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Monday, May 22, 2017

Release & Review - Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Category/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Retelling
Publication Date: March 14th, 3017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Buy Link: Amazon

3.5 “Beauty, Ivan and the Beast” Stars

Was Hunted the best B&B retelling I’ve ever read? Nope. Was it worth reading? Yep.

With a gorgeous cover and much buzz surrounding it, I was eager to read Hunted, and while I was happy with the main character’s arc and the overall message behind the story, the romance didn’t speak to me as much as I wanted.

I am a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and I’ve read my fair share of retellings, so I can say Hunted was the least romance-centered one in my list. First, it took Beauty too long to meet the Beast and once they finally got together, she kind of spent too much time obsessed with killing him.

This new dynamic between Beauty (her name is Yeva, but family calls her Beauty) and the Beast (a cursed prince called Eovan, or Ivan) was refreshing, though.

Beauty wasn’t the soft, lovely young lady who had to exchange her freedom for her father’s. She was the victim, but she didn’t play one. She fought back, she planned, she acted. I liked how strong and determined she was. I LOVED how she was protective of her dog (that always gets me). I liked Yeva. I rooted for her.

The Beast was as tortured (or even more so) than I came to expect from this type of characters, but he was less human than I was used in B&B retellings. His chapters were short, but they allowed us a glimpse into his mind—more wolf than man most of the times. Still, being around his Beauty helped him bring the human part of him to surface, allowed it to control the beast. And I have to be honest and admit I love a tortured soul more than I should. So every time he allowed Beauty to hate him so she’d want to stay and kill him, so that he wouldn’t be alone, my heart hurt for him.

From what I read, Hunted is also inspired in the Russian fairy tale “Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf”. While I don’t know the original story, I liked what it ended to this one. The overall message of how, as human beings, we’re often seeking happiness, but never achieving it because we always want more. I’d recently had a similar conversation with a friend about this subject, so I was more than pleased to see it portrayed so beautifully here.

I got the happy ending I wanted, but I still would’ve liked a stronger romance arc. It was there, but it wasn’t as developed as it could’ve been. Because interesting personal arcs aside, Beauty and the Beast will always be about the romance to me.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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