Lost In A Book

3 Crickets

Title: Lost In A Book
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Paper Rocket

Published: 31st January, 2017

Hidden in the Beast’s library, Belle is about to discover a mysterious book and visit a glittering new world. But everything is not as it seems, when the time comes, will Belle be able to find her way back home? Or will the story take hold of her – and never let her go?

I was so excited when I discovered this book – I had seen several people posting pictures of their own copy and talking about it, so when I actually came across it in store I simply had to buy it. When I was little my favourite Disney Princess story was actually Sleeping Beauty, but as I grew up Beauty & The Beast slowly came up to possess that top spot.

I love the title, Lost In A Book, it was certainly one of the things things that drew me in and this was before I fully realised it was tied in with Beauty & The Beast. I was definitely looking forward to reading more about Belle’s time in the castle, especially when the library was involved (who wouldn’t want to visit that library???).

I found the prologue intriguing, with the story starting off with Love and Death, not the traditional characters. I thought it was interesting to have this spin on the story, and that it was Love and not Life – it took my mind a little bit to get my head around it at first, but ultimately, with how the story went, this pairing did make more sense. The descriptions of the characters were also different to how I would have expected, but again I found it interesting and I did like how they were portrayed.

Honestly, I had quite a few mixed feelings about this book. When I started reading it I was taken aback by some of the characters, because they behaved differently to the cartoon version of the story – though once I had seen the live action movie it made a lot more sense. After I had gotten over the initial shock, I started to enjoy the story. It was great to see the characters interacting and being able to explore the character’s personalities and relationships further.

However, as I continued reading my enjoyment of it began to fade. I found the story to be a little too predictable, with having seen similar story lines elsewhere. Despite this, there were still a few small things that occurred that I didn’t expect to happen which helped to hold my interest in the story. Belle’s character also began to annoy me. I understood the grief and loneliness that she must have been feeling in her situation, but her actions simply didn’t seem like ones that the Belle that I have come to love would take. Belle is a clever girl, who uses her mind to figure out the problems she is faced with and she is also a good judge of character. In this book, however, she was quite naive and instead of thinking her actions through she decided to ignore the warnings that were given to her – even pushing aside and ignoring her own doubts when she felt that something was wrong. She also came across as more of a damsel in distress type figure rather than a strong independent young lady.

On a more positive note, the scenes in which the Beast and Belle would try and do something for the other were great to see. It was nice to see Beast trying, even though he seemed to struggle to do so (his character also seemed a bit off at times but it wasn’t as significant). And Belle, as well, making an effort to do something special, although it didn’t always seem like she understood why she was doing it. I also enjoyed Belle’s interaction with Chip, with them seeming to be good friends but Belle also being like a figure that Chip looked up to. Chip seemed to have a bit more involvement in this story, and it was amusing when Mrs Potts made him do his timetables.

Overall, if you are a fan of Beauty & the Beast then I definitely recommend giving this a read. This book, while it deals with slightly darker themes, will most likely be more enjoyed by younger readers than adults, but don’t let that stop you from picking it up. While the plot was a mostly predictable and the characterisation felt a bit off, this is still a rather interesting story and it is a quick, light and entertaining read.

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