Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does. [via GoodReads]

Crazy Beautiful is a very unique retelling of the beloved tale of Beauty and the Beast. Lucius is a tortured soul. Every day he is reminded of the mistakes he made in the past. He has hooks for hands and is always stared at, made fun of, called all sorts of names, and/or completely avoided by the kids in his new school. On the bus ride to his first day of school he meets Aurora. Aurora who is everything he is not. She is beautiful, trendy, bright, popular and perfectly normal. Aurora who instantly feels a connection with Lucius but is hesitant because of the rumors surrounding him... the explosion, his hands, the hooks, the possibility that he might be crazy.

The story is told through alternating viewpoints between Lucius and Aurora. I think Ms. Baratz-Logsted did a fantastic job providing us with both perspectives giving you a more in depth feel for both characters. Plus you get the added bonus of seeing how one situation can be perceived differently by either character.

Now I will forewarn you, if you plan on reading this because it is marketed to be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, then you will be in for a surprise. For in this story you will find no magic, no rose, no castle. Instead you will find a monster who wasn't overcome by vanity, but instead made the wrong choices in life and now has to live with the repercussions of his own making. This is a love story, but more than just a story about two very different kids falling for each other. It is a story of two kids living life the only way they know how. It is about forgiving and loving oneself. About seeing someone for who they are and not for what they look like. About healing and second chances.

Ms. Baratz-Logsted's writing is lovely and I felt it lent this modern story just the right hint of enchantment and fairytale splendor. My only complaint was that it was so short (208 pages). I read it in one sitting and was saddened that it ended so quickly. I would really have liked there to be more but I also want to make it clear that in no way did I feel like it lacked anything either. On the other hand, it gives you the feeling that you are taking a glimpse into Lucius and Aurora's life. You know there was more before you came along and you know there will be more after you are gone. I think it was pulled off beautifully.

This book was provided for review by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt through NetGalley.


Emidy said...

Wow, I'm surprised I haven't heard of this before - it sounds amazing. I love the sound of that plot, and the characters seem like they work well together. I'll have to check this out for sure!

Jess - A Book Hoarder said...

I am so checking this out. Thanks for the great review. On the one hand I am glad it is short because it will be easy to squeeze in so hopefully it won't be next year when I finally have time for it but I have a feeling that like you I will be wishing for more when I am finished.

Anonymous said...

I just finished this one...and while I liked it....I thought it was nothing of a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast.

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