Review--Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios' film, Beauty and the Beast.



I've been a big time fan of Beauty and the Beast ever since it released in theaters (because, yes, I am that old. LOL!) and I saw it TWICE! Which is ever so rare. I can count on one hand the number of movies I ever saw more than once in theaters! So yes, I am STOKED for the upcoming remake this month! And not too long ago I heard about Jennifer Donnelly's, whom I have always meant to read but hadn't yet, newest book was tied into the new movie, I knew I HAD to give it a read! The title, Lost in a Book, alone held enough promise for me!

Haven't we all imagined literally diving into a book, exploring the world, living its very journey, its story? Well, in this one, Belle does exactly this! The story starts off when she's been gifted the library by the Beast. We see through flashbacks basically how she wound up in the Beast's castle on the very, very off chance no one's ever been introduced to this story before. It' not long before Belle discovers a very special particular (because all books are special! ;) ) book and when she opens it, she's quite literally sucked into the pages! The world within the story comes alive. Though, truthfully, it felt like more the book was coming to life rather than its story, for it really has more of a magical book world feel than the actual story. The book is called Nevermore, which really just brings to mind Edgar Allan Poe than anything else.

Belle isn't sure what sort of magic this is. Having spent time in the enchanted castle with the cursed servants and Beast she knows magic is real. But this is a different sort. She's always longed to travel to new places, visit the wide open world far from her tiny little village. But she soon learns that not all stories end happily ever after, nor are the journeys themselves as adventurous and exciting either, that they can be quite dangerous.

I actually managed to read this one in one day! It was nice, kind of cute! I was totally using the voices from the animated movie in my head for all our beloved characters. Though the role of Belle was alternately voiced by Paige and Emma! LOL! My brain couldn't decide which one to use! And while I thought it was a cute read and all, I also couldn't help but feel like something was lacking. There was a nice kind of magic, but I never truly felt enthralled by it. That's not to say I didn't enjoy myself because I did. But I found myself distantly wishing for something more, but what, I couldn't say.

What became a surprise was seeing the Enchantress herself. I won't give out too many details, but she (and a newly created character) play a big role in this story! I really liked how Jennifer twisted the story we all know to include this. I felt like it really added to this side journey Belle took! I also really enjoyed seeing more of the Beast! Not that this was his story or anything, but we got to see more moments and whatnot that weren't really there in our classic story. Which yeah, totally get reasons and whatnot and how this story came about from the live action remake of the beloved animated! It's quite twisted in a sense, but as the same time I was seeing moments and just the characters themselves who reminded me of their animated selves.

This was truly a magical read! While I did find some of the story lacking in some way, I still enjoyed myself! This is truly a read for all Beauty and the Beast fans! And of course for every reader who has always wanted to literally dive into the world the book contains on its pages! Reader beware, for all is not at it seems in these worlds!


Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars--much confliction over how I wanted to rate this. Almost a 4 but not quite, yet still entirely better than a 3.5! And to think I deliberate too much on Goodreads and Amazon who scoff at the half star rating! Imagine what they'd feel at going so far as quarter ratings! LOL!




2 comments:

  1. This book was only so-so to me. I guess it was a little bit more middle grade then I thought it was going to be. I wish we could've read more about Love and Death. Those characters where really interesting to me. I would like to read an entire book about them.

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  2. I finished this book last night and also found it an easy and fast read. I did enjoy the twist on the fairy tale where we got to see an alternative storyline while Belle is a "prisoner." This won't be a favorite book because of the omniscient POV. I didn't like knowing everything and seeing Belle struggle with not knowing/not seeing what I thought was obvious. I would have liked more surprises.

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