Super Slow Start But Overall Good: Hunted by Meagan Spooner


Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Source: GoodReads

The Beauty and the Beast remake came out this week (haven’t seen it yet, but I’m hoping to next week) so of course a YA retelling of the fairytale had to come out around the same time.

To be fair to Spooner though, there’s a lot of YA B&B retellings.  I think there’s just something about the fairytale that begs itself to be retold.  Perhaps, it’s the whole fact that author’s keep trying to explain why this fairytale about Stockholm syndrome is romantic even though it really shouldn’t be.  Regardless, it’s a perennial favorite of YA authors everywhere and Spooner’s retelling adds nicely to the collection of retellings out there but it’s not perfect.

The biggest problem is the first third of this book.  Oh, God, it is slow.  So freaking slow.  I almost DNF’d it.  That’s how slow it is, but I kept pressing on.  I don’t know what compelled me to, but I’m glad I did.  Once the book gets started its good.

Not great, but good and I did enjoy it.  Spooner has an interesting twist on the story.  One I’m glad that is addressed because the whole “more” aspect of the movie always did annoy me.


Here, though it’s a fundamental part of the story affecting Beast and Beauty and I’m glad it had a point in the story, besides being just a way Beauty views herself as an outsider.

I also liked the atmosphere that Spooner created.  I really felt like the world was unique, and I later learnt was inspired by some Russian fairytales which I was unfamiliar with.  It worked really well.

As far as Beauty’s relationship with the Beast in this one I was sort of meh about.  Sure, it’s the familiar love story but the chemistry never reached the levels that some other YA retellings-I’m thinking of Cruel Beauty and ACOTR and even Uprooted.  Honestly, I really didn’t feel the romantic tension between the two characters for most of the book and instead thought how unhealthy the relationship was.

Never a good thing, but still there are far worse YA couples out there.  And for what it is worth the twists that Spooner added to the story almost remedied the awkwardness of the ship and the bad beginning.

So overall, while there were some neat things about Hunted it is hardly the best YA adaptation of Beauty and the Beast out there.  Still, if you are a Beauty and the Beast fan and/or want to look at a retelling with an interesting twist, you might want to give this one a try.

Overall Rating: A solid B.



The Unofficial House of Night Drinking Game: Hunted by PC and Kristin Cast

Sometimes I don’t even know why I bother.

I am a goal oriented person.  Seriously, I have like post it notes on my desk with day goals, week goals, year goals, life goals…you get the picture.  And being goal oriented is a good thing.  But at this point with the House of Night books…I don’t know if I can continue it guys I really don’t.  Not after I read Hunted.

This book…

I understand why many people have quit the series after this installment.  And it’s not because this book is any more offensive than the rest (though if the character Karmisha would’ve been highlighted any more I think it could’ve approached that territory).  It’s just that this installment…it just showcases what’s wrong with this series.

I thought of reviewing this book several ways: interviewing characters from the book, writing a letter to Mrs. and Ms. Cast expressing my disdain, writing a review where I praise this book for doing what it is….essentially shitting on the written word.  But all those ideas, they were too good for this book.  And since this is supposed to be a drinking game feature, I just decided to list some things you could drink for.  Specifically, the top ten things that offended me the most about Hunted.

10) Not so subtle My Immortal references:

Just admit your Tara Gillesbie, Kristin.  The evidence is all there.  Count Chocola, a main character that looks like Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, multiple characters in love with the MC, perverts on campus. Heck, there’s even a scene where Zoey’s running around campus naked like Ebony.  And one of the love interests has red eyes like vampire.  God, if you haven’t read this fan fic.  Read it.   The grammar’s atrocious (hence, why PC probably had to help write this book), but it’s all there I swear.  Okay, it’s just my opinion  and I know in reality that Kristin Cast and Tara Gilesbie are two different individuals, but I just can’t help but wonder.  I just can’t.

9) Brand Spanking New Characters:

There were like fifteen or so new characters introduced in this installment.  I really can’t remember who was who and don’t care.  They serve no purpose just like most of those characters they forced upon us in the second season of Young Justice just to sell toys and look what happened to that show…seriously, Lagoon Boy and Blue Beetle (okay, I got Blue’s role, but I never liked him.  I’d rather focus on the characters we were introduced to in season one).

8) The Entire Plot (What There is of it):

The first one hundred and forty pages are a complete waste.  And when they go back to the school…it doesn’t even make sense.  Couldn’t they like get a vampyre healer?  I mean, they’re getting everything else brought into those tunnels.  Heck, they even have running water?  Is it really that hard to find some sort of medicine woman (like Dr. Quinn) to come and cure Zoey.  Or better yet let Zoey die.  That would’ve made a lot more sense than what did happen and been quasi poignant.  Honestly, the plot holes are what made the plot and that’s just sort of sad.
7) Bastardizing Religions/Mythologies/Cultures/History–a.k.a. being a Cast with “imagination”

You might think taking different mythologies and mixing them together would be a smart thing to do.  I guess if you did it correctly, it would.  But when mess up certain aspects about some of the mythology your using and have no explanation-say for the fact your using a Cherokee legend that took place thousands of years ago and try to make it take place in Oklahoma when it’s historically known that a part of the Cherokee tribe only moved to Oklahoma because of Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears (while small portions of the tribe hid in the North Carolina mountains and still reside in the state today), you have one big mess.  Then again, calling every celebrity and their mother a vampyre sort of gives you a clue of credibility of your made up mythology.

6) Contradictions

The Casts love to contradict themselves and they love to do it through long info dumps.  Honestly, at this point…anything goes and I no longer even care.  But I hate having to read these convoluted explanations.  And I’m like, why even bother you’ll just contradict yourself whenever you find it necessary.

5) Useless Dialogue

It’s not offensive, so much as annoying.  But really, really, half of this book could’ve been edited out.  That’s how useless some (if not most) of the dialogue is.  It just got really annoying after awhile.

4) Rape Culture:

There’s an attempted rape in this book.  And the way it’s handled is disgusting.  First of all, it was okay for the victim to be almost assaulted because the character that attempted to rape her was hot.  And for that, she endures slut slamming by are sanctimonious heroine.  Oh, and did I mention the attempted rapist barely got his hand slap.  Nope, it’s his victim who faces the consequences.

3) The Love Interests:

Seems a weird thing to be offended by.  But the love interests are pathetic.  All of them.  And what would that be five (no six if you count dead Loren) at this point in time.  Let me list them:

Heath (Sir Douche): Appears randomly, cals Zoey-Z, we’re told he’s a gentleman, but it’s obviously he’s really a douche.  Oh, and he and Zoey shared or share an imprint and you know how I feel about imprinting….

Erik (Prince Eric): He’s too good for Zoey.  Obviously.  And there’s really not much to him, he’s like a Disney character.  Though he’s always described as looking like Superman.  Guess the Casts never heard that Batman is the hot DC character not Superman, but whatever.

Loren (Mr. Mary Kay Laterno): He’s dead now.  But he and Zoey had sex.  He claimed to really love Neferet, but we all know what he was probably thinking…..

Stark (Iron Man): New kid in school who Zoey has an insta connection too.  He dies comes back evil but through the power of love (hey….don’t get drunk while reading this review).

Kalona (Kocoum): This fallen angel based on Native American legend who apparently thinks Zoey is Wonder Woman (well, a maiden made of clay that’s close enough) or something.  He’s completely evil, but because he’s hot Zoey thinks she likes him.

2) Zoey:

Is she supposed to be likable?  I don’t know what I’m supposed to get out of my main character.  Honestly, the only thing Zoey talks about other than brown pop is her pathetic love life.  And as you cans see from my list I drink just whenever that’s talked about.  So yeah, that makes her offensive in that regard.  And then there’s the fact that she’s just so judgmental, bitchy, and just unlikeable in general.  I can’t believe anyone would like this bitch given some of the things she has said.

1) Stereotypes:

This is a reoccurring problem throughout the series, but it grated on my nerves a little bit more this time around.  Probably because of the character Karmisha who is supposed to be the sassy African American from the ghetto stereotype.  It’s disgusting how the Casts portray her.  And to make matters worse, they completely shove her in our faces so that we have to like her.  I think that was probably my biggest issue because with Damen even though they stereotype him in the fullest (seriously, in every book we’re told in some not so obvious way that he’s gay), they don’t spend a full twenty minutes trying to get us to instantly like him  like they did with Karmisha. Plus, there was no need for the Karmisha character in this book. They already had a poet, but I guess the Casts just wanted to add more token characters in their book and token characters they have a plenty.  Let’s look at some of the stereotyping that goes on here, specifically concerning her:

Introduction to Karmisha:

“A black girl twitched out of the group.  It was a testament to how distracted I’d been with Venus and Aphrodite and Stevie Rae that I hadn’t noticed her before then.  She had on a form -fitting bright yellow shirt cut low to show the top of her black lace bra and a pair of high-waisted, skintight cropped jeans that were cinched up with a wide leather belt that matched her chunky gold shoes.  Her hair was cut geometrically into a short poof on her head, and half of it was dyed bright orange.” (Cast and Cast 35).

Karmisha’s first line:

” “Let’s get it straight right now that I’m not sharin’ my bed with no one,’ Karmisha said, weaving her head around and looking bored and pissed off at the same time (35).

And another brilliant quote of Karmisha’s:

” ‘Look, he had wings.   That ain’t right,’ Kramisha added, fragmenting my attention.  ‘My mma told me don’t trust no white boy, even a pretty one.  I’m thin’ a pretty white boy with wings explodin’ up form the ground in a mess of blood and ugly-ass bird things is double trouble.’ ” (42).

I’d like to interject at this point that the guy she’s talking about is Kalona who originates from an Native American  folklore and is described looking like a Native American.  And as far as I know, Native Americans aren’t white.

So, I want your thoughts.  Should I continue or not?  I really hate giving up on a goal but after reading this maybe…maybe you can understand if this is the last time I ever read about Zoey Redbird and her shitious life.


Should I continue with the Unofficial House of Night Drinking Game?
Yes, I like watching your sanity be tested. Take a sabbatical, but come back. No, I care for your well being. No one should have to endure this. free polls 

Quotes are taken from Hunted by PC and Kristin Cast, St. Martin’s, New York: 2009.