Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Of Beast and Beauty: Week 2 Discussion

Welcome to the second week 
of the read-along:
 Of Beast and Beauty
It is hosted by 
A Night's Dream of Books
and Vonnie's Reading Corner!
This Read-Along will run from 
April 1st to April 30th, 2014!!
Feel free to join us :)

Week 2 Discussion Questions
Chapters 7 - 13
Vonnie's Reading Corner
April 16th

1. The Smooth Skins live under a dome. Why is that? What would happen if the dome ever got damaged?

The Smooth Skins live under a dome because they are sensitive to the sun's rays as well as the weather. The dome protects them by keeping the climate livable for the Smooth Skins without getting too hot or too cold.

If the dome were to get damaged, the Smooth Skins will be in danger of getting hurt. Of course the city of Yuan will see this as a warning that the roses need a sacrifice as soon as possible. They would kill Isra in order to protect themselves.
2. Why does Isra want to spend time gardening with Gem? Why does Gem want to spend time with Isra? What is actually happening as they spend time together?

Isra is desperate to find a cure for the deformities that are happening within her people. Gem has told her that he has a vast knowledge of plants and because of this Isra is determined to get all the information she can out of him. She would do anything to gain the acceptance of her people even if it means that she spends time with her prisoner.

Gem wants to spend time with Isra to gain her trust. While he's trying to gain her trust, Gem is thinking of a way on how to escape. Also, Gem gets to be outside of his cell if he spends time with Isra.

As these two are spending time together, their relationship is becoming more than just a jailer and a prisoner. They are falling in love with one another and are finding comfort in being in each other's company.
3. What are your thoughts on Bo? Are his feelings for Isra genuine?
I find Bo to be annoying. He is the charmer and charismatic boy soldier who is popular with all the ladies. It also doesn't help that his father was the King's advisor.

Though Bo is described to be a very attractive boy, I simply didn't like his personality. The big reason for that was how he thought he had the right to take liberties with Isra. He takes advantage of her knowing that she is blind and has had no experience with other boys.

Now, are his feelings genuine towards Isra? He probably believes they are. I think he does care for her but sees her more like property than an equal.
4. Discuss how mutated Smooth Skins are treated.
 Smooth Skins who are born with abnormalities are shun from the city. They are exiled to a place were they hardly have any resources. They are simply treated as animals. Because of this, Isra is determined to find a cure to the mutations in fear that she too could be exiled and would never be respected as queen.
5. What are the reasons behind Isra’s tea poisoning? How long do you think this has been going on?
 I'm going to be honest, I was a bit confused on this. Was Junjie or Isra's father poisoning her? Was it to keep Isra from seeing the bad things that were happening in the city? Or was this simply a way to control her?

It sounds like the poisoning was done on purpose and somehow is connected to her eyesight; so the poisoning has been happening since the night of the fire: when she was four years old.
6. Why is it only the women of the royal family being sacrificed to the roses? 
 This is something I kept asking myself the whole time. Why the royal women? Why couldn't it be virgins like it is in many other stories?

Perhaps the royal women have some sort of power that the roses crave. I guess I'll find out more as the story progresses. Hopefully. 
7. Why is Isra so desperate to find a cure for the mutations instead of changing the laws as queen like Gem suggests?
 Isra is not normal according to Smooth Skins' standards. Because of this, she is not respected as queen. Isra believes that if she finds a cure, then she will be able to obtain her people's trust and loyalty. Changing the laws will not change the way people think, so a cure is her only hope.
8. What is the significance of Isra remembering and dreaming about her mother?
 I think by remembering her mother is a way that Isra is trying to remember what really happened on the night of the fire. It makes me wonder if her mother was really responsible for what happened that night since Isra remembers her mother hovering over her looking worried as the fire was happening. 
9. What did you think of Isra and Gem’s first kiss?
 *sigh* I read that part twice because how beautifully it was described. I melted the first time reading it, and I "awwwed" the second time. There was great emotion and passion between these two. Plus I simply enjoy reading how "enemies" simply fall in love with each other.
10. After Bo discovers that Isra is not in her room, what do you think will happen?
You know, I was a little surprised on Bo's reaction when finding out that Isra was not in her room. He immediately jumped to conclusions that Isra was with another man. The fact that he said, "I will not raise another man's bastard" and "If Isra loses my affection, she will have very few friends in the city" shows how spoiled he really is and how little he thinks of Isra as a person and a queen.


Post and Reading Schedule
for the Rest of the Read-Along

Week 3 Discussion Questions
Chapters 14 - 20
A Night's Dream of Books
April 23rd

Week 4 Discussion Questions
Chapter 21 - "In the Beginning" (Epilogue)
Vonnie's Reading Corner
April 30th

Wrap-up & Reviews
A Night's Dream of Books
Vonnie's Reading Corner
All Participants
May 1st

Week 3's Questions to be answered 
on April 23rd

1.) Gem's people believe that dreams are messages from their ancestors.  What do you believe about dreams?  

2.) What do you think about Bo's accusations at Isra, when she returns to the tower?

3.) How would you contrast the Smooth Skins' attitude toward women, with the attitude of the Monstrous toward theirs?

4.) What do you think about Isra's relationship with her nursemaid, Needle?
5.) Were you surprised when Isra's sight suddenly returned?  Why or why not?
6.) Why do you think Isra's feelings about what her people think of her have changed?
7.) Why do you think Isra was so reluctant to see herself in the mirror?  
8.) Why is the covenant between the city of Yuan and the Dark Heart a binding one?
9.) How did the first covenant come to be signed?
10.) After reading Chapter 20, what do you think of Junjie?

Don't forget to visit Maria and see how she responded to this week's questions.  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (Note: I deleted the previous comment because of typos. Lol.)

    Great answers, chica! I especially enjoyed reading your comments about Bo. I didn't like him at all, either. Not that he's evil or anything. It's just that he's SO weak-minded! He doesn't know what he wants. He can see that his father is not exactly a nice guy, but he doesn't rebel against him. What a contrast to Gem!! WOW. Gem is a REAL man!! (Sigh.....) Bo is simply his daddy's little puppet.

    Of course, we both LOVED that first kiss!! Lol. The whole thing was SO beautifully described!! From your answer, I see that we both melted into puddles of mush! Hee, hee!

    This is turning out to be a FUN read-along, you know? We certainly are enjoying this TERRIFIC novel!! I wish there were a sequel, but it sure doesn't look that way..... : )

    1. I agree. Bo is not evil. He's simply a spoiled child who does everything his daddy wants. I feel that Bo will end up doing something stupid that will make him appear as the bad guy.