Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Genre: fantasy (middle grade)
Format read: hard copy
Rating: planchet-4

This lovely little story folds neatly into the plot of the 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast movie it is based on.

The store opens on the day Beast gives Belle his library. While cleaning up the neglected stacks, she happens upon a mysterious enchanted volume called Nevermore and is sucked inside–literally. She finds herself in a world where it is perpetually summer, where she wears fancy gowns, dances with scholars and interesting people, and is the adored guest of a countess.

It seems like a dream come true, especially when the countess offers to reunite her with her father.

But not everything in Nevermore is what it seems, and Belle is forced to choose between her friends and what might be the only chance she’ll have to see her father again.

I love Beauty and the Beast (I own 3 different versions of the movie, if that tells you anything), and I knew that with this being a novel based on a movie it would either make my little fangirl heart swoon, or it would make the reader/writer in me throw it against a wall.

As soon as I read the last page, I wanted to re-watch all the movies, starting with the one the book was inspired by.

I loved it so much. The characters are fairly true to their movie selves, but it’s in the new characters that Donnelly really shines. In Henri, a duke Belle meets in Nevermore, we have a charming, witty companion who can meet her blow for blow in a war of words–and he does so in such an irreverent way, it’s impossible not to like him.

On the other side, we have Lucanos and Aranae. Their allegiance appears questionable at first, and they are quite possibly the sassiest allies a girl could hope for.

If you were afraid that the book would change the core of the story, fear not. The princess still saves herself, but if you want to find out how you’ll have to read the book.