Hunted by Meagan Spooner is a Perfect Ten!

Spooner, Meagan. Hunted. HarperTeen, 2017. 384p. $17.99. 978-0-06-242228-6. 5Q 5P M J S

Yeva, called Beauty by her father, is the youngest of a wealthy merchant’s three daughters and the only one who loves hunting with him. One day he receives word that his caravan of trade goods has been captured and he has lost everything. The family must sell their home and move to his cabin in the woods so that the father can hunt to earn a living. Something follows him in the woods and when he does not come back one day, Yeva sets out to find him. She is captured by the Beast and during her long captivity, she vows to avenge her father’s death by killing the Beast. Slowly, though, she discovers that the Beast is not what he seems.

This beautifully told story blends two fairytale traditions: Beauty and the Beast, written by an eighteenth-century French novelist; and the Firebird of Slavic tradition. Yeva is the Beauty who learns to love the Beast. She is also the hero who embarks on a difficult journey to capture the Firebird and break the spell. Unlike the cardboard heroes of fairytales, however, Yeva is a very human girl who must discover the meaning of the deep yearning that has always been within her. The author’s other characters are well-developed, too, and her depictions of the snowy forests and magical valleys through which Yeva must travel will keep the reader spellbound. Although the captivity part of the narrative could have been compressed, this compelling story will have broad appeal.—Marla Unruh.

Amazing. That one word describes the whole book. The story is a more realistic version of Beauty and the Beast.  Readers follow Yeva, a hunter’s youngest daughter, who is searching for her missing father when she is kidnapped and forced to hunt for her captor. This story will keep readers wanting more, using everything they can remember from the original story to try to predict what’s next in this one. The one disappointing aspect was the lack of singing teacups, clocks, and candlesticks. But, really, it didn’t matter too much. 4P, 5Q.—Ty Johnson, Teen Reviewer.

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