*Many thanks to Harper Teen for this review copy in exchange for an honest review*
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney animated movie growing up. It has a very special place in my heart. So when I saw that Hunted is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I cannot not request this from Edelweiss. Luckily, I got approved. I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the expectations I’ve had with this book.
After reading reviews from Goodreads about this book, I am now well aware that I am in the minority with my opinion about this book. Let me just start by saying that I didn’t completely hate it. I found some aspects of the story very disappointing.
Yeva and her sisters lived a good life, up until her father gambled their future which caused them to lose everything they had. This lead them to sell everything they had left and move to their cabin in the woods. Moving to the woods would be easier for Yeva’s father to hunt for their food.
They were settling just fine, but then their father started rambling about someone watching and following him as he hunts in the forest. It would seem that Yeva’s father was slowly losing his mind. When he suddenly went missing, Yeva knew she was the only one who could find him. She was the only one who knows how to hunt. She was so sure she could find him. But what she found was more than what she was expecting to find.
Okay, let’s start with the good. This book wasn’t all bad. There were things that worked for me, especially towards the later part of the book.
1. OH GIVE ME MORE OF THAT RUSSIAN STUFF!!!
If you’ve been my friend on Goodreads, or following my posts here for a while, you’ll probably know how crazy I am about The Grisha Trilogy, and more recently, The Six of Crows duology. What does these series and Hunted have in common? They both have that Russian-like culture to it. How can I tell? Well, for one, their names sounds very Russian: Yeva, Solmir, Asenka, and their father’s name, who I can’t remember the name at the top of my head. But that’s not all, Russian folklore was added to the story in such an ingenious way that I ended up liking the story more when I learned about it.
2. THAT TWIST THOUGH
In relation to my point about the Russian folklore, the way it was used to add a twist in the story made me really happy. I liked how the author used the folklore and interwoven it to her story. I got to say, that ending was pretty unpredictable.
3. IT WAS DARK
The Beauty and the Beast story that I grew up with was definitely not as dark as how it was portrayed in Hunted. I kind of like it. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I love myself some dark and twisted stories.
4. THERE IS MAGIC!!
I was getting worried that this book didn’t have the magical elements that I oh so love about the Disney film. But it’s there. You’d be disappointed, though, if you think you’d see talking clocks and teacups. However, you’d still see magical creatures talking.
5. COVER LOVE
That cover!! Don’t you just love it?
Okay. So here we go with all the stuff that I disliked. I have some uglies too though. They’re the ones that I really, really, really didn’t like. But I’ll get to that later.
1. IT TOOK WAAAAYYY TOOOOO LONG FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN
I’m not a big fan of books that take too much time to develop, and Hunted, took too much liberty with that. It was slooow assss fcccckkk.
2. DAMN YOU LOVE SQUARE
For those of you who doesn’t like love triangle, sorry to disappoint, but this book does not have a love triangle – IT HAS A LOVE FUCKING SQUARE. Shit. It wasn’t completely distracting, but it’s still there, and I was not happy, especially because it was really jarring for me.
3. WHERE ARE WE?
This book definitely have Russian influences in it, but really, where is this book set? I’m confused. I’m not sure where this book is. Is it set in the real world in a different time period? Is this set in a completely different world only with Russian-inspired culture, like the Grishaverse? I have no idea. The world building in this book is… missing.
4. DUAL POV? NOPE.
I normally like dual-pov stories, but the way i was used on this one, annoyed me. I didn’t care for the Beast’s POV. I really did not. I wish I did though.
Okay. So, we come to the ugly parts.
1. I DIDN’T LIKE YEVA, AT ALL. AND ALL THOSE USELESS CHARACTERS
Okay. So Yeva is a hunter. That should be a good sign. Who doesn’t like a story about a fierce girl who could take care of herself. Someone who doesn’t need saving. Yeva was that, but the thing is, I didn’t buy into that. There were so many times in the story that we were shown and told how she hunts. Still, I couldn’t buy it. I didn’t care whether she lives or dies. I just couldn’t bring myself to care about her.
And all the other characters, I didn’t care about them either, especially Yeva’s family. What the hell? Okay. Save for Asenka (the sister who has a leg problem). I actually kind of like her, but other than that, I pretty much did not care.
2. BEAUTY + BEAST = I SERIOUSLY DON’T GIVE A FUCK
I guess, this also stems from my problem that I had with my first point about the characters. I didn’t care about Yeva and the Beast, and because of that, I didn’t care about their relationship. I didn’t care about whether they get together or not. I didn’t feel any chemistry at all. There was a point in the book where Yeva had this realization about the Beast, and I was like, “where the fuck did that come from?”. She had this solid theory in her head and just in a snap, she changes that? How? I can’t see how she would have come to the conclusion that the Beast that kind of person. I don’t want to go to a spoiler territory here so I’ll just leave it at that.
There you go, my review for Hunted. This wasn’t a bad book. I may have had issues with it, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t enjoy it. Just look at all the reviews on Goodreads. But this, for me, just didn’t work.
Have you guys read this? What did you think about it.