Beast by Brie Spangler
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: October 11, 2016
Summary: Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.
Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?
So I listened to this on audiobook and I actually enjoyed it but at the same time I felt that this book was just okay. It was one of those books that because the summary gave away a lot that you had to really get further into the book to really divert from it.
The summary gave away that Jamie was transgender, and gave away the fact that he hadn’t been listening when she mentioned it in group therapy. I felt that it made the book less interesting because I already knew this big reveal was going to happen. I felt like there was nothing really coming up and I was just reading this for the sole purpose of reading it.
But I think that overall this book was decent enough and I’ll probably forget about it in a few weeks or so, but yeah. The characters honestly weren’t very great. They were pretty flawed.
Dylan was very pessimistic and it was kind of dragging me down a lot because he was always focused on the bad in his life and everything. I get it because of his situation and how he is perceived by everyone. But at the same time it was like wow you’re just so sad and everything.
And I didn’t like Jamie at all. She really was a rude person. She didn’t like that Dylan was trying to help her and protect her because she was now a girl. She would get upset and offended. I didn’t understand that. They were saying she was incapable of doing anything, but just looking out for her because people tend to be rude towards the LGBTQ community. But it was like she hated taking help from others and somehow got it in her mind that taking help from others meant they felt bad for her and that they didn’t think she could do anything for herself.
Jamie just rubbed me the wrong way.
And I was like get over it oh my gosh.
Getting help from people doesn’t mean your weak. I hate that that was how it felt like Jamie was saying.
I just didn’t like Jamie and I didn’t care that much about her and I just was like can she get over herself already?
And also JP was a shit person.
He used the fact that his family life is messed up to make Dylan’s mother feel bad and always welcome him into their home. And he uses Dylan to get money from people, and turns against him when he doesn’t want to anymore. JP is just a horrible person and I hated that he was able to manipulate Dylan to being his friend because apparently no one else wanted to be his (Dylan’s) friend.
Overall I just didn’t care too much about the characters and I felt that too much was revealed in the summary and I already knew a lot about the book since it was so short. But the writing was good, and I did like the diversity the book had in it. Overall though it was an okay book. Glad I gave it a chance.
Let me know your thoughts and if you’ve read this book! Did you think the same way I did about the characters or the plot? Did you not? I’d love to know!