In August, I read The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. It is the prequel to Disney's Descendants which is a film about the children of Disney villains. I first read an excerpt of the beginning of the novel. It sounded interesting so I decided that I would read the prequel novel before watching the movie and I was so glad that I did, although you don't have to read it to understand the movie.
The novel sets the scene and gives you some background information about life on the Isle of the Lost where Disney villains and their families have been exiled to live a horrible life for the rest of time. A special dome prevents the use of magic and separates them from Auradon, where the Disney heroes and their families live. We follow Mal (daughter of Maleficent), Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen), Jay (son of Jafar), and Carlos (son of Cruella de Vil) as they go on an adventure to try and bring power back to the villains. We also get some peeks into Auradon and learn about Prince Ben (son of Belle and the Beast) who is preparing to soon be crowned king.
The novel leads right to the beginning of the main story of the film. Of course, the film first begins with a short narration by Mal to explain some of the background information that would have already been learned if the audience has read the prequel novel.
It was a fun novel to read and I enjoyed the many little connections to popular culture. The film was also enjoyable to watch, especially since it's a musical! Trust me, the movie is worth watching just for Kristen Chenoweth's role as Maleficent as well as Mal and Maleficent's duet of "Evil Like Me".