The Beast and the Bethany is about a mean and evil man, a mean and evil beast, and a meaner girl. And all of them learn lessons and two of them discover other sides to themselves.
The book opens with: "Ebenezer Tweezer was a terrible man with a wonderful life."
And no kidding!
Ebenezer Tweezer is nearing his 512th birthday. He lives "a wonderful life," and has literally everything he could ever need and everything he doesn't need.
But what gives Ebenezer his young looks and never-ending life? A massive beast resides in his attic. Every year, the beast asks for a "meal," which Ebenezer readily provides and in return gives Ebenezer a potion that stops his aging.
This year, however, the beast asks for something new. He wants to eat a child. Ebenezer, who never had feelings or a reason for them, is shocked by the request.
There's a ton of humor in The Beast and the Bethany, literally never a dull moment!
"For the first time in his life, Ebenezer was sad that he didn't have a family of his own. It would have saved so much time and energy if he could have just fed one of his children to the beast."
Enter Bethany. There's a reason this book is called "The Beast and The Bethany" because Bethany is literally a creature herself. She's a rude, mean, and angry little girl.
If this beast thinks he's large and in charge, he's got Bethany to deal with and change its life!
One of the things I liked about The Beast and the Bethany is the themes and lessons, like the quote below. There are also the themes of learning, discovering one self, learning not to be selfish, and many more.
"A wonderful life can turn someone into a terrible person. It makes you forget that there people in the world who have problems, and this can stop you from really caring or worrying about others.
So, you can understand how Ebenezer Tweezer came to be one of the most selfish men who ever lived. After spending nearly 512 years without difficulty, Ebenezer had never really learned about pain or sadness."
I was often jarred when the author spoke directly to the reader. I never like that it novels and works of fiction, it brings me out of the story. I accept it in non-fiction because the book needs to be conversational. Here, it doesn't work for me.
That said, I've never seen character development as amazing as I've seen in The Beast and the Bethany. Simply brilliant! And one of the reasons it deserves 5 stars!
Despite the three mean characters and how the story begins, The Beast and the Bethany left me feeling happy and hopeful. I was also 100% entertained.
So do I recommend this story? Absolutely! I loved it and I look forward to reading the second part in the series. Don't worry it's not a 100% open ending.
Overall rating for The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips: 5 stars
Note: I received a free copy of The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips as part of The Write Reads blog tour for the book. This did not impact my review in any way.