Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Published: January 31st 2017 by Disney Press
Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again. The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she has ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.I read this book before the new movie came out because I was so excited for the film. It's my first Beauty and the Beast retelling. I didn't realize that it was loosely based off the new movie. If you haven't seen the new movie and want everything in it to be a surprise skip this review. It's not a spoiler but it will take away a surprising addition so I don't want to spoil that for you. There are a few things added to the new movie. One of those things is an addition of a book in the library that Beast and Belle are able to enter. In this book, Belle discovers this book by herself and enters it nightly. The book adds the characters Love and Death. Love is technically the one who puts a spell on Beast. She is hopeful that Belle will be the one to break the spell. Death on the other hand wants them to fail so she can collect money that she bet with Love. Technically, neither Death nor Love are supposed to interfere with destiny but Death of course can't help herself. Death sets this book in Beast's library for Belle to discover.
The chapters are super short. I did find that odd. Some were like 2-3 pages long. When the book begins it's basically a retelling of the animated Disney film. At first I thought I was only going to re-read a book about that film. The world (Nevermore) inside the book that Belle finds is really neat. I always enjoy reading about someone entering a magical world. I guess what I didn't love is that the way Belle acts in this book is not how I would picture Belle acting. Wanting to go to balls and meeting men. I just see her as enjoying things different then this. I did love the side characters in the book and the relationship Belle has with them. The book covers evenings that take place in between what happens in the movies so we get to read about the nights Belle spends with Ms. Potts, Chip, Cogsworth, and so on. Chip and Belle become great friends and I like reading about that relationship develop.
I did enjoy this book although I didn't expect it to be more for middle school readers. I would really like to read more about Love and Death and enjoyed those characters so much I wish they had a place in the movies. Perhaps Donnelly will write another book with these characters in it. I would recommend this book for those that love Beauty and the Beast and want more from that world.