{Review/GC Giveaway} BECOMING BEAUTY by Sarah E. Boucher

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

Welcome to Becoming Beauty's Blog Tour!
Learn all about Sarah E. Boucher and her exciting new Young Adult novel based on the classic fairy tale Beauty & The Beast.

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   WEAVING A TRAIL OF well-bred chatter across the ballroom, ladies of wealth and status bustled past me, their expensive gowns swishing as they hurried toward their next conquests. Compared to the brightness of the company, the tall, heavily draped windows were somber, even with candlelight flickering from the sconces lining the walls. The carefully glossed floor shimmered; however, under so many dancing slippers and burnished knee boots, a number of small tables set around the perimeter of the room, and the long, linen-draped buffet table laden with every delicacy imaginable, the floor itself was barely visible.
   Having just entered the room, I scanned the assembly for persons of interest. The regular crowd was performing the polite, monotonous dance of courtship. Then there he was, standing out like a diamond in a handful of pebbles--and seemingly all alone.
(Page 7, US e-book edition)

Fairy tales: Been there, done that, right? If you read as many fairy tales as I do, it's always refreshing when one comes along that breaks from the traditional mold and forges its own path. This happens several times throughout the novel and keeps readers on their toes.

This time around, our Beauty is a girl named Bella, who wants nothing more than to make a good match in life and rise above her class. She has no skills like her younger brother Aaron, and isn't as pretty or as skilled at embroidery as her older sister Cassandra. With nothing to call her own, Bella must wheedle pretty baubles from her father in order to be noticed in society and score a courtship. When her father returns from a long trip with a ruby necklace for Bella, her world changes. The necklace came with a cost, and her father is to return to the beastly man it came from as a servant to pay for it. Rather than force their father to suffer for Bella's selfish request, Aaron and Cassandra force Bella to leave and atone for the necklace on her own. Bella, on the other hand, is devastated to be cast out, and wants nothing to do with the beast she's now working for, or his manservant Jack. Only after falling so low does a twist of fate bring Bella's dreams closer than ever. But is she still the selfish girl obsessed with things, or is willing to risk everything for love, even if it means a more simple life?

Bella isn't easy to love and root for. She's miles away from the traditional Beauty depicted in much more traditional retellings. At the same time, her stubbornness and abilities to manipulate come in handy as she brings life back into a home where laughter has been forgotten and locked away. As she embraces her new lot in life and opens herself to simplicity, she begins to change and evolve. I liked her much more as the novel progressed and changed her. In some ways, BECOMING BEAUTY reminds me of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling, HEART'S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier. Both novels are set in "reality" and feel as though they could actually happen. The Beast is an ordinary man in both scenarios, not one under an enchantment. I like that aspect, which is so seldom seen, and like the way it takes the magic out of the tale and makes it feel more "real." A trace of magic and whimsy remain in both; in BECOMING BEAUTY, Bella has mysterious dreams that weave the past into the present, and explain the "Beast's" downfall.

If you're looking for a new take on a traditional tale that will keep you guessing, you'll definitely want to give BECOMING BEAUTY a try!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( kissing )
Language: --
Violence: --
Other:  ( hints at a lady living with two unwed men without a chaperone as being improper )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like the way she's so fancy, even though the environment around her is falling apart. It suits the story well. The looming presence of roses is important, too. I think the cover works for the story, though it doesn't hint at the fairy tale roots. ^.~ (I do, however, wish that necklace had a big red ruby on it!)
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Sarah E. Boucher
Release Date: Nov. 11, 2014
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Self-centered Bella focuses her attention on beautiful dresses and fabulous balls rather than helping her family earn a living.  And her siblings have had enough! To pay off their father’s debt, they send Bella to a far-off manor where the owner is more like a beast than a man.

As their personalities clash, Bella comes to realize there’s more to the Beast than she could ever have dreamed—if only she can look beneath the surface. And then there’s Jack, the kind servant who helps Bella adjust to her new life, someone Bella could easily fall in love with. But pursuing love may cost Bella her dreams of wealth and beauty. And that’s a price she’s not willing to pay.

BECOMING BEAUTY is available on 
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and books & things.

Sarah E. Boucher spends her days instilling young children with the same love of literature she has known since childhood. After hours, she pens her own stories and nurses an unhealthy obsession for handbags, high heels, baking, and British television. Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University, who currently lives and teaches in Ogden, Utah. Becoming Beauty is her first novel.

Visit Sarah at
blog/website (SarahEBoucher.com)

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  1. Ooh! And now I want to read Heart's Blood! My favorite B&B retelling is Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. I adore fairytale retellings! Thanks for the fantastic review!


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