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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Untitled Beauty by C.E. Wilson is a dystopian take on Beauty and the Beast, commenting on society's perception of beauty. Eleven is a Potential. To be a Beauty, she has to be a Twenty. When she's sold to a doctor and his daughter Celia, she sees her chance at being sponsored so she can become a Beauty, and earn her freedom. Things don't go as she hoped when the daughter is too afraid and disgusted by her to go near her, while the doctor expects her to obey and to remember that she belongs to him. Chained and alone, she prepares for the worst until she overhears the surprisingly familiar voice of a Beauty named Reese. She doesn't expect Reese to be Celia's boyfriend, or for him to be a former Potential, but the biggest surprise is his confusing acts of kindness to her. As she dons her best 'behavior' to please this privileged Beauty family, she connects to Reese in a way she doesn't expect, a way that may just get her freedom.
Untitled Beauty is an intriguing take on the classic fairytale. The Beauties are the beasts, superior and cruel, while the supposed beasts are kept on chains, in shock collars, and abused. Eleven is an easy character to fall in love with, so there are times that really stress me out, because I want everything to work out for her. The Beauties are described as being flawless in appearance, but everything else about them is horrible. C.E. Wilson portrays a concept that comments on striving for perfection. The Potentials are only being 'people' until they're beautiful enough to be 'upgraded' to a Beauty. The Beauties are anything but humane, possessing little to know true humanity. They may call the Potentials 'beasts', but they're the ones that are truly the beasts. Untitled Beauty is brutally honest, gritty, in some ways dark, and somehow hopeful. I loved it, and got so enthralled in Eleven (Grace)'s story I couldn't stop reading!