Review: Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book

Today I’m part of a blog tour with Disney to celebrate Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly! My review copy of Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book and a complimentary copy of Belle’s Library: A Collection of Literary Quotes and Inspirational Musings was provided by Disney.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
Jennifer Donnelly
Disney Press
January 31, 2017

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again.

The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore‘s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.

My Review

I won’t lie– I agreed to review this book for two reasons: one, because I love Jennifer Donnelly’s writing (A Northern Light is still my favorite, though I’ve enjoyed other books she’s written) and because I needed a little more Beauty and the Beast in my life to tide me over until the movie comes out next month. Right? You know.

Because I know what a fantastic writer Donnelly is, I didn’t worry that this book would be overly cheesy, and in fact it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong– there are still silly antics between the household characters, like Cogsworth rambling about grand stories and Lumiere gently teasing him while Mrs. Potts mothers everyone. But on the whole, the story has a more serious tone– much like the original animated movie. The prologue and epilogue feature two sisters– Death and Love playing chess together and discussing a wager they’ve made over the lives of Belle and her Beast. That sets a darker tone for the story, but for the most part, the tale isn’t dark.

I liked that the story tied into some of the memorable moments from the movie– Beast sharing his library with Belle, and the way he saved her from the wolves. But there were added moments, too, where the reader gets to see expanded scenes from those referenced in the movie and a lot more of the process of Belle trying to figure out where she belongs and whether to trust her new castle friends.

The story about the enchanted book felt like it definitely could have happened between scenes of the original movie. I liked that I didn’t have to abandon one of my favorite childhood movies in order to enjoy this, but it didn’t try to compete with the movie, either. This was a fresh, different story that still tied in with the overarching tale.

Overall? I definitely recommend this one to Beauty and the Beast fans, especially those counting down the days to the release of the new movie who need a little something to get through until it hits theaters.

Recommended for Ages 9 up.

Cultural Elements
Belle comes from a small French town. In Nevermore, she meets a fair-skinned countess and her sister, who has dark skin and silver hair.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
One instance of mild profanity near the beginning of the book. (Beast makes a comment that he and his companions are cursed.)

Romance/Sexual Content
None.

Spiritual Content
Some magical elements. Two sisters– Death and Love appear as sisters and make a wager on Beast and Belle. Death intends to win the bet by any means necessary. Throughout the story, as in the original Disney movie, Belle learns that it’s the strength of heart, of love that matters and that loving takes great courage.

Violent Content
A brief battle scene in which Belle fights off clockwork beings and briefly faces down Death herself.

Drug Content
None.

About Jennifer Donnelly

website | twitter | instagram

Jennifer Donnelly is an award-winning, best-selling author of books for young adults and adults, including the Waterfire Saga: Deep Blue, Rogue Wave, Dark Tide, and Sea Spell. Her other young adult novels include These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor. She has also written Humble Pie, a picture book, and the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. You can visit her at www.jenniferdonnelly.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @jenwritesbooks.

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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33 Responses to Review: Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book

  1. Carolsue says:

    I think it would be “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman

  2. Jeani B says:

    I think The Giving Tree had a big effect on me and my viewpoint about love.

  3. Autumn says:

    That’s probably a toss up between A Wrinkle In Time and Anne of Green Gables.

  4. Angela Ingles says:

    The Same Kind of Different as Me taught me a lot about love and compassion.

  5. You know there are so many books that taught me about love, but the first one that comes to mind is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

  6. Ken c says:

    I really liked the Wedding by Nicholas Sparks – good lessons for anyone

  7. John Smith says:

    I suppose I learned about love from a copy of B&B illustrated by Walter Crane.

  8. Gabrielle N. says:

    Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. It showed me what pure, true love looks like. Highly recommend it!

  9. Vivi M. says:

    Probably Jane Eyre. Romeo and Juliet also comes pretty close. 😊

  10. Holly Wilson says:

    Well, you sold me! Looks like I need to check it out!

  11. Charity Rau says:

    Great review. This book is on my tbr list, and I can hardly wait for the new movie’s release! The book that first taught me about love – I guess I would have to say Little Women. It’s hard to really pinpoint one book, but I read this one multiple times as a child and I loved the way the sister cared for each other. It always reminded me of me and my sisters.

  12. Caitlin says:

    Anne of Green Gables

  13. Great article! I love a review this professional and specific!

  14. Tiffany Banks says:

    Honestly.. Beauty & the Beast was the first book that ever taught me about love lol πŸ™‚ But as I got older I would say “A Walk to Remember” <3

  15. Edye says:

    The Bible πŸ™‚

  16. Nicole Pyles says:

    The Velveteen Rabbit did!

  17. Maria Malaveci says:

    Pride and Prejudice!

  18. shelly says:

    Pride & Prejudice

  19. danielle hammelef says:

    The book that first taught me the most about love was Maniac Magee because it wasn’t a romantic love, which is only one kind.

  20. Anna G says:

    Good question! I think my mom taught me the most about love, or at least how to show love to those around me.

  21. Olivia Little says:

    I love your blog and your format!😍😍😍

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