Every week Stacy and Mischenko will pick two books that we’ve recently read that match the letter of the week. This weeks letter is…


You can see our book picks including reviews below.


Mischenko’s Letter ~B~ Books

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince

By: Serena Valentino


I decided to spend my entire rainy Sunday reading nothing but Beauty and the Beast. After finishing Lost in a Book this morning, I was still hungry for more. This review may contain some spoilers so read at your own risk.

The Beast Within begins with the Prince and how he’s sickened with the fact that he’s been transformed into a beast. He’s tormented by the three evil sister witches who have cast a spell on him. At this point Beast understands that only true love, both given and received, can break the curse that’s been bestowed upon him.

The majority of the story heads back to the time when the Prince’s life was perfect and he hadn’t a care in the world. He was arrogant and vain. Here we learn about his best friend Gaston, and Circe, his beautiful and soon to be wife. This is where the questions begin. Is Gaston a real friend? Is the love the Prince feels for Circe true love that will have the power to break the spell?

I liked the way the author used the three sister witches in the story with the added twists. I truthfully enjoyed learning about the Beast before the curse as well, but the relationship with Belle fell short on detail and the ending came way to fast for me. I found it strange how Circe became so understanding in the last moments and she wanted everything to be fixed after spending the majority of the book bitter toward the Beast.

I still really liked it and I’m glad to have read it. This is perfect for upper grade school readers all the way up to adult.


Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

by: Jennifer Donnelly


This review may contain spoilers…

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book is comparable to the classic Beauty and the Beast, yet so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction which was so unique. It pulled me right in with the interaction between Love and Death-so intriguing. It’s no surprise that Death would cheat, but who will win?

The story starts with Belle in Beast’s castle after she’s been imprisoned. Beloved Belle and her love for books begins the journey into Nevermore which is so imaginative and pulls you in like you’ve entered an enchanting dream you don’t ever want to leave. Can Beast change and will Love prevail, or will Belle be so enticed that she’ll be lost forever?


I loved the author’s writing style and this is a super simple read that even young readers at the age of 10-12 can enjoy as its YA. Even though the story is simple, I believe adults can enjoy it as well. It took me extra time to finish it because I’m reading so many books right now, but one could easily have it read in half a day. Some of the characters are a little lackluster at times but there’s plenty of other detail and depth to the story which makes up for it in my opinion, like learning more about the Beast’s background. I loved the addition of the new characters in Nevermore. I also love the beautiful cover which fits the story so well.


My only issue with the story is that I wanted a different ending or perhaps MORE of an ending. It was so abrupt and not what I expected. I’m really hoping there’s another book on the way! I’ll be forgiving if there is! *Excessive Sobbing*

If you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this even more magical version of Beauty and the Beast. I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed. Now I’m off to discover more books by Jennifer Donnelly and to see the movie!



Stacy’s Letter ~B~ Books

Black Beauty by Ozni Brown **** stars


Although I think the classic book by Anna Sewell is much better, this is a storybook version of the classic and is a good introduction to the story for young children. This book is older, from 1955 and is hardcover with a black horse on front. We enjoyed this version in our storytime together.

Born Of The Sun by John Culp **** stars

I loved this book about a teen and his 2 young friends, who, after his uncle dies on a cattle drive, decides he has to finish the cattle drive for his family. He and his young friends meet many adventures along the way… Indians, and crooks, gunfights and danger. The book was funny, spoken in his local dialect. There were a few quotes in the book I liked, such as:

“As you read deeper in these pages, you will wonder why boys so young did the things we did in the Concho. It was a hard land in those days and short of men for the work to do. When you were old enough to lift an axe, you chopped wood. When you could lift a rifle, you learned to shoot it, and with Indians about you learned mighty soon to hit what you aimed at, or next time you weren’t there to pull the trigger. It was a wild frontier, but if you lived long enough to be brought up natural, you came out a pretty good man and stood on your own hind legs.”

“I tell you, when I look back now, I wonder what things in that time made folks the great good men they were. It was a hard land and many hard men lived in it. But beyond the evil some did, the good of others floated over the bloody earth like clean white clouds. Some of the men around the fire that night were most as ignorant as me and Joe and Colt, but there was something in each one of them that made him look another man in the eye like a man ought to, and he talked like a man and he acted like a man, asking nothing in return for favors, but just doing the good he did square and honest out of his own heart. There can be a goodness in men that beats anything that ever walked this earth.”

This is an older book, published in 1959, but in MY book, a definite keeper.

Please check back next week for Letter ~C~

Feel free to comment or leave recommendations below and thanks for checking out our letter challenge!