A huge thanks to Dave and crew over at #TheWriteReads for organising this ultimate book tour and to Jack Meggitt-Phillips, Egmont Books and Netgally for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The most exciting new children’s book of 2020 and a modern classic in the making. The Beast and the Bethany has all the classic macabre humour of Roald Dahl with the warmth and charm of Despicable Me, finished off with a gleeful bite of Little Shop of Horrors! This book should be on every little monster’s birthday and Christmas list.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .”
Q – What do you get if you cross three unsavoury characters in the form of an arrogant and vain 511 year old man, a bad tempered orphan and a stinky, disgusting monster who lurks behind the curtain?
A – Possibly the most fun and captivating children’s book that I have ever read.
Let’s begin with the stars of the show……
Mr Ebenezer Tweezer is a gentleman who has lived far longer than he should have in opulent style thanks to a special deal he has made with The Beast. Mr Ebenezer is one of those characters who is neither good, nor bad – just misguided and lost. I warmed to hm fairly early despite his choices as I felt there was a different side to him.
The Bethany is a grumpy orphan who bullies her way through life and is determined to the same with Ebenezer Tweezer. Bethany’s character had a huge development throughout the novel and although was meant to quite rude and awful in the early stages, with my professional hat on all I saw was a child with some emotional issues needing love and boundaries. I have to admit that even her ‘bad’ actions had me chuckling.
The Beast is a magical creature who is used to getting what he wants and will stop at nothing. He is selfish and lazy and heavily reliant on others to do his bidding. He is truly the baddie of this story but I love the way he is part disgusting bad guy and part spoiled brat.
The trio of main characters come together beautifully in a cleverly entertaining plot that will bring a smile to any reader’s face. Yes, it’s a middle grade book but I defy any adults not to be transported back to their childhoods where reading was truly a magical and pleasurable experience and stories were simple and pure fun. I adored every single thing about the plot and loved how it combined very gentle horror with all the silly things children find funny.
An fabulous middle grade book that will engage even the most reluctant reader and I cannot wait for book 2.