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ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CHILDREN'S,  FANTASY,  FICTION,  MIDDLE GRADE,  NETGALLEY

BOOK REVIEW : THE BEAST AND THE BETHANY BY JACK MEGGITT-PHILLIPS, ISABELLE FOLLATH (ILLUSTRATOR)

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TITLE : The Beast And The Bethany

AUTHOR : Jack Meggit-Phillips

ILLUSTRATOR : Isabelle Follath

GENRE : Children’s Fiction, Middle-Grade, Fantasy

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐( 4 Stars)

DATE OF PUBLISHING :   1 Oct 2020 

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Egmont Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The Beast And The Bethany is a children’s fantasy story by Jack Meggitt-Phillips. I have always enjoyed children’s books, especially middle-grade books. They have the power to transport you into a world of fun, adventure, and magic. Simply said, they are your best friend if you are looking for escapism. I loved that this was just the book to take me out of a funk if I was ever in one. A deal with a beast to stay young (sound familiar??), snarky protagonist, and singing parrots. What more do you want?? I don’t know how I have managed to find books with similar themes both in YA and adult fantasy books, where the characters deal with devils, dark powers, and beasts to live forever.

The story is about Ebenezer, who is still youthful at the age of 511. He made a deal with the beast to live longer and stay youthful in exchange for foods the beast demands. They have had a good run with the deal, making both of them happy with their unusual arrangement. Until one day, the beast asks for something particular that makes Ebenezer uncomfortable. The beast is greedier than ever, and only a child will do for his next meal. Ebenezer goes to an orphanage to find a child for the beast and decides Bethany will be perfect. She is naughty and has no respect for elders, and is always playing pranks on other kids. Bethany is not any kid and figures out ways to outwit Ebenezer. Will the beast eat Bethany, or will Bethany manage to save herself??

This was a fun and entertaining story to read. The story might be a bit dark and grim for younger readers, but I think it will appeal to an older range of middle-grade students. The pacing was good, and I loved how the story flowed effortlessly, making us want to know what will happen to Bethany and Ebenezer. The plot was also intriguing, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the two of them. This was such an engaging read with beautiful illustrations that complemented the story very well. I am sure this is going to be a series with the way the story ended, leaving us to wonder what surprises the author has in store for us.

The characters were entertaining, each of them bringing something unique to the story. I rarely see a protagonist who is this naughty and rude. I also loved how the characters Ebenezer and Bethany were morally grey. As the story progresses, we see them change and how they decide to help each other to better their character. It shows us character growth, and that is a wonderful thing to see.

Overall, I loved this story and if you are looking for a quick, fun, and entertaining read, make sure to check this story out. Middle-grade students will love this one for sure. Also, the beautiful illustrations and some humor all add up to deliver an engaging story. I gave the book 4 stars and highly recommend checking it out.

What are some of your favorite middle-grade books, and which one do you like me to try next? Do leave your suggestions and favorites in the comment section down below.

What are some of your favorite middle-grade books, and which one do you like me to try next? Do leave your suggestions and favorites in the comment section down below.

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SYNOPSIS

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 …

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