Number of pages: 384
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 4.5
I was never the biggest Beauty and the Beast fan as a kid. I guess my brain missed the part where I was supposed to love Belle because she liked to read like me (frankly, the main character being a reader is far too overplayed in YA). I have never read the original Beauty and the Beast, so I can’t speak to whether Hunted is closer to the original or the Disney version, but it is probably my second favourite Beauty and the Beast retelling (Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge wins for incorporating Greek mythology).
I have two minor issues with Hunted, the first being that the story isn’t very interesting until Yeva is captured by the Beast, and even then she’s wasting away in a dungeon for a solid amount of time. The story does eventually reach a point where it’s practically unputdownable; it just takes a while to reach said point.
The other minor issue I had with Hunted is I had no idea where it was supposed to be set until Yeva started telling the Beast Russian fairy tales. The setting isn’t really more established than that and talk of plentiful snow. I wish there were more descriptions of the setting instead of descriptions of how Yeva felt in the woods.
I liked that the “Gaston” character, Solmir, actually had a fighting chance. He was a good guy who was willing to let Yeva continue hunting and provide her with anything she could want. Unfortunately for him, Yeva’s want for something more could not be quenched.
This is primarily a story about wanting. Both Yeva and the Beast have everything they could ask for at points in their stories, yet they still want more than what they have. This sense of wanting is why Yeva and the Beast work so well together, and I think it’s the reason Hunted has resonated with so many people. At some point in our lives, we all want something more than what we have, and only a lucky few get to go out and find it.
There isn’t really any romance between Yeva and the Beast. It’s trully a matter of them seeing the same lonely wanting in each other. If you’re looking for a witty forbidden romance, you won’t find it here. It’s not instalove. Yeva and the Beast start off as “friends” (in the loosest use of the term), and move on to find the other is what they really need.
Overall, Hunted was an enjoyable Beauty and the Beast retelling, earning it 4.5 stars out of 5.