Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CHARACTER COUNTS: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
by Jennifer Donnelly
Disney Press, 2017. Fiction. 341 p.
This is a companion story to the new live action movie Beauty and the Beast. The story starts with two sisters, Love and Death, playing chess and discussing Belle and the Beast. They make a wager whether Death or Love will win out for them. For the rest of the story Death is actively trying to thwart Belle's growing attachment to the Beast by creating an alternate reality, called Nevermore, that Belle can access through a magic book in the Beast's library. Belle knows Nevermore is not real, but it seems to offer all she ever dreamed of and it is is hard for her to choose between it and her growing friendships in the castle.

If you are thinking that this is a cute book you could read aloud to your five-year-old Disney-princess-loving child, think again. This has some seriously intense and creepy scenes. That said, I liked this book. This is a "character counts" book because of emphasis on friendship. Donnelly shows Belle and the Beast laying the foundations of a real friendship and it makes Belle's declaration of love for the Beast that occurs at the end of the movie much more believable. This is a good choice for readers age 10+ who really like the new Beauty and the Beast movie.

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