Monday 24 June 2019

ARC Review | Beau and Bett by Kathryn Berla

Title: Beau and Bett
Author: Kathryn Berla
Publication Date: 16th July 2019 by Amberjack Publishing
Format: ARC via Netgalley
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

 Trigger and content warnings: Mentions of sexual assualt.


After Beau LeFrancois's mother wrecks Bett Diaz’s luxury SUV, his family faces an impossibly large bill—with no car insurance to help pay it. To pay off the debt, Beau spends his weekends working at the Diaz Ranch.

Beau’s prepared to work, but he’s definitely not prepared for the infamous temper of Bett Diaz, also known as "The Beast" at school. As Beau learns the secrets behind Bett’s tough exterior, he finds himself falling for her . . . until he catches Bett in a lie.




My Thoughts

"And in every beast, there's a human heart with a story of how it got to that place. A story waiting to be changed with understanding. A story waiting to be changed with just a kiss." 

I'm gonna start off by saying that I really didn't enjoy this book. I was expecting a really fluffy and cute Beauty and the Beast retelling but there was just no substance to any of the elements to this story.

The fairytale is modernised so it's now set in California and we follow two teenagers, Beau, who comes from a Cajun family and Bett, who is the daughter of a wealthy ranch owner. The main plotline is that after Beau's mother damages Bett's car, Beau has to work off the debt on the ranch and whilst there he develops feelings for this girl that everyone has told him to stay away from. And that's it. That's all that happens.

There was just zero development in this novel. I felt like the story was happening so quickly but nothing was actually happening that had any purpose. There was literally a sentence explaining to us how he rinsed out a soapy bucket; "I emptied the soapy water out of the bucket and rinsed the sponge and bucket, then squeezed the water from the sponge and set it on top of the wall to dry". Do we really need a step by step of this?

Both characters were infuriating and just so boring. Beau has slightly more characterization but that's mostly because we're seeing everything from his point of view but he's just so obsessive and kind of creepy. He has a big crush on this girl at his school, who's name I can't even remember, but all that he likes about her is her hair and her 'sexiness' and he keeps on asking about whether they'll fall in love and break up within a week like she did with her last boyfriend. Beau just really needs to get a grip.

Bett is just the absolute worst. She's spoiled and entitled and so incredibly rude to everyone. When she first meets Beau she tries to trick him into doing the dishes for her when she promised her grandmother that she'd do them herself. I get that she's supposed to be the beast character but my god she didn't possess any manners whatsoever. She explains her behaviour away by saying that she's an introvert and she doesn't trust people easily but I'm an introvert and I definitely don't treat people like crap until I get to know them better like she does. There is a further reason why she is the way she is but I also felt that wasn't developed well, it was only revealed within the last few pages so we weren't really able to get any further understanding about the situation.    

As for the writing style, I didn't like how short the chapters were. They felt very jarring and very stop and start, they also ended in really odd places so the pacing of the entire book wasn't great. I also felt that the dialogue was a little too cheesy and a lot of the times just did not make sense within the context.    

If I had to say I liked anything about this book it's probably the fact that it's a gender-swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast which is what intrigued me about the book in the first place. I liked the idea of the boy being the sweet and innocent character whilst the girl is more standoffish and icy. Unfortunately this book just didn't deliver for me and was just an overall massive disappointment.

·       * I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes included in this review are subject to change.

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