BookPage Teen Top Pick, February 2015
If you discover a magical world through some kind of portal, that’s one thing. Wardrobes and rabbit holes make it easy to believe you’ve left the real world behind. But what if you live in a normal house with normal-enough parents and attend school with other normal kids, and something starts to change, to twist even as you go about your daily life? That would be a bit harder to accept.
Sarah’s life had only a tinge of the weird: Her parents fought a lot; her mother wasn’t very affectionate; and they moved more often than the average family, or at least for no good reason that Sarah could see. The night her mother leaves for good, however, is the final push that changes everything. Sarah’s father seems to fall apart and ends up taking her to live with grandparents she didn’t even know she had. It’s just a long drive in a car—no special doors or portals needed—but the world is definitely different.
As Sarah comes to acknowledge that things are not what they seem—that her father is not falling apart so much as changing into a beast, that her grandfather already is one and that her grandmother’s anger is a powerful thing—she decides to find out the truth about this magic, this curse, this story of love and revenge. Her determination to remain human through it all is the heart of this wonderful, compelling story. Beastkeeper is highly recommended for lovers of fairy tales with a twist.