My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty and the Beast

AGAIN, Holden?! First you broke Cinderella, now Beauty and the Beast? Your stepsister is ready to strangle you. Pointing out that the Beast kidnapped Beauty and only fell for her looks has somehow put the real Beast in jail! Now there’ll never be a happy ending. You need to go into the fairy tale world of rural France and― what do you mean you don’t speak French?!

This is a great series for kids and even adults will have fun with it. Jerry Mahoney has taken 4 of the most well-known and beloved fairy tales then turned their world upside down using the sibling relationship between Maddie and her step-brother Holden.

 Maddie loves fairytales while Holden just loves to pick them apart; sounds like a pretty normal sibling relationship. Best of all these books are full of humor, adventure and enough entertainment to make all kids, whether they are more of a Maddie or a Holden, happy.

 The first book uses Cinderella, then Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin is third and finally Snow White. You should read them in order because little bits from the previous story will show up and you won’t fully enjoy it if you haven’t already trekked through the story. I didn’t realize that when I read Beauty & the Beast so there were things mentioned in the book from the story in Cinderella I didn’t get.

 Even though I couldn’t appreciate the full context of who these characters are after whatever they went through in the first book I still enjoyed it. There really is lots of humor and as a parent reading this trying to decide if it’d be appropriate for my kids (which it completely is by the way) I found myself laughing quite often. The 80s references from a kid confused about that decade were cute, I’m not old enough to have been aware of that stuff having spent my formative years in the 90s but even I still know who the Eurythmics are and also believe that yes 80s bands were weird. The description of her parents acting like middle-aged puppy love was adorable and something I aspire to one day so my own kids can have their freak out moments.

 Beauty & the Beast is hands down one of my favorite fairytales but as an adult and having my degree in Psychology I can’t help wondering why no one has pointed out that she was essentially kidnapped and underwent Stockholm Syndrome – something this book touches upon in a completely irreverent way. Not to mention most of the time the story seems to be taking place in a French ‘like’ village yet everyone speaks English.

 What makes these books so special isn’t just the fun the author had with the stories but the heartwarming and beautiful lessons he portrays through them which sometimes gets lost in the frenzy for the latest Blu Ray edition, Doll from Mattel, Clothing from Disney’s line, etc. These stories really were meant to teach us something and the over commercialization has weeded that out; thankfully Mahoney’s versions are reminding us once more the importance of books over merchandise.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Capstone for allowing me to review this book.

 *synopsis and pic from

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