Title: Lost in a Book (Beauty and the Beast)
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy/ Beauty and the Beast
Source: Favourite Author
Favourite Quote: “Love-real love- sees with the heart, master. Not with the eyes.”
The Beast looked at him skeptically. “How do you know that?”
“Because I’m in love with a woman who’s a feather duster,” said Lumiere. “That’s how.”
What happens when your favourite author does a spin off of your favourite Disney film? You don’t hesitate and buy it the second you see it! What a lovely little surprise I found in one of Tokyos small English book shops. It’s rare to find anything in Tokyo, so I couldn’t help but feel like this little gem was meant for me.
Jennifer Donnelly takes us straight into the world of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with all of the original characters you already know, Belle, Beast, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts, Chip.. except we start with two new characters; Love and Death.
Our story begins with Love and Death playing a chess game infront of a mirror that shows the Beast in his castle. We discover that it was Love that transformed him into the creature we’ve come to know as she is determined to find love in his heart.
Sisters known for making bets on the world, Death is confident that Love is wasting her time, but they are both curious about how it will play out when Belle turns up at the castle. They make a bet to see who would win before the last petal falls on the cursed rose Love set upon the Beast.
“Your always look for the worst in people,” said Love reproachfully.
“And I always find it,” Death said.”
Meanwhile, things are a tense at the castle; Beauty ran away after being discovered in the west wing and the Beast followed to save her from the wolves in the forest. Beast is still angry and Beauty is still unsure of her feelings towards her frustrating captor. He tries to make amends by introducing her to the library for the first time which she couldn’t believe with her own eyes. When Beast tells her that the library is now hers, her feelings are even more confusing. Who is the Beast and what is her purpose in being in the castle? Why is he so protective of the rose but given her her hearts desire by giving her the library? Why isn’t anyone answering her questions without changing the subject or being vague in their response? Belle decides to escape into the stories in the library and discovers the book ‘Nevermore’ which Death has deliberately dropped in her path.
The book is enchanted with magic and before Belle’s eyes, it transforms into a large portal into the world of Nevermore. With not much to loose, she walks into the portal and finds herself infront of a large beautiful mansion with elegant guests arriving for a party. She finds herself drawn to the people going into the mansion and when she realises she’s also been enchanted in a dazzling gown of her own, she curiously walks up the steps into the party.
Within Nevermore, Belle encounters new friends, adventure she’s always craved, luxury and a promise to be reunited with her father. The pull of Nevermore makes Belle more resentful of her life as a prisoner and she needs to decide on which path she will take and where her heart truly lies.
“Isn’t that what a good story does? It pulls you in and never lets you go.”
This is definitely one of my favourite spin offs for Beauty and the Beast as instead of taking a completely different plot with different characters and unique magic, Jennifer decides to use the original film we all know and love and add more exciting storyline to it. Of course we all know what’s going to happen in the overall story, but it’s nice to go through some of Belle’s emotional experiences of being a prisioner of feeling lonely and trapped. Nevermore allows a new fresh take to our once upon a time.
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 has 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.