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Book Review: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Book Review: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly. A Beauty in the Beast Retelling.

I’m a huge fan of fairy tale retellings so when I heard about this new Beauty and the Beast book I had to get my hands on it! Lost in a Book revisits the story of Belle and the Beast. The story begins when the Beast grants Belle access to his amazing and full library. However, this time Belle is lured into ‘Nevermore’ – a trick by Death herself.

Death is trying to thwart the blossoming romance between Belle and the Beast so not to lose a bet she made with her sister, Love, but she uses underhand tactics to get her way. Belle, tired of the dusty (castle) and missing her father dearly, is taken in by Nevermore immediately and sucked into Death’s evil plan. But will she manage to escape from Death’s clutches in time to get back before the last rose petal falls and seals Beast’s fate?

It was lovely to see more of the story behind Belle and the Beast’s relationship and I think the Beast appears a lot softer and more human in this version. Interestingly in Donnelly’s Lost in a Book I sympathised a lot with the Beast and not so much with Belle, whereas my feelings towards the original story are the complete opposite. However, my favourite characters in the end (and those that I felt we knew the most about!) ended up being Chip and the other transformed household objects. These characters really tugged at my heartstrings and for me they stole the show.

I wasn’t such a fan of the stuff that actually takes place in ‘Nevermore’. These parts reminded me a lot of the story ‘Coraline’, which is just thoroughly disturbing and it gave me the creeps! Death is a horrible character who is much more sinister than some of the other ‘baddies’ in fairytales because she actively tries to manipulate people’s lives in such a way that she may even cause their deaths.

I found it hard to sympathise with Belle when she was in Nevermore because I thought her terribly naive but this is actually only a small part of the story. Furthermore, the climax of Lost in a Book is a little predictable too but I suppose with this sort of novel it almost always is.

I love reading books about books and this one was no exception. It’s the perfect time to read this to tie in with the Disney live-action film release starring Emma Watson.

What’s great about this retelling is that it doesn’t rewrite the original story, but instead it could actually be placed into the original without changing it. This short story is probably categorised as a young adult book, however, I think that Lost in a Book is primarily aimed at younger teenage girls. The story isn’t particularly complex and it’s very easy to read so this would’ve been absolutely perfect for me around 7 years ago. It’s a story of friendship, bravery, love, family etc. so a really lovely tale for YA readers.

Of course, if you’re a massive Beauty and the Beast fan, you’re sure to enjoy this story at any age, but I thought that was a point worth noting! All in all, Lost in a Book is a heart-warming tale that will no doubt please Disney fans. It’s a quick, easy read that’s perfect for a lovely spring afternoon 🌹


Buy Lost in a Book: Amazon

Many thanks to Paragon Books for providing me with a review copy of Lost in a Book!

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Book Review: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnolley

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

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  1. Hannah Latoya Bond
    15th April 2017 / 8:34 PM

    This sounds like a good book. I haven’t read this one

  2. Jenni Grainger
    15th April 2017 / 9:37 PM

    This sounds interesting. I haven’t watched the new film yet, really want to

  3. 15th April 2017 / 10:35 PM

    I really like Beauty and the Beast and would probably like this book! 🙂

  4. Helen Clark
    16th April 2017 / 11:24 AM

    I love fairytale re-tellings and Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney story so I will have to pick this up myself.

  5. 16th April 2017 / 11:40 AM

    This sounds amazing!
    Beauty and the Beast is one of my faves, so I’ll need to get my hands on this also 🙂

    Dani x

  6. TheDaisyPages
    16th April 2017 / 3:25 PM

    I enjoyed reading your review…I haven’t seen the movie yet either, I’m hoping to go next week. I think my daughter would enjoy this book.

  7. 16th April 2017 / 4:01 PM

    I love Beauty and the Beast though I am yet to see the latest movie nor read this book. But thanks for a lovely review

  8. 16th April 2017 / 4:46 PM

    I always love reading your book reviews. This sounds like a good read.

  9. Madeeha
    16th April 2017 / 9:30 PM

    Beauty and the beast is one of my favourite disney movie. This sounds an interesting book. Thanks for the review

  10. Beautyqueenuk
    18th April 2017 / 9:23 AM

    I think the wife might like this, so it is something for me to look out for!

  11. Chelsea Coulter
    21st April 2017 / 7:51 PM

    Oh I’d definitely enjoy this! I’m beauty and the beast obsessed! Disney is definitely not just for children. Not at all!


  12. 27th April 2017 / 10:02 AM

    I LOVED the movie! This book is definitely on my to-read-next list! I love a good easy read sometimes, it helps to just relax my mind and let me enjoy a heartwarming lovely story.

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