Apr 28, 2018

Lost In A Book by Jennifer Donnelly Spoiler Free Review (S.S.S. April Book)


Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Hey everyone! Today I am doing a review for Lost In A Book by Jennifer Donnelly, the Beauty and the beast retelling pick for April that I read for my online book club, The Second Star Society. So be my guest (Heh, see what I did there? 😉) and read on to find out what my thoughts were!

 emma watson party GIF by Walt Disney Records

My Rating:


The writing itself was good. I loved the detailed descriptions of every little thing and the world of Nevermore was very vividly brought to life. I also love how all of the characters and settings were so easy to picture because they are written just like just like how they are in the 2017 movie, since that's the version this retelling was based off of, rather than the old cartoon or the original fairy tale, which I thought was pretty cool.

I really liked the plot at first. The beginning really gripped me right away with this really interesting prologue showing a personified Love and Death as sisters playing an eternal chess game and betting on people's lives. They bet if Belle and the Beast would learn to love each other before the last rose petal falls or not, and Death hates to lose, so she tries everything to sabotage them by creating Nevermore and trapping Belle inside. It's a really interesting premise and I had fun reading it, though I found the last 100 pages or so a little disappointing, but I'll explain that later. 

I love the settings of the Beasts' castle, the library especially, and Nevermore. 

 beauty and the beast disney GIF

It was all so beautiful to imagine and I loved the details the author used to describe them, especially how the magic in Nevermore seemed to play a part in the story. I read another review where someone mentioned that it reminded them of Alice in Wonderland, and I totally agree. That and a little bit of The Wizard of Oz is the kind of vibe that Nevermore gave off, and it was kinda cool having a few of my favorite stories sort of mixed in together a little bit, or at least it seemed that way. 😊

I really loved how all of the characters, especially all of the servants in the castle kept their same personalities and sense of humor that we are familiar with in the movies. The scenes between Belle and the Beast where they are slowly starting to get to know each other are so cute and I enjoyed reading them. 😊
I also love how interesting it was to have Death and Love personified as characters and how they played a big role in the story. But most of all, I loved how Belle's love of books really came out through the writing. I mean, it's a Beauty and the Beast story! You can't have it without that! 😂

beauty and the beast books GIF by Disney

Really the only things I didn't like were one; the ending was pretty disappointing, at least in my opinion. It felt like it moved a little too fast and it ended up just feeling kind of meh and lazy. 😞 For some reason I expected it to be YA, (maybe because I don't think this author has any other middle grade books out? Idk.) but it was definitely middle grade. I didn't really notice at first, but the way the ending was written felt very middle grade, so maybe that might be part of the reason that I was left feeling underwhelmed, because I expected a little more from it?

And two; I didn't appreciate the low key introvert shaming feel that I got from it. 

 unimpressed beauty and the beast GIF

And I felt like everybody in the castle was kind of unconsciously guilt tripping Belle into feeling bad that she wasn't happy being there with them and felt the need to escape into books all the time; literally. I mean, I know they were her friends and they did care about her and tried to do everything they could to make her feel more comfortable, but still, she was a captive! Give her a break! Ugh, I don't know. It just really bothered me, but that might just be me.

I wasn't really sure how I felt about it when I first finished it. It wasn't too bad, but I am sad that I didn't like it as much as I was expecting to. I thought it would be at least a 4 star rating, but sadly the ending knocked it down to 3. Though I still really enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loved middle grade, fairy tales, books, or Beauty and the Beast. It was definitely a fun book to read if you want to get whisked away to a magical land and get "lost in a book." 😂 Okay I gotta stop with the bad puns now.

So what did you think of this post? Have you read any great Beauty and the Beast retellings? Or this one? What did you think? Are you a part of my book club? If you want to find out more info on it, just click here. 😊

Well that's it for now! I'll be back on Tuesday with another post! 
Bye! ♡

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  1. Ohh that's cool that this author did a retelling of it! And I LOVE it when things are personified, like Love and Death! I read another book like that, it was a historical fiction and I think it was called A Game of Love and Death?? Anyway SO GOOD.😂

    Buuut yeah I'm not really a fan of introvert shaming. There's no need! Let people be the people they are ahhh.

  2. Heather @ The Frozen Book BlogMay 1, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Ugh I know! It was kinda disappointing. I'm sad. :,(