Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Read: December 2017
This novel is relatively short, only 341 pages. I read it in just a few sittings and I enjoyed the simplicity. It is a middle-grade novel and its a Beauty and the Beast story. Its not a retelling. It takes place while Belle is still being held captive and the Beast has just gifted her his library. She is just beginning to change her perspective of him (if only a little).
As soon as Belle finishes cleaning up the library she finds a hidden room that holds an enchanted book. It transports her to a magical land and she meets charming characters and is tempted by everything in the story to stay permanently. Alas, she soon finds out that not everything is as it seems and she finds herself in a mess that she created for herself. Honestly, though, who could blame her? She’s facing a lifetime of being a prisoner with some enchanted beast that throws tantrums all the time and being anywhere else seems like a completely better option. But she has her not-so-bright moments throughout the book as well. Like trusting complete strangers rather than using her logical thinking and her intelligent brain that she’s supposed to have. She’s my favorite princess and all but I was just a little bit disappointed with some of her choices in this novel.
I should also say that some of the descriptions of the parts in the enchanted story kind of creeped me out. There are these people-sized marionette dolls that are supposed to be scary and unnatural. The author wrote the details very well. The descriptions are simple just because they’re meant for the younger readers but it wasn’t such a noticeably big drawback. I didn’t mind it after I got into the mindset of the appropriate age group.
Overall, I really liked reading this book. It was easy for me to read and it was a good refresher for me. I was so happy about being able to finish a book in just a few days for the first time in forever! I honestly felt so good about it that I picked up another book right away! It’s a great read (geared toward the younger audience) and I think it can be enjoyed by many.