Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Disney Press
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling
“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.”
You know that feeling of completeness after reading a book that has just changed you? That’s exactly what this book did for me…..
The story begins with two spectators, Love and Death, engaged in an endless game of chess. I thought this was such a unique way of providing us, the readers, with a quick background. Whether or not it’s actually part of the original story it’s a nice way of engaging our thoughts behind the rose, the curse and even the Beast himself. The story takes place immediately after Best gives Belle the library. A few chapters later we are introduced to Nevermore. A book that quite literally, transports you to an enchanting new world.
With the dazzling descriptions Donnelly provided of Nevermore I felt as though I had been transported myself.
“Isn’t that what a good story does? It Pulls you in and never lets you go.”
Once again we get to see the lovingly familiar characters such as Chip, Mr.s Potts, Lumiere and Cogsworth. We also get to see some new characters like Otto, Lucanos and Aranae (Otto was my favorite new character.)
What I really enjoyed was having a more in depth look at Belle’s relationship with everyone grow. Seeing how affectionate she becomes towards the others was very heart warming. In the time between this book and the movie it’s as though we’ve been provided with a lot more of Belle’s character growth. We learn just how hard it is on Belle to be enslaved in the castle. So making friends isn’t as easy of a task as one might think. The hardest of which is her attempt at friendship with Beast.
“It was more than a book, more than a story. I t was like nothing she’d ever known. And everything she ever wanted.”
Donnelly’s writing made me feel as though she reached right into my heart and put it on a page. Belle is incredibly easy to relate to. Wanting, no needing, an escape from the troubles of her life. Isn’t that something we all crave? Isn’t that why we take up books? So that for a moment we can live inside someone else’s mind and live someone else’s adventure.
My only piece of constructive criticism here was the ending itself. It wasn’t very long. For all the detail and pages provided throughout the rest of the story, you’d think there would be more to the ending. It just seemed kind of abrupt. Also I would have like to have seen more of Love’s character. Death sort of steals the spotlight here. I kept expecting Love to appear in places that would have made sense but that wasn’t the case.
But I still loved this book!
With all of my heart! This is a perfect way to fill the void while we wait for the DVD release of the live action film. I don’t doubt that this will be a book you read several times again and again. If you loved the movie, and you love the story than I highly recommend reading this book. If it’s already on your TBR, boost it up to the top of the list! It’s a beautiful companion to the Disney favorite from our childhood ❤
If you had a Nevermore and a chance to escape, would you take it?