Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Of Beast and Beauty Read-Along: Week 4 Discussion Questions

Welcome to Week 4
(the last week) of 
the Read-Along for the bestselling
YA novel, Of Beast and Beauty,
brought to you by
A Night's Dream of Books and
It ends tomorrow, with reviews by 
the two participating blogs!

Of Beast and Beauty
Hardcover, 400 pages
Delacorte Press, 
July 23, 2013
Dystopian Fiction, Fairy Tale Retellings, 
Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, 
Young Adult Fiction


Week 4 Discussion Questions
Chapter 21 -"In the Beginning"
Vonnie's Reading Corner

April 29th

1.) Who is really benefiting in the dome? 

It's the nobles who really benefit.  They enjoy all the good things in Yuan, while those who are deemed "imperfect" live in poverty and squalor.  They support the nobles' comfortable lifestyles.  However, Junjie will benefit most of all, if his plans succeed.  Once his son marries Isra, and Junjie can get her out of the way, he will be the real ruler, since Bo is so easily manipulated.   

2.) Why are the nobles the only ones spared from the majority of the mutations?

I think that's mostly due to the fact that they make sure to marry only other nobles, whether from Yuan, or other domed cities.  However, it's probably also due to the fact that the group from the original settlers who agreed to the covenant were thereby spared from the mutations.

3.) Are the royal women really "mad"?

Of course not!  They are merely more compassionate than the men, especially power-hnngry ones like Junjie.  The royal women have been labeled as "mad" (crazy) because they have wanted to make changes in the unfair city system.  This is very inconvenient to those in power, who want to reap the benefits without caring that some of the people are not being treated humanely.

4.) Why are the men (the advisors) afraid of change?

I answered this question partially above.  They're afraid of change because they're afraid of losing their power and comfortable lifestyle.

5.) Why did the roses attack Isra?

It's really the Dark Heart, the evil half of the planet, who is attacking Isra, using the roses to do it.  Its malevolent presence fills the rose garden, speaking into Isra's mind, telling her to surrender, to let herself die....and Isra realizes that the Dark Heart wants to destroy her because she knows too much, because she's trying to make changes, and thus, the Dark Heart will no longer be allowed to claim Yuan's queens as sacrifice.
6.) Why does Bo keep trying to protect Isra after the wedding even though he knows she has to die?

Because, even though he doesn't really love Isra, he's not as evil as his father.  Also, he begins to see the truth about his father, and realizes that Junjie is willing to even murder Isra in order to get her out of the way.  Bo knows that his father has murdered before, and won't hesitate to do it again.  Even though Bo is a weakling, there's one thing he definitely won't stand for, and that's cold-blooded murder. 

7.) What truths were revealed in Ana's diary?  

 She escaped briefly from the city, and the Pure Heart, the planet's 'good' side, contacted her, telling her about the Dark Heart, which no one at Yuan believed in anymore, at the time.  The Pure Heart also told Ana how to break the curse on the planet -- the secret was love.
8.) How does Isra think she could destroy the Dark Heart?

She wanted to remain unmarried, so that she would have no children -- especially daughters -- to continue the royal line.  However, she was forced to marry Bo, so then her plans had to change.  She therefore decided to do everything possible to avoid  being sacrificed to the roses, so that the Dark Heart would starve, the city of Yuan would fall, and she would go down with the city. 

9.) How does the spell get broken at the end? 

Ana's diary gave the solution, which was love.  Someone from the Monstrous, and someone from the Smooth Skins, must love each other more than anything else in the world.  When this finally happened -- with Gem and Isra's love -- the domed cities fell, life returned to the desert, and everyone on the planet was made whole. 

10.) What are your thoughts on the "new skin" that everyone gets?

Oh, I think it's wonderful!!  It's like everyone is now united, all one people!  No more divisions into Monstrous and Smooth Skin, no more enmity and hostility between the two groups, because now, the members of each group look more like the members of the other group.  No more "us vs. them".  I wish something like that were to happen on Planet Earth.  However, I think things would be a bit more complicated on our planet.....

11.) Why do you think the book ends with "In the Beginning"?

Because, now that the planet has healed, and the people along with it, there is indeed a new beginning.  Isra and Gem are now the rulers of a new, united people, living in peace and harmony, with no hatred or bitterness among them.  The planet is now a true paradise. 

Posting Schedule
for the Rest of the Read-Along

Wrap-up & Reviews
A Night's Dream of Books
Vonnie's Reading Corner
 April 30th

Don't forget to visit Vonnie to see 
how she responded to this 
week's questions!
We hope you have all enjoyed
this read-along!
Stay tuned for our reviews,
coming your way tomorrow!!


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