In "Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book," author Jennifer Donnelly reminds readers of the tale as old as time while adding her own scenes to develop the characters and delight fans of the Disney classic.
The story starts with a scene depicting a chess match between Love and Death. The match ends with a bet between the two, wagering a large sum of money on whether Belle is actually the one to break the spell cast on the Beast.
With Belle in Beast's castle already forming attachments with the animated objects that live there, Death is worried that in spite of missing her father, Belle's heart may be the one to overcome the spell.
Death doesn't want to lose and isn't above cheating, so she places an enchanted book titled "Nevermore" inside the castle library, hoping to lure Belle into her deadly world and keep her from falling for the Beast.
Nevermore is the world Belle longed for when she lived in her tiny village with her father, and the promise of fulfilled dreams and writing her own story causes her to make unwise decisions. By the time she realizes what Nevermore really is, it may be too late.
Donnelly does an excellent job inserting a story into the well-known tale of "Beauty and the Beast." She captures the essence of Belle and endears the reader to her fully fleshed-out character. The same goes for the Beast, who has a new back story, explaining how he became the spoiled prince whose outward appearance now matches his inward personality.
"Lost in a Book" focuses on discovering one's identity and purpose and using that knowledge to make life choices, rather than on the love story of Belle and the Beast. While kindness and universal love are themes in this story, romance is not.
This story contains no foul language or sexual content. There are mild scenes of violence, including fighting marionettes.