Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Published by: HarperTeen

Publication Date: January 14th 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy/Re-telling

Pages: 352 pages

Format: eGalley

Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 Stars)

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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

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Hunted is the story of Yeva aka Beauty and her love for the hunt & desire for more than court life (reminds me of one of my fave protogs Freya from Long May She Reign). Yeva has only known the wealthy aristocratic life keeping the baronessa company which she finds boring & constricting. She is the youngest of 3 girls and lives with her father who is known as a wealthy business merchant. It is a business deal with good intentions-gone wrong that throws Yeva and her family into poverty. Forced to sell their home & live in their father’s cabin in the forest, their lives drastically changed. The shame & disappointment of it all proves to be too much for Yeva’s father. The Goodreads synopsis sums up the events that transpire following their misfortune. On the surface Hunted is a re-telling that runs parallel with the original classic Beauty & the Beast. However, besides the similarities this story is also about want & greed and the consequences of never being sated. Starting with a father who wanting more for his village, went as far as staking his entire mass fortune. We see Yeva abandon her home where her sisters depend on her hunting skills for their livelihood, in search of their father who’s gone missing. The thrill of the hunt has always called to Yeva who like her father, has a natural skill for it. The Beast also has his story but revealing that here would be a spoiler so i’ll keep that one to myself lol. Just as in the original, the Beast is cursed and is in need of rescuing…I think this is what I love most of this tale, that the Beauty or princess isn’t in need of rescuing. 

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I love seeing YA Fantasy turn the tables on the outdated trope of the princess needs saving & so it’s no wonder why I end up loving the Yeva’s & Freya’s of YA Fantasy. I enjoyed Yeva as a character because of her flaws, she isn’t Belle from BATB although they do share similarities. We see Yeva make questionable decisions and ultimately also be affected by her unquenchable desire for more. When I got to thinking about Yeva, I realized this made her all the more human to me. We also meet her two older sisters Lena and Asenka, & I liked them alright as supporting characters. Asenka has a physical disability that she hides and like Lena focuses on keeping the house maintained. Asenka is a giver she will sacrifice it all for her family & I rooted for hers all through the end. Lena wasn’t all too fleshed out but what I saw of her, I liked enough. Now, the real show stopper award goes to Doe-Eyes, Yeva’s hunting dog who previously hunted with her father. From what I could gather, Doe-Eyes is a female dog (I may be wrong but this is what i’m going with lol) & very loyal. Wherever Yeva went, Doe-Eyes would follow no matter how impossible this feat may have seemed. To say that I fell in love with this dog is an understatement, Doe-Eyes was spunky & lively, she wasn’t getting left behind from all the action. I couldn’t get enough of her whenever she showed up unexpectedly (Yay for dogs in YA!). Last but not least we have the Beast (I promise I did not intend for that to rhyme -_-) who just as in the original, we get brief glimpses of. What I loved about Beast? the fact that we see him warring with the human nature he carries within. We also get to know his backstory of how he came to be cursed which unlike the original, actually has some meat to it. Besides his backstory, everything else about Beast is pretty similar to the original & I appreciated Spooner staying close to the original while still making him her own.

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 Hunted is my very first read by Meagan Spooner & I’m officially a fan! this book gave me such Bear and the Nightingale (LOVED!) feels with its use of Russian Folklore. The story telling was on point. I’m always weary when picking up a re-telling of a childhood favorite but Spooner pulled it off with Hunted. Maybe it was the mixture of similarities to the original & her own take on it but…I felt like I got a piece of my childhood back, a very nostalgic reading experience. I especially enjoyed the chapter “enders” (made this word up) where we were given the Beast’s inner monologue as the human inside him wars against the beast he’s become. The pacing is a bit on the slower side but I’m the type of bookworm that doesn’t mind the slow build-up. I don’t however think that it’s so slow that it drags or bores, it felt like I was being read a fairy tale which is what I wanted. To date, this is my favorite Beauty and the Beast re-telling. It has me listening to the original soundtrack & watching the original just to stay a little longer with this tale as old as time…

*Thank you HarperTeen, Edelweiss, and Meagan Spooner for the eGalley of Hunted in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Photo credit: Crushermyheart https://crushermyheart.tumblr.com/

Have any of my bookish peeps read Hunted? thoughts? did you enjoy the similarities? are any of you watching Beauty and the Beast? I know I’ll be watching it next wknd & attempting my 1st movie review 😉

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Author: LairOfBooks

"Between The Pages Of A Book Is A Lovely Place To Be"-Anonymous

35 thoughts on “Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner”

    1. Yea I tend to get denied whenever I request for a book that’s already been released 😔matter of fact, I had to purchase the kindle cuz it expired off my device in release day & I was 20 pgs away from finishing it lol smh

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is one of the few YA titles that will remain on my TBR when I pick through and it sounds like that is the right decision based on this stunning review! I have been sitting back waiting for your thoughts on this one. I have to admit that a recent review had me concerned so I am happy to see it has prevailed ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Danielle! 😄💕I started Red Sister as soon as I finished Hunted & the rest was history 🤣 forgot all about this review smh 🙈but I do think you’d enjoy this one 😉 I’ve been seeing a ton of positive reviews & some 3 stars, not many though. I think for many, it’s going to come down to pacing yet it really wasn’t that slow lol. I would’ve said as much like I did with The Bone Witch. It really does run parallel to the original in a lot of ways 💭💕

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      1. Haha! I sense a book hangover coming on after. My reading has been slower this past week due to exhaustion but I’m hoping to get more in day by day. It’s so Good though,l! Don’t want it to end 😩

        Liked by 1 person

    1. lol I hope you really do enjoy Wintersong, I reviewed that one as well. It’s received mixed reviews but I’ve noticed your taste in book doesn’t always align with the popular vote which is a good thing, you may end up loving it😃

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    1. Thanks Alex! Well if you’ve been in a BATB mood, Hunted will fit right in lol. I was supposed to go see the movie this past wknd but plans got canceled & rescheduled for next wknd. Excited for that 😄💕

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  2. I really loved the folklore in The Bear and the Nightingale! Will have to pick this one up. I’ve seen it around a little but haven’t read much into it before. Sounds good, though!

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  3. I’m so adding this to my TBR for this year because I’m going to have to read it. I adore the whole trope reversal where it isn’t the girl who needs saving but the guy. And I’ve also been having major Beauty and the Beast feels since I watched the movie, which you’re going to love because it was incredible. Emma is the perfect Belle! I can’t wait to see your movie review for it. Anyway! Great review as always, Lilly. 😁💕

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    1. &&&& it’s a standalone Melissa!! *woot woot* we don’t get enough of these in YA Fantasy 😂 & yea LOVE the reversal on that trope, fave one hands down! Omg! You watched it 😱 haha! My plans were canceled this past Sunday so I have my fingers crossed for next Sunday. Love Emma💕she cans do no wrong in my eyes lol. Thanks you Melissa 😃💕

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      1. It is!? For some reason the fact that it’s a standalone completely flew over my head. That’s awesome! We really don’t have enough fantasy standalones. I’m excited! 😁
        Yep I dragged my mom and little sisters to one of the first showings because I had to see it asap. 😂 And I completely agree about Emma!
        You’re welcome!! 💕

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    1. thank you & Yes! I saw that Uppercase chose this book & thought it was a awesome choice to go with 😉 I’m hoping to catch it next Sunday *fingers crossed* hope you enjoy both Hunted & BATB 🙂

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  4. I’ve been hearing such great things about this book! It’s clearly a sign from the universe that I need to read it haha! I really enjoyed reading your review, it definitely makes me want to get this book even more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha I’m always giving in to peer pressure when it comes to books! I’m trying to stick to a self-imposed book ban (as of yesterday 😂) so this might have to wait a bit but it’s definitely on the top of my to-buy list!

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  5. Yay! So happy that you enjoyed this. Retellings are often so hit or miss for me. I think it is really hard for an author to find that balance between elements from the original story, while adding fresh new elements. Sounds like the author handled this retelling well! How many other B&TB retellings have you read?! I’ve heard of Beastly, but are there others?

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