned. If you don't want anything spoiled feel free to skip the next paragraph.
In short, Beauty is a victim of sexual assault/rape. It occurs before the book begins but is brought to light later in the novel. We are given no details of what happened but are given the basic outline of what occured in a flashback/memory form. Beauty Reborn is about Beauty learning how to deal with her traumatic experience and learning to find happiness. This is her story, not Beasts, which I kind of loved. Throughout the novel Beauty struggles with suicidal thoughts, anxiety, fear, and sense of worth. This experience is woven through out the novel, so there is no reading around it or skipping a few pages. Elizabeth Lowham did an incredible job accurately portraying the pain and struggles that victims of sexual abuse experience. Beauty's story is heartbreaking but her journey of finding peace and healing is beautifully written.
What I really loved about this novel was the magic. I loved how we, the readers, are given time to explore the castle with Beauty and learn about its enchantments. While you won't find any talking or singing furniture or objects this castle has its own wonderful sense of magic. Castle doors open and close on their own, food is brought to Beauty at each meal, anything she could possibly wish for magically appears. The castle grounds might be my favorite place of enchantment. While the ground doesn't magically expand it does alter and we get to see it change shape a few times.
I also loved the little blue fairy and what we get to learn about fairy magic and wish making. I loved getting to watch Beauty meet this fairy time and time again. She initally begins asking questions to figure out if she could take away her grief, pain, or experience with a simple wish. However, she knows that a wish always comes with consequences. Then she becomes curious about the Beast's wish and what he could have possibly wished for to have turned into a beast and be trapped in a castle. We also get to learn a little bit about wishes and how they are reversed, because a fairy cannot simply take away a wish, they must be completed.
I loved so much about this novel and recommend it to my fairy tale remake lovers out there. Just know that there are some really heavy parts that may be triggering for some readers.
I would recommend this novel for 18 and older, depending on the maturity of the person.
Content & Trigger Warnings
Sexual Assault & Rape
Beauty is a victim of sexual assault/rape. While we are not given specific details we are told the basics of what occured. Her struggles with anxiety, fear, depression, and sense of worth are woven throughout the novel. You will not be able to skip chapters or sections to read around the topic.
The very beginning of this book begins by explaining that Beauty traded her father places because she thought the beast would kill her. It says, "In truth, I was hoping I'd be eaten." Her wish to die is revisited towards the end of the novel when she is discussing her choice with another character.
Title: Beauty Reborn
Author: Elizabeth Lowham