This book does not qualify for my 2015 Book Club Challenge.
Tomorrow, Disney’s Descendants premieres. I went back and forth on whether or not I would read the prequel, Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. In the end, I’m very glad I did.
The Isle of the Lost is a prequel, so its the backstory to the new movie. At the beginning, Jay, Mal, Evie, and Carlos go to the same school but are not what you call friends. They want to become better villains in order to please their parents, who constantly think of them as a disappointment. To this end, they go on a quest to find Maleficent’s scepter, because the barrier blocking magic to the island was broken for just long enough for it and her friend Diablo to awaken. Meanwhile, in Auradon, Ben is trying to work out what kind of king he wants to be and how he’s going to manage to do it.
Despite the lack of pictures, Cruz paints the location in all of its decrepit glory. She does the same for her characters, showing their dreams, their weaknesses, and the little things that make them individuals.
Each chapter is told from a different perspective so that, in the end, we hear the story from every side so that we love them all. By the time they become each other’s friends, they also feel like our friends. Based solely on seeing Ben’s girlfriend Audrey in his scenes and hearing what is going on the villain kids’ heads, we are forced to begin questioning the difference between good and evil. This question will play an important role in the movie experience.
My most favorite thing about this book: I love Mal. But I also love the relationship between Belle and Beast. I hope that is held up in the movie as well.
My least favorite thing about this book: We never hear who the other parents are. Who knocked up Cruella? Or Maleficent? We do hear that they don’t like to talk about them, but we don’t know who they are. They have to be villains, but which ones?
Who I would most like to recommend this book to: Disney fans, obviously, but also anyone who likes a little bit of bad in their fairy tales.
Where this book sits on my bookshelf: Between Jurassic Park and Bud, Not Buddy.
A memorable quote: (When the daughter of the Evil Queen, Evie, says her mother doesn’t think she’s pretty enough.) “Really? But you’re gorgeous,” Jay said. “I mean, you’re not my type sweetheart, but you’ve got to know you’re good-looking.” (Proving that just because someone is not attractive to you personally doesn’t not mean they are not attractive period.)