Title/Author: The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
In a nutshell (Publisher):
Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.
But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.
The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy?
Publication date: October 1, 2020
My verdict: If ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ was too dark for your middle-grader, try this!
This would make a great gift for any middle-grade kid. It’s kid-friendly, funny, entertaining and lighthearted. Definitely had touches of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl, more Snicket I’d say, but just not as dark and sinister.
A grey ‘big blob of gone-off mayonnaise’ (with apologies, Monster sir, those were Bethany’s words not mine) with teeny weeny hands and legs lived on the top floor of Ebenezer’s fifteen-story mansion the size of twelve elephants (didn’t impress Bethany though who said it was a waste of space). This three-eyed monster had Ebenezer do his bidding. Ebenezer is a good bad sorta old man, who’d be turning 513 years old soon but still looking 20, thanks to an elixir which the monster rewarded him with, whenever he’s being fed whatever he wanted. It fed on anything from parrots and pianos, to old lanky ladies and necklaces and beehives. About where and why he had that elixir wasn’t revealed. Maybe to be revealed in the coming series?
The characters reminded me of those from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. Bethany reminded me of Sunny Baudelaire, the older version of that feisty baby in Unfortunate Events, and Ebenezer, the much, much milder version of Count Olaf. I grew to love Bethany just like Ebenezer did. Of all the characters, she, I felt was the most well-rounded. Snarky, sassy, loud, smart, bold and a little sensitive too, but in a good sort of way. What I loved most was how her friendship with Ebenezer developed – starting from the little tiffs they had, to the checking off of Bethany’s bucket list which she remarked rather wisely when Ebenezer asked her if she had one.
“I don’t have any lists. And if I did, I wouldn’t write them on a flipping bucket.”
“No. That’s not what I meant.”
“It’s what you said. You should think about your words more carefully next time.”
She later lent her two cents after Ebenezer explained what it is, and said it should be called a death list, not a bucket list.
A short novel about good vs evil, brain vs brawn and friendship. It would keep you turning the pages especially after the appearance of our spunky heroine, Bethany, because that’s when all hell starts to break loose. Will she and Ebenezer be able to save the day and defeat the monster?
By hook or by crook, Ebenezer, please don’t ever, EVER, feed the monster this book!
Definitely getting this book for my niece. I’m sure she’d devour this!
Thank you The Write Reads Tour and the author for letting me be part of this fabulous ultimate blog tour and the chance to read this book!
Have you read this book? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you intend to? Please share with me your thoughts!