As Old as Time

As Old as Time

Book - 2016
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Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father's reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle's mother returns -- a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern. But when Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind -- images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is a beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle must work with the Beast to unravel a dark mystery about their families that was twenty-one years in the making. --
Publisher: Los Angeles, California : Disney Press, 2016
Edition: First hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781484707289
1484707281
Branch Call Number: YA BRASWEL
Characteristics: 484 pages ; 22 cm

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m
missq12
Aug 27, 2018

As a major Disney fan and lover of fairy tales with a twist, I *really* wanted to like this book but I found it to be really slow and unexciting. I did not end up finishing the book - I got through around 70% of it, where Belle and the Beast are finally putting more pieces of the puzzle together. It feels like the part that's supposed to get exciting, but it doesn't pick up. It is so unlike me to leave a book unfinished, but I'm finding it a struggle to stay captivated :(

r
Redheaded_Reader
May 07, 2018

This was an interesting take on the Beauty and the Beast mythos. A warning to B&B purists: this book is not merely a retelling that asks the "what if" featured on the cover - it is, in fact, an alternative plot. The break-off point is (*mild spoiler alert*) when Belle goes to the West Wing. She removes the bell jar and actually manages to touch the rose, disintegrating it and finalizing the curse. From that point on, her relationship with the Beast stems from them working together to try and undo what she has done.

I enjoyed the sometimes sweet, sometimes awkward relationship between Belle and Beast. The "prequel" elements encompass Belle's mother's role as the Enchantress and the existence of "les charmantes" (magical people and creatures) and the growing prejudices against them, culminating in her curse on the castle. Throw in an alternative bad guy, a murder victim, and some unexpected alliances, and you can see that this is not your average retelling of the tale.

My only caution is that the tale sometimes gets dark and gritty, and the ending is not fully "happy", though it is satisfying and hopeful. Still, all things considered, it's definitely worth a read if you are open to new takes on old classics.

sarahbru17 Apr 24, 2018

Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
This Twisted Tale was exactly what I'd hope for from a Disney re-telling--building off of the characters and story I already love, but going in a totally unexpected direction. The plot twist at the end of Part 1 totally threw me, and then I wasn't sure where everything would go from there! All of the backstory fit seamlessly with the existing world, and the new developments made perfect sense as a result. I would totally accept this as a canon AU.

The writing style actually took me by surprise because there were words in there that I had never seen before--and I read *a lot.* I had to look some words up, and that gave me a pleasure that I hadn't experienced in a long time! My one stylistic critique is that she tends to overuse ellipses. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I will happily read her others.

c
Constitution11
Dec 31, 2017

I love this book!!!!! I am a total Disney fan, and this was one of the best Disney books I have ever read. It took the original, and just like all of the other Braswell books, put a twisted mind-set on it that literally had me rereading the same line over and over again. Totally recommended for anyone who is looking for a traditional fantasy book with a twist. 5 stars!!!!!

t
TRICIA FLODQUIST
Dec 28, 2017

A lot of dialogue was taken straight from the movie. In the film, the enchanted objects had faces. In this book, they didn't. Why? How were they able to talk without mouths?

As in the film, Belle doesn't apologize for entering the West Wing. Shouldn't she take responsibility for disobeying orders not to go there?

I liked some of the bonding moments between Belle and the Beast. The ending didn't work for me though.

ArapahoeStaff1 Aug 18, 2017

For a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I think this one was very well done--it doesn't follow the Disney version exactly, which makes for a more riveting story. The connection of Belle's mother to the beast was definitely a hook of a twist!

ArapahoeCatherine Jul 16, 2017

I almost gave up on this series because I found the first two books so disappointing but I'm glad I stuck with it. Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite and Braswell finally delivered on her dark, fractured Disney premise. Playing up the asylum was genius and, without any spoilers, I loved how she ended the story!

b
black_elk_34
Jul 11, 2017

I loved this book. This series has been one of my favorite series I have read so far. Such a brilliant idea. At first I was worried how much the twist would effect the story, I wanted it to be a lot, because we all know the story of the Beauty and the Beast, this new take on the story really highlights the personality of all the original charectors, and the new ones alike. Definently worth a read. The only thing I really disliked... the fact that it ended.

b
blue_badger_1000
Apr 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, which puts a new spin on the traditional Disney Beauty and the Beast. It is more of an adventure and is a great read. This along with the other two "twisted tale" books, is fabulous.

m
MonaLyssa33
Feb 28, 2017

I enjoyed this book, but had a hard time reading it with the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack playing in my head every time I read.

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sarahbru17 Apr 24, 2018

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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sarahbru17 Apr 24, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is some torture in the insane asylum--very quickly passed over, but still a bit disturbing.

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