Monday, January 19, 2009

Belle (Once Upon a Time Series)

by Cameron Dokey

Summary: Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters' awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to woodcarving. Secretly Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one's true love. During a fierce storm, Belle's father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood--and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Bell must carve the Heartwood to save her father and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.

My review: I said I wasn't going to review any more of these, but it's amazing what a few days of sickness will do to a girl. Lately I've been too crazy busy to read until I was laid low, along with one of my kids. Now I have an excellent excuse to read all day while my kids watch movies. I really enjoyed this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It had some nice romantic moments, comforting similarities to the original story, and changes that I really enjoyed. The Beast was still a Beast in the literal sense of the word, but much more of a gentleman than in other stories. Belle's sisters were not the usual irritating twits (that gets a little old) which made them far more likeable. Belle also possessed a unique talent for woodcarving, and seeing the true forms hidden within the wood, that played a huge part in the plot. The theme throughout the story seemed to be seeing someone clearly with your heart, and loving them for who they are despite what your eyes may show you. My only real critique was that a little over three-fourths of the book was dedicated to setting up the story, characters, etc. and only 60 pages were left for the Belle and Beast storyline. I really wanted to have more time with those two and wouldn't have minded an additional 60 pages of interaction. All in all, I really enjoyed it, wished it were longer, and found that Cameron Dokey's writing seemed, yet again, to be much better than other OUAT contributors.

My rating: 3.5 stars for enjoyment (it was higher but I couldn't believe that they only gave me roughly 60 pages of the Beauty/Beast interaction). I plan on buying it, along with a few of her others, so my girls can read them later, and I can read them again.

If I could sum this book up in one phrase it would be: A very pleasant and romantic way to spend the afternoon--especially when you can't move because you feel gross (not prego gross--to clarify--just gross).

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