The Beast Within by Serena Valentino


What is your favorite fairy tale? Mine has always been Beauty and the Beast; I loved the Disney movie when it first came out. I’ve always wondered, though, how the Beast became so beast-like so fast and that no one remembered him in that castle!

The Beast Within by Serena Valentino (Disney Book Group, July 2014) finally answers the questions we’ve had. It tells the story from the Beast’s point of view, showing through flashbacks how a family of witches came to curse him because he had slighted their younger sister. Finally, we can see the magic behind his enchantment!


The Beast Within was a fast and entertaining story. Although I loved seeing the magic explanations, there were a few downsides to it. First, the writing was a bit uneven. In places it seemed a little awkward and rushed; in others, it was beautifully written and smooth.

Second, as a whole, it was almost too fast of a story. As an adult, I obviously read more quickly than children. Still, it seemed to rush through some of the most interesting parts of the story. I wanted to see more of the courtship between the Beast and Belle. I was always disappointed that it was not played out more in the movie; I had hoped that we’d see it in the book.

Those points aside, Ms Valentino certainly made a fun retelling of a familiar fairy tale! If you, like me, have always enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, make sure you check out The Beast Within when it is published this month!

Note: I received a digital review copy.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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