Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)” as Want to Read:
Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (Once Upon a Time #14)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  5,223 ratings  ·  494 reviews
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 wood carving. 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 Heartwoo
...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Belle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Belle

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
118th out of 1,741 books — 7,209 voters
The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron DokeyBefore Midnight by Cameron DokeySnow by Tracy LynnMidnight Pearls by Debbie ViguiéViolet Eyes by Debbie Viguié
Once Upon a Time Series
8th out of 21 books — 249 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Karen
*sigh* It was so close, and yet... no. It was good, i guess, but it was clear that Cameron Dokey had read Robin McKinley's "beauty" dozens of times. There is no rose. I liked that. The whole love-tree with a secret inside of it that only belle,the fabulous wood carver, can unlock... this was new and interesting. And, phew, the part in the boat (read it, you'll like that part) was really sweet. But there were so many moments where I just rolled my eyes. Either she had copied and pasted robin mcki ...more
Kiirsi Hellewell
I had mixed feelings about this book.

For the first 140 pages, I was getting into the story. I enjoyed the good writing, the descriptions, I even liked all the characters. This was a nice version of "Beauty and the Beast" where Belle still had both her parents and even her sisters are kind and good. Nothing was really happening in the story. We were watching the main character grow up, which was somewhat boring but a little cool since she liked to carve wood and had a magical "gift" to see insid
...more
Cara
Oct 09, 2009 Cara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Valerie
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
I am totally in "like" with this series. Why do I go all mushy inside every time I read one? I guess I carry way too much estrogen but I'm not ashamed. No way. Part of the reasons fairy tales have been around so long is because they show us something about what the heart can do.

Belle doesn't fit her name. At least she doesn't feel like she does when she is next to her gorgeous sisters. The author doesn't make us feel sorry for Belle in the least, which I thought was odd but good. Though she isn'
...more
Ash
I've always loved the story of "Beauty and the Beast". Probably from watching the Disney movie when I was really young(Belle was my favorite Disney princess). So I obviously had some high hopes for it. I can't say that I absouletly loved it, but like any fairy tale lover, the happy ending had me smiling.

Quick Overview: Belle feels like her name is a lie. One that you can see quite plainly when you look at her face. Belle means Beautiful and that is a word that describes her sisters, not her. H
...more
Valerie
Nothing like true love to make a Fairytale story magical. The book doesn't start that way but the beginning is just supposed to lead up to that.

It starts with Belle saying how beauty is not -as some people would have you believe- in the eye of the beholder. Her two older sisters are considered beauties but for different reasons. The oldest is the dark haired mysterious type and the second is blond with the sunshine just bursting out of her. It's good to see the author show that beauty isn't res
...more
Izlinda
When I started this book, I smiled at reading the back cover. I believe the Heartwood or a tree similar to its myth featured in another myth in another book of the "Once Upon a Time" series. I don't recall which one it was - a prince carved a flute from it, I believe, while his brother carved a spear or something...

Anyway, back to this book. I decided to pre-order it because I rather liked the books I've read of this series so far, and Beauty and the Beast is one of my liked stories. (Admittedl
...more
Allison
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And by retelling I mean that the father isn't dumb, and the author replaces the stolen rose with an accidentally fallen tree branch.

I feel like this is the book you give to middle school/high school students to teach them about patterns and oppositions in writing. No subtlety.

Also, it has the classic mistake that most MODERN YA authors try to avoid- you know nothing about the prince, and you can't tell that the heroine is in love with him, or vice ve
...more
K.
I'm having a little fairy tale phase here. Bear with me.

Not very original, took many pages right out of "Beauty" by Robin McKinley.

Did really like the family theme. Appreciated that the mother was still alive. Loved that they came together in the country like they never had in the city (and knew it, and appreciated it).

The Heartwood tree part was sort of original, but also sort of confusing. The story just wasn't knit together very well. The ending was really pretty lame--the tale of why the
...more
Katie
Halfway through reading this, I realized I was halfway through the book and had yet to meet the Beast. That in itself wouldn't have been a problem if I had liked Belle herself at all.

However, early on, Dokey sets this up as a tale about Belle being Not As Pretty as her sisters and her Issues With That (god, why the hell are heroines clearly described as beautiful always considered "plain"?). This device was gross to me for a couple of reasons. One, she's described as "plain", but evidence is to
...more
Josephina
It would be hard for anyone who's ready "Beauty" by Robin McKinley to not compare the two books. In my opinion, "Beauty" was the far better story, though this book was not without its merits. Still, the comparisons are difficult to ignore. In both stories, the "Beauty" character is the plain (or plainer) daughter, with two older sisters who are heart-stoppingly beautiful - or Beautiful, as differentiated in this book. They are daughters of a merchant who loses his money, and so the families are ...more
Melissa
M'kay... not very far into this book and already I'm super annoyed with Belle. If she mentions one more time how Beautiful her sisters are and how plain she is... I just might scream.

Update: I finished this book and then kept thinking "I should go finish reading Belle"... only to remember I was done. The first half of this book went on and on. The second half was so rushed! I could understand and feel more for the relationship between the father and daughter than I could between the girl and th
...more
Anne Osterlund
Belle is not Beautiful, as she learns on the day she steps between Celestial Heavens and April Dawn, her two sisters, and disappears. It is a lesson she can’t unlearn. Not as she discovers her gift for finding the heart of the wood she carves, or as her family stumbles into poverty, or as she enters the castle with the gate of two hands stretched out toward one another. But there is another lesson here. And one she MUST learn before it is too late .

My favorite aspect of this book was the way it
...more
Parvathy
I had read a number of interpretations of the fairy tale and this interpretation was good but was a drag at some points.
Joanne♥~Bookworm Extraordinaire
This is a basic retelling of beauty and the beast.

It basically follows the real fairy tale. One difference I noticed is that Belle's mother is around in this book, whereas I believe in the real fairy tale she's not there. Belle's father is a merchant who owns ships and in the beginning they are rich but misfortune happens and Belle's family has to move to the country. Belle's father stumbles upon the Beast's home and Belle takes his place in the beast's home. The rest is basically the same tale
...more
Loralee
Jul 27, 2009 Loralee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christie, Lauren
Recommended to Loralee by: Emily
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Emily finished this book and said, "Mom, you MUST read this!" Considering that my 15 year old daughter rarely tells me I must read anything, I picked up the book and began reading.

This book retells the story of Beauty and the Beast from a little different angle. Belle hates her name which means beauty. She does not feel as beautiful as her older sisters and wishes her family would call her by her given name of Annabelle because that would fit her better. She struggles to figure out where she ac
...more
Nicole
I am a huge fan of fairy tales retold, and Cameron Dokey is one of the authors I enjoy reading in this series. However, this one fell a little short of my expectations, at least as far as the storyline was concerned. I thought Dokey's approach to the fairy tale was engaging, and Belle's reflections on Beauty, with a capital B, thought-provoking. I also liked that there were no evil, ugly step-family members, or un-step-family members, or other individuals who are there for readers to dislike, as ...more
Lydia
Dec 16, 2010 Lydia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fairytale lovers of all ages
I am finding that there are some things that I really like about Dokey's writing and some things I don't like much at all. This book seems to follow her usual pattern. She takes a long time to set up her main charachter and the majority of the book is more about Belle and her family than anything else. The tradition points of the Beauty and the Beast story don't happen until half way through the book. While this is somewhat annoying I actually enjoy the interesting domestic storyline. I like tha ...more
Kelly R
I liked this book a lot. It wasn't great but it was enjoyable.

Good:
The characters were lovable and original. I loved the beginning, I thought it was a lovely start and had just enough background information. It was thoroughly engaging. I like Cameron Dokey's style, I find it humorous and endearing.

Bad:
It was a bit too much like Robin McKinley's Beauty. There were some parts that I wished were changed up a bit. Dokey has the talent, she has written some very inventive stories. I just wished sh
...more
Chachic
I love fairy tale retellings and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale so I'm always curious about retellings about it. I've read most of the books in the Once Upon a Time series but I felt like they weren't really for me. I don't know why, maybe because they were trying to keep the books short, I felt like that stories weren't fully developed. The same was true for this one.

The beginning reminded me of Robin McKinley's Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast because Be
...more
Thenia
A retelling of one of my favorite stories, with a few twists that make it more interesting and an engaging writing style that makes the pages fly by.
Kathleen
So I really enjoy this series, most of the time. Its official name is "Once Upon A Time" but I usually just refer to it as the fairy tale series. It's written by a bunch of authors, but I think that Cameron Dokey is one of the better ones, and she usually delivers. This time... she sort of delivered?

Belle is obviously the Beauty and the Beast retelling, and it starts really well. To begin with, Belle gets along really well with her sisters; there's no more than the average sisterly rivalry, and
...more
Hannah Ringler
It’s a fairly straightforward retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and that is in and of itself somewhat problematic because the classic retelling of Beauty and the Beast is at this point Robin McKinley’s Beauty (1993), and her other retelling of the story, Rose Daughter (1997), is the classic adaptation of the story. It’s fair to say that a lot of the motifs that are common to all three stories are also common to the fairy tale itself, but… they’re close. Particularly the skills of the other two ...more
Laree
I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book. She introduced enough details and differences into the plot to keep me captivated.

However, it's the story of beauty and the beast. In a 200 page book, it took almost 150 pages to ever get to the beast part. That entire portion of the tale is introduced, experiences, and resolved in only 50 pages. It just wasn't fleshed out nearly enough. I think this book needed 100 more pages.
Melody
This book started out so well. It had shadows of Robin McKinley's Beauty with interesting twists of its own. I loved the language, the style, the human insights. But sadly it failed to deliver. I think the "heroine" needed a few years to mature. During the last part of the book she started throwing tantrums. Her emotions were more than she could deal with so she would cry and scream just like a toddler melt-down. She made a big deal about her name but then couldn't decide what she wanted to be c ...more
Mandi Connell
Belle is a woodcutter's daughter who feels that she doesn't fit with her name. She doesn't feel beautiful, like her two sisters. One night her father gets lost in the woods and encounters a beast, and pretty much accidentally makes a deal with him that causes Belle to go back into the woods to stay with the beast. Every night the beast asks Belle to marry him, and every night she says no. Later she is allowed to go back to her family, but she realizes that she misses the beasts and discovers tha ...more
Melanie
It was cute, short and sweet... I for one love the story of Beauty and the Beast, although I do wish that Belle's time with the Beast had been longer, and more developed..

I would give it 3.5 stars, because it was so simple and sweet... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :-)
Emmalynn Herbstritt
I enjoyed, while reading the story of Belle and the Beast, to find the differences and similarities between this story and other Beauty and the Beast stories. I loved how at the ending, the Beast finally told Belle his story and how he became the Beast. I love how courageous, kind, thoughtful, selfless, and willing to make sacrifices Belle and the Beast were able to show each other because of their love. This story gives a very important lesson that not all things are as they appear. Also that i ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
The Beast doesn't appear in the story until later on. Seemed more about Belle and her family than her and the Beast. The book was a good read none the less.
Anisa
Jun 07, 2015 Anisa added it
This book was not bad. 3.5 stars. I liked the characters and the story but it all just felt rushed toward the end. There is so much time taken to establish the characters and the background. The retelling of Beauty and the Beast doesn't start until about half way through and by that time I was thinking ok, when are we going to get the actual story started. I just wish that Belle's return to the Beast and their marriage could have been expanded. It would have been nice to get to know Gaspard as a ...more
Marcia McClure
One can NEVER get enough of the "Beauty and the Beast" story! Right?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 08:05PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 2 Oct 22, 2014 09:07PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 3 Jul 23, 2014 02:37AM  
Am I the only one who wanted more of... (spoilers) 2 22 Sep 06, 2012 01:35AM  
Can't remember the title of this amazing book! Help. 3 23 Feb 02, 2012 11:17PM  
  • The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Spirited
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Mira, Mirror
  • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
  • Beauty and the Beast (Faerie Tale Collection, #1)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)
  • Thornspell
  • Beast
  • Black Thorn, White Rose
  • Mrs. Beast: A Novel
  • Snow White And Rose Red
  • Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
61659
Cameron Dokey is an American author living in Seattle, Washington. She has a collection of over 50 old sci-fi and horror films. Cameron was born in the Central Valley of California. Cameron grew up reading classical literature and mythology, perhaps due to her father, Richard, being a teacher of Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Western Literature.

Cameron has one husband and three cats, and is th
...more
More about Cameron Dokey...

Other Books in the Series

Once Upon a Time (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights
  • Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
  • Scarlet Moon: A Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute
  • Spirited
  • The Night Dance : A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Golden
  • Water Song: A Retelling of "The Frog Prince" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty Golden The Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)

Share This Book

“Unhappy memories are persistent. They're specific, and it's the details that refuse to leave us alone. Though a happy memory may stay with you just as long as one that makes you miserable, what you remember softens over time. What you recall is simply that you were happy, not necessarily the individual moments that brought about your joy.

But the memory of something painful does just the opposite. It retains its original shape, all bony fingers and pointy elbows. Every time it returns, you get a quick poke in the eye or jab in the stomach. The memory of being unhappy has the power to hurt us long after the fact. We feel the injury anew each and every time we think of it.”
170 likes
“Five is for five heartbeats, the length of time it takes to breathe in or out. For that is how quickly a life may change, for better or for ill. The time it takes to make up, or change, your mind.” 15 likes
More quotes…