15) Belle: A Retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” - Cameron Dokey (Children’s Fiction/YA)
I have to say, I was surprised by this book. It took me a few pages to really get into it and stop trying to urge the story into familiar territory, but I have to say: Dokey knows her craft. She presented likable characters – even Belle’s sisters – which is certainly not traditional in the original fairy tale. I found it to be rather delightful that her sisters weren’t evil or completely self-absorbed (in a manner of speaking… the characters actually grow throughout the course of the narrative, and for the better!), and the family actually acted like… well, a family.
As for the traditional core of the Beast and Belle’s obligation, Dokey puts a lovely little spin on things that keep the story familiar enough to the reader, while also making it a little more believable for a modern-day audience. I’ll admit: the ‘revelation’ scene between Belle and the Beast actually caused me to tear up, it was so incredibly well-written. Maybe it’s just me, but I found the delivery particularly powerful.
It’s a small book and a quick read… but well worth it.
Rating: 4 coffees out of 5