Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Published March 14, 2017 by HarperTeen
Genres Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Hunted is the first Beauty & the Beast retelling that I have read and I absolutely loved it! I am also going to need to buy this in hardcover when it is released in March because the cover is amazing!
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones and in her blood.
When we meet Yeva, she is restless and bored attending functions in the baroness’s household and longs for the wilderness and forest. She is fairly happy when they are forced to move quite suddenly back into the woods that she has missed for so long. Her father, who has called her Beauty since she was a child, plans to provide for the family by hunting, but refuses Beauty’s offers to come along and help. The farther he goes into the woods and the longer he stays away, his mind seems to be slowly breaking, until one day, he does not return at all. When Beauty goes after him, she eventually meets the Beast, who captures her, hoping she can break the curse that was cast on him many centuries ago. In the beginning, Beauty only wants revenge against the Beast and to return to care for her family. But as weeks turn into months, she finds herself starting to care this Beast, who is not fully animal, but certainly not human. She finds herself in the Beast’s valley, inside a ruined castle and surrounded by a forest filled with creatures she has only heard about in fairy tales. And as she finds herself living inside of one of these stories, she will questions all that she once thought to be true.
I really loved this book and the beautiful world that the author created. I especially liked Yeva as a character because she was not only strong an loved doing things like hunting, that were frowned upon by other woman her age. Throughout the book, she seems torn between taking care of her family, which includes marrying a man with means to help provide for them and seeking out the life she really wants. She also cared deeply for her sisters and especially her dog Doe-Eyes. I really loved that her dog followed her around everywhere and was her constant companion, through good times and bad. I feel as though it has been a while since I’ve read a YA fantasy book where the main character has a devoted pet. I loved the vivid imagery of the forest and could see the many different rooms of the ruined castle. I feel that the author did an excellent job with this retelling; I have not read any other Beauty & the Beast retellings yet, but I have heard things from other book bloggers. While Yeva is being held captive, she doesn’t realize that the Beast is her captor because she never sees him, only hears his voice. So her beginning to care about him is truly based on these interactions, since she has yet to see his true form. This is a standalone book and although I did enjoy the way the book ended, I would have loved a bit more romance in the end or a slightly longer epilogue.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and if it isn’t already on your TBR for March, I strongly suggest adding it. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book!