Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe) by Rosamund Hodge

I give this book a solid 5.


I listened to the audio version of this book so that may have had an effect on the comments I make below.

I don’t usually make comments on the narrator because I try to focus on the story at hand, but I really enjoyed the reading of this story. The narrator gave a wonderful and engaging performance.

A dark twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale, Cruel Beauty tells the story of Nyx, a daughter raised as a sacrifice and tribute to the demon ruler of a world in captivity. Filled with hatred and contempt, but bound by duty and a sincere desire to do at least one noble thing in her life, Nyx sets out to destroy her would be husband and then die, with no hope for anything greater.

I know there will be no way for me to fully describe how much I truly enjoyed this story so I’ll just babble on a bit and then stop.  The first thing that I noticed about this story is that it was promoted to me as a YA/New Adult book. I haven’t had the best of luck with these kinds of titles. They are either too teen or too adult for my liking, but this book is what New Adult should be, though I’m sure some will argue for a little more steam and I’d  let them.

I describe this book as a dark twist to a fairy tale for two basic reasons. Traditional fairy tales aren’t that lighthearted, but recently people have forgotten what fairy tales once were, mostly due to the success of the Disney Corporation. Now, I’m not hating on Disney, but some of the things they’ve done to fairy tales is ridiculous.

  1. I want readers to understand that this is a dark story and not because of explicit violence and heavy gore. This story is dark because it touches on the truth of people’s nature and the sense of self-loathing, hatred, and disgust that could arise in any of us at any time given the right circumstances.
  2. This story is also dark because it challenges you to face the reality of choices you make every day and to see whether or not you are always as virtuous as you may think you are.

This book did something to me that not many books have. It made me look forward to reading and experiencing the romance that was taking place between the characters. I think I was pulled into this romance because it’s not at all what you’d expect it to be; especially after you learn that there are others involved you hadn’t expected to even be factors in the equation.

I loved the fact that I really hated Nyx’s family. I don’t use the word hate a lot and I am talking about a work of fiction, but even with all the twists that take place, I’m still not fond of her family, and I love it. This is one of those stories where none of the characters are truly worth rooting for when you get deep down to their souls and see the things they’ve done because they are all human and so beautifully flawed. Even with their lack of virtue, there is still a clear sense that all these lives are still worth saving, simply for the sake of living.

This author may become one of my faves. I’ll definitely have to see what else I can get my hands on from this author. At this point I’ve stopped trying to describe this book and want to say, just read it if you dare. It’s not for kids, and men may not cling to it, but if you are open to really trying something new and different, and have an appreciation for mythology, fairy tales, complicated romance, and or fantasy, then give this book a try.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.