This week’s review is on a Beauty and the Beast stand-alone novel that takes place within the timeline of Disney’s live-action film.
Clever Belle. Beautiful Belle. Funny Belle, trapped in a palace with a monster. After saving her father from imprisonment with a horrible creature, Belle is unsure what she’s going to do. Trapped as she is and with no means of escape, it seems all she can do is spend her days cleaning the castle and daydreaming about returning to her father. Beast’s secretive nature intrigues her and the pain she sees in him and the castle staff make her more determined than ever to discover what secrets they hold. Though she finds kindred spirits in all of the hard workers, Belle is rebuffed time and time again by the Beast. One night when she escapes to her new library, she discovers Nevermore, an enchanted volume that is more portal than book. Stepping into its pages leads to a magical realm that brings back everything she lost at the hands of the Beast. Here, Parisian luxury and charming friends are only a carriage ride away. But everything is not as it seems. Unbeknownst to Belle, she is the victim of a vicious game played between the two most powerful beings in the universe and Nevermore is just a device in that game. Can Belle untangle the mystery of Nevermore before it’s too late? Or will she be forever lost in the book?
Funny, thrilling, and entertaining, Lost in a Book is a superb example of what an author can do with a pre-existing world and cast of characters. Jennifer Donnelly, the author of several award-winning YA novels including the Waterfire Saga, breathes new life into the well-known tale of Belle and her Beast with this read. Whether or not you enjoyed the movie, this is an excellent read. If it makes you feel better, just picture the original cast of characters in this one, as there are no obvious references that differentiate between the two films.
However you choose to read it, Lost in a Book is a book that is definitely worth giving a try and I highly recommend you pick it up at least once.