Audio Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty
3 of 5 stars
I got this book free from the SYNC program a year or so ago.

I am once again the party pooper or just the one with horrid taste. This book didn’t thrill me. It didn’t start out that way. It started out fabulously, actually. I’m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings and I loved the angry, revenge-filled heroine and her prickly interactions with the man she was forced to marry. He was actually pretty humorous. She punches him in the face, tries to stab him with a fork and all he can do is slyly smile and say, “I do like a wife with a little malice in her heart.” I saw at least a 4 ½ star rating in this books future but then, as many a book does, it frustrated and eventually lost me.

The narration was wonderful. Elizabeth Knowelden gave it everything she had and breathed life into the characters but somewhere, I’m guessing it was about the midway point but who really knows, after the introduction of a unique love triangle (but still . . . love triangle, ugh), much dithering back and forth and kissing of both men (who can blame a girl, right? ugh), and much less of the fun dialogue that I so enjoyed in the beginning, my attention started to wane.

So like any good Beauty & the Beast tale, there’s a big curse. There’s also a justifiably angry heroine and a plot filled with mythology and mysteries and many twists and turns. Those weren't my problems. The biggest problem for me was Nyx’s dithering between her lover boys and her loyalties and the fact that all of her relatives were just selfish and awful and basically ruined her future happiness for their own gain. She should've let them all suck it. But, alas, instead of stabbing them with a fork as they so well deserved, she acquiesces to their wishes time and again and it made me very growly. They were completely deserving of her hatred, if you ask me. I know you didn’t but there it is. On a final note, the ending was decent but the frustration to get there nearly did me in.

The first half (or so) gets a 4 ½ the rest a 2. I guess I’ll have to settle on a three.



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