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.~Goodreads Blurb
Like a bag of chips, this was a nice satisfying read that wasn’t overly long or drawn out. It was just enough to wet my appetite after reading some real stinkers. Generally I try to avoid reviewing books that I hate simply because I know that someone put a lot of time and effort into them and just because I can’t stand them doesn’t mean I have to be cruel. It does make it difficult to keep up to date on my reviews and book count as I don’t count half read books. This was a bit of light reading that kept me well entertained with a nice play on Love vs. Death betting on mortal lives. Always an interesting dynamic, author Jennifer Donnelly has given her readers another look at the Beauty and the Beast story. She hasn’t changed the story or retold it as much as she has simply added more depth to the original. By adding to the already agreed upon story arc she has carefully taken a slice of life and expanded on it and shown the growing emotional ties between our two lead characters. With the live action story coming out shortly, I can only hope that people will reach for this for their younger family members who might not have the emotional memories that the older crowd has.
Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eleven novels - Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose - and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History.
Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa, and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions.Winner of the 1948 Newbery Medal, this classic fantasy-adventure is now available in a handsome new edition.-Goodreads Blurb
I first read this book when I was just 10, I was drawn in by the idea of travelling around the world in a hot air balloon, not personally (fear of heights) but in a literary mode it seemed exciting and new to me. I hadn’t yet gotten my hands on Jules Verne or HG Wells, both of whom’s styles you can see in this book. For a children’s book, it stands up quite well 70+ years later. The little ideas and illustrations scattered through the book by author really adds to the story instead of being distracting or leading the mind in one direction. I remember wondering what inventions I would invent if I was on the island, would I want elevator beds, or furniture that sunk into the floor to clean easily?
Every year for Christmas, my Niece and Nephews know that they are going to get at least two new books from Aunt Michelle. This year this will definitely be in the stack. The light and whimsical storytelling manages to create a safe space even with the pending volcanic eruption. This will be a great starter book before sending heavy books such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, or one of Verne's other whimsical sci-fi books. If I can get away with I may try to slip some Terry Pratchett in at some point as well.
Another reason I think this will be a hit, even this long after publication, even with the smallest of imaginations, one can’t help but imagine what a restaurant based government would be like. There is a level of whimsy and humor that i didn’t expect to have lasted this long. Even having read it 15 years ago I still found myself laughing and having a difficult time not finishing it in a four hour stint. So Ben and Hannah, if you’re reading this, guess what you’re getting for Christmas?
Freelance Editor & Reviewer