Title: Don’t Look at Me
Author: J. P. Grider
Page Count: 340
Publisher: Fated Hearts
Type of Book: ARC Copy, Indie, Kindle Ebook
Rated: 5/5 stars
Don’t Look at Me is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where instead of the guy being the beast, it’s the girl who turns ugly. I thought that a unique perspective, and a refreshing one, because-as the author puts it-why can’t the girl be ugly and have the guy fall for her regardless?
The story tells the tale of a girl named Haven who fell in love with a bookshop at the age of nine and goes there every time she gets the chance since. As an adult, she frequently buys books there whenever she gets her paycheck and can afford to after paying rent and taxes and being an adult. She loves to read anything and everything.
Quest is a young man who is freshly back from being in the Army, where he was released due to a painful secret. After his grandfather passes, he is shocked to discover his grandfather left the books that were originally his-signed Earnest Hemingway first editions-to a girl that he’s never met before. Convinced she managed to somehow trick his grandfather into giving the books to her, their first meeting is less than ideal.
Fast forward a bit, and while arguing over books, and Haven trying to convince him to keep the bookstore going, she is attacked by the Slasher, a hooded guy going around and slashing women’s faces, and making the ugly. She is now stuck at home, with plenty of time to read, because of how ugly she is.
Vanity is one of the few things I never understood about people, so Haven’s choice of ignoring the world because she’s ugly-though people tell her she’s really not-really bothered me. To me it seemed a bit of an overreaction…you have a deep scar on your face, and that makes you instantly unattractive? Scars can be beautiful, but it took most of the book for Haven to realize this.
I also identified the Slasher right away, but I was surprised to find that it was also *SPOILER*. I really liked the bit of trickery that the author did there.
The ending of the book was a happy one, sweet and warm. I liked how there were little nods towards the original telling-the bookstore, the beast, the love between the main characters. It was a well written retelling of the original, and my hat goes off to the author!
Overall, I give the story 5/5 stars for a job very well done!
-Pass Me That Book.