Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Double Review: Beauty and the Beast Novelization by Elizabeth Rudnick & Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Release date: January 31st, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Website
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 275

Description (from Goodreads):

Belle has dreamt of adventures like the ones she reads in her books, of traveling the world outside her small town. When Belle's father is captured, she takes his place as a prisoner of a fearsome Beast. But life in the enchanted castle isn't as terrible as Belle imagines, and she ultimately finds friendship and love. Enjoy this tale as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner Beauty and Beast in all of us in this beautiful novelization of the upcoming star-studded film!

Release date: January 31st, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 352

Description (from Goodreads):

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.
This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios' film, Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, so obviously I have been eagerly waiting for the premiere of the new movie. It hit theaters a few weeks ago, but, unfortunately, I haven't had time to see it yet (thesis has been keeping me busy!), but I did have time to read these two Disney releases released as sort of promotion material for the movie.

Elizabeth Rudnick's book is a straight-up novelization of the movie script. I guess one could question why I decided to read it before seeing the movie, but honestly, can you really be spoiled for this movie this the story is so well-known? I don't think so. There are a few things here that are not in the animation, but I imagine they are things that have made it into the new movie.

Obviously something that is missing from the novelization are the songs, but I think including the lyrics to the different musical pieces would have interrupted the flow of the story. This novelization is nothing mindblowing, but I did enjoy reading more about these characters, and the final few chapters managed to make me very emotional! 

Also, after reading this I really cannot wait to see the movie!

The book by Jennifer Donnelly is an original addition to the story of Belle and the Beast and its events take place after the Beast introduces the library to Belle. Lonely and missing home, Belle finds a book called Nevermore and finds herself transported into a kind of world she has only been dreaming about. But as she becomes more familiar with this new fantasy world, she realizes that life at the castle might not be as bad as she imagined it to be. 

I have not read anything by Jennifer Donnelly before, but I know she is quite well known for her historical YA novels. While I wasn't super into this story in general, I did think Donnelly writes well and I definitely would not mind giving one of her earlier novels a change. I think Donnelly excels in giving a voice to characters that are not her own, which makes me excited about the prospect of reading about characters that she has actually created herself. 

If you are a Beauty and the Beast fan, I think these novels could be a beautiful addition to your collection, and as a Beauty and the Beast fan I definitely enjoyed my time with them. Both are quick to read, and whether you are looking to extending the story of Belle and Beast or living through it again in a different format, your wishes will be sorted with these two. 

Rating (for both books):

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