I know what you're thinking. I can read your mind. You are thinking...what a gorgeous cover! Am I right? Yep...knew it! Bet I can guess what else you are thinking right now. You're saying to yourself...this must be something to do with the tale of 'Beauty and the Beast'? Yes? No? Hmmm...well I could see how you might arrive at the assumption since the title does include 'beauty', however for those that may have noticed the additional details in the picture (such as the apple, the mirror, the face in the mirror), you may have drawn a conclusion closer to the actual answer. What's that? Ah ha! I knew I couldn't fool you! The fairy tale elements of the story mimic to a certain degree that of Snow White....BUT, mimicing something does not in fact make it the same and so we continue with the review....
Emme is a bookish girl (look...it's one of us!) that lives vicariously through the adventures she reads. Most of the value she puts in things is not ill-placed, just guided more by the standards of others rather than her own heart. One day while out exploring with her childhood chums, they happen upon the old Hawthorne mansion. Derelict and dilapidated, it has certainly seen better days, but it is a wonder what the imagination of achild can do when given such tools. They enter the house of their own accord to discover a place which time has forgotten. Cobwebs everywhere, broken glass....but what's this? The portrait of a young man stares down from the wall just above the fireplace...it is one of the young Master's of the house, or shall we say former Master, Davian Hawthorne. Even in still-life, the man's eyes sparkle with a hidden knowledge, a portion of which shall be imparted to you.
It seems that young Davian and his sister Lily came to live in this place many, many years ago after their mother passed away. Lady Malicene became their guardian, but unbeknownest to them at the time, she harbored her own hidden agenda that would play a large part in their ultimate undoing. You see, the Lady was obsessed with beauty in all it's forms, but most of all, she longed to capture it's eternal secret for herself. When her new found family stepped in her way, the outcome left them in shambles. Davian disappeared as did Malicene, leaving young Lily on her own. Taking in this tale, one would think it nothing more than campside fodder...but to a young well-read girl like Emme, the fantastical tale seemed nothing short of magical...especially when such tales carry over into her dreams. The problem? The dreams are more and more frequent and despite the fact that the leading man has passed on (or at least been rumored to due to the events of over 100 years ago)...Emme can't quite shake the all too real feelings she is left with each morning. Did Davian Hawthorne in fact perish all those years ago in an act of love gone wrong? Or could he still be out there just beyond the reach of time?
Alrighty, so can you tell that I liked the story? If you are a frequent reader of my site, probably...yes. If not, no worries...the way you can often tell is I tend to ramble. (Hey, at least I admit it....) This story is one part Snow White mixed with a few role reversals and originality for the twists...TADA...you've got something new. I loved the fact that Emme was relateable, especially to bookish folks such as moi. All her life she's been waiting for something to happen, anything. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the get-up-and-go-ness to do something about the stalemate her life as reached....at least until presented with a problem affecting not only her life but the entire town (nope...not saying anymore about that....spoiler-ish and all). For some, this may irk you a bit when reading...for me, I took it as part of her character's personality and a result of the times, so it was nothing more than a detail to keep an eye on.