Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide

Year: 2017

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An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairytale, 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 and 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.


Get Lost in a Book! Order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local independent bookstore.


The Story

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 was a prisoner, seem within reach again.

The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her sparkling 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. Be what about her friends in the 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.

The Inspiration

If I was reborn a Disney princess, I’d be Belle. No question about it.

Don’t get me wrong: I relate to Ariel’s love of the sea (can you say Waterfire Saga?), and I covet the perfect, life-changing outfit every bit as much as Cinderella.

But when Wikipedia adds an entry for “Nerdy Feminist Bookworm,” it will have two names: Jennifer Donnelly and Belle.

So when Disney asked me to write an original story about what happens to Belle away from the arc of the classic fairytale, what goes on in her inner life, among her thoughts, hopes, fears, and fantasies, there was no way I could possibly say no.

I’ve written quite a few books in many genres and under various circumstances, but this one was different. It was an amazing experience to write an original story that weaves around and through a classic fairytale beloved by millions (the 2017 film broke records for Disney at the box office — watch the gorgeous trailer here). It’s fascinating — but challenging, as you can imagine. The original story is like gravity: always there and unchangeable.

It has also been exciting to really get to know these characters over the past few months as I wrote and edited the book — Belle in particular. She and I have become extremely close, and there’s a lot more to her than I ever realized or appreciated. She has taught me so much, as all my characters do, and she will join Alexandrine, and Mattie, and Fiona, and Serafina in a very special place in my heart.

Buy Lost in a Book at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, or your local independent bookstore.


  1. Annemarie says:

    Dear Jennifer Donnelly,
    I am 13 years old. I LOVE Lost in a Book! I am doing a book selling presentation to my class in a few weeks and I was wondering if I could get any information I should use for my presentation. Why did you choose Love and Death for the Good and Bad characters exactly? Why did you write this book? What was your motive? Do you enjoy writing books? Do you write books for your career or a hobby? I hope you respond to this. Have a nice day! Thank you!

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      H1 Annemarie! I’m so happy you loved Lost in a Book!! Here’s the story behind Love and Death. As for why I wrote the book, Disney asked me to write a story about my favorite Disney princess — so I couldn’t possibly say no! I talk more about this in the Inspiration section above. Do I enjoy writing books? YES!! It’s very very hard sometimes, but I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. Writing books is my job, not my hobby. And it’s not the easiest job out there. It can be lonely and frustrating sometimes — but I’m lucky enough to do what I love! You might want to look at my Frequently Asked Questions for more of my thoughts on these sorts of things. Good luck on your presentation! ❤️

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      No, but you might be interested in the series of fairy tale retellings that I’m just finishing up! The first book is Stepsister (a retelling of Cinderella), the second is Poisoned (Snow White) and the third is not yet titled — but I think you might enjoy it!

      • Jazmine says:

        Hi, Mrs. Donnelly! I am 10 years old and just got introduced to Lost in a book and Stepsisters! One question; is there a sequel to Stepsisters? What is your favorite childhood author? Any book recommendations?
        thank you!

        • Jennifer Donnelly says:

          Hello Jazmine: To you first question, yes! Stepsister is the first of three fairy tale retellings. The second one is Poisoned, and it came out in 2020. The third one will be out next Spring. We haven’t announced it yet, but we will soon! My favorite childhood author … hmmm, too many to name, but if you read the inspirations (or watch the videos) behind some of my books for young people, you might get some ideas! A recent book for people your age that I recently loved was Odder by Katherine Applegate.

  2. Lilian says:

    Dear, Jennifer Donnelly

    I just finished the lost in a book and water fire saga series they were both amazing I think water fire saga I first found deep blue in a thrift store and could not put it down then I figured out there are more books to the series I was on a plane at that time so I ordered them as soon as I got home and read the series over and over again, my mom had to put them away I read them so much!!! I read the lost in a book several times but there’s not a cool story to how i got them. thanks

  3. Tera says:

    Dear Jennifer Donnelly,

    I’m just 13 year old girl and I just ADORED your book Stepsister! I loved how you showed both fear and pain as well as excitement and joy in this wonderous story! It was BEAUTIFUL! I JUST started reading Stepsister on March 2nd 2020! It’s BEAUTIFUL and I had just finished reading it today! I WISH to be able to work with AMAZING authors like YOU! I just have a question! Do you like reading DARK stories! As in DARK fairytales such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast? At first I thought you wrote DARK FAIRYTALES like princesses that took DARK turns. I just checked out your books that you wrote and it seemed pretty good! But I kinda was wondering if you could think about writing a DARK princess story or something related to dark like Stepsister? Sorry if I’m bothering you! It’s just REALLY INTERESTING! Anyway, thank you SO MUCH for writing Stepsister! It’s motivating me to start writing something of my own as well! Thank you! I hope we get to write book together one day! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you!

  4. Shelby says:

    Dear Jennifer Donnelly
    I love the book beauty and the beast lost in a book does belle find away back to the beast castle or does she get lost in a book forever. Are you going to make a sequel to the beauty and the beast lost in a book?

  5. Is it possible to make a youtube series reading this book? Aspiring influencer here and just wanted to know if this is possible and/or the proper process to get this information.

    Also, I love this book and growing up this was and still is my favorite character and I love how this book captures a different side to her.

  6. Cherea says:

    Please, please, pleaseee write a sequel! I am begging you! One of the most well written books I have ever read! Please don’t leave me hanging!

  7. Florence says:

    I love ‘Lost in a Book!’ I couldn’t put it down! I had to reread it again! What an awesome twist to the original Beauty and the Beast movie. I can’t wait for ‘Stepsister!’ Thank you, Ms. Donnelly!

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      No immediate plans for a sequel/series, but I never say never! If you want to see more of my work with Disney, check out the Waterfire Saga (book one is called Deep Blue). I’m currently working with Scholastic (publisher of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc.) on a new novel called Stepsister — about Cinderella’s ugly stepsister and what becomes of her after the glass slipper ordeal. It will be out next year!

  8. Sabrina says:

    Is there any news yet when Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book will get translated to Dutch? I read it in english I loved it! But my mom wants to read it in dutch.

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