Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Disney Press
When the Beast gives Belle the castle's library, Belle starts spending most of her time there enjoying the books in the room. When she discovers a magical book called Nevermore that can transport her to a different world where she is loved and no longer a prisoner, Belle can't help but want to spend more time in the magic book than she spends in the castle. However, Love and Death have made a wager about her ability to fall in love with the Beast and Nevermore is Death's plan to capture Belle and keep from losing the bet. The more time Belle spends in the book, the harder it is for her to return until she is in a situation where she is fighting to get back to the Castle and accept the life in the castle instead of being trapped in the book.
Fans will enjoy seeing more of the castle characters and their interactions with each other that are not in the movie. The author depicts some characters exceptionally well, but falls short with Belle, who seems significantly less intelligent. The book follows the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, but it doesn't have the same magic. The biggest issue with the book is that the narrative of Love and Death feels out of place with the established narrative of the movie. Also, the simplistic writing style takes away from the story's suspense and doesn't fit the young adult genre. Fans of the movies will still likely enjoy the story, but the book lacks the substance and magic on its own.