As a child, my favorite Disney princess was Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I loved Disney movies in general, but I was drawn to Belle because she was the character I found most relatable.
She and I share dark brown hair and eyes, a voracious appetite for the written word, and a desire to travel beyond small town life to see what lies in the “great wide somewhere.” Despite the scrutiny that this fi lm has received over the years, I have always had a soft spot for it, and my inner child will always love Belle and her spirit.
I have read and watched many retellings of classic fairy tales, and the most recent I have read is “Hunted,” by Meagan Spooner. This reimagining of Beauty and the Beast is a slow-burning fantasy novel for young adults that presents a quite different protagonist from the one I loved as a child. Yeva is the youngest of three sisters and is a hunter like her father. She is far more comfortable in the woods than she is in proper society, and she much prefers the company of her dogs than that of other people.
Yeva does not sing throughout the streets of her town or talk to household appliances; however, she still shares Belle’s spunk and love for literature. While most of Spooner’s novel focuses on Yeva’s point of view, the story occasionally shifts to the beast’s perspective. This might be my favorite aspect of the book because it allows the readers to understand the motives for his actions. He is not a monster who enjoys the terror of his appearance; instead, he is a human being trapped within a monstrous exterior who is desperate to be saved. The original Beauty and the Beast film will probably always be my favorite version of the tale due to my childhood nostalgia, but Spooner’s magic-filled novel is an imaginative retelling that lacks the filth that often sours even the greatest of writers’ works. I prefer fast-paced, thrilling reads for the most part, so while this book is not my usual cup of tea,
I think that this book is ideal for any teen who wants to revisit the nostalgia of childhood magic in a new way. “Hunted” is available on Libby app, free through the local library. Local libraries in your area include the Lannom Memorial Public Library, Moore County Public Library, and Coffee County Public Library.