I did it.
I gave into the TikTok book phenomena and opened this beast. I'll tell you I wasn't by choice. my friend and author buddies Alexandria James forced this series on my when she surprised me with the paperback of the first two books in the series.
I'll admit, I was skeptical.
This book is claimed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling. While the basic aspects are there: girl is forced to live with someone she doesn't know...in a castle... and this guy can turn into a "beast," had someone not told me the comparison I wouldn't have seen it.
Tamlin (the beast) isn't the big bad beast we learn to love in the fairy tale. He's kind, and trying his hardest to keep Feyre (pronounced fay-ruh) as well as his villagers safe from an evil bitch...I mean witch. However, to parallel the fairy tale, he does set Feyre free from his castle because he loves her so yay for that.
Even though Tamlin is a total ass-hat in the next book (more on that later) I still adore him. However, I like Rhys better. (spoiler alert... he isn't as bad as we think. Just a misunderstood villain.)
So why the four stars?
Well, even though the descriptive writing is beyond comparison, the middle bored me. I found myself wanting to get it over will because with the exception of a few spots, majority of the book was meh. I liked the beginning which is why I kept going, but I loved the end. When Feyre decides to go back across the wall was where the series hooked me. I literally could not put the book down after that.
Would I read it again? Yes, but only to look for things I missed in regards to Rhys.
Do I recommend it to others? Absolutely, but go in with an open mind. There is so much fanfare and (on the opposite spectrum) hate for this series. It's got a twilight-like cult following. If you go in expecting greatness, you'll probably be disappointed. However, if you go into the book knowing it's pg-13 with a very tame sex scene, about fairies, and has subtle nodes to Beauty in the Beast, you'll probably like it.