Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Belles (The Belles #1)
by Dhonielle Clayton

Hardcover448 pages
Expected publication: February 6th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 1484728491

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

*trigger warning for sexual assault*

The Belles was a captivating, lush, and surprisingly dark novel. This beautiful cover might make you think this is just about gorgeous women in lavish dresses, but it is SO much more than that. Under all the glitz and glam this novel presented, there was a grim and wicked story waiting to be unleashed. The Belles was a book that I read all in one sitting because I simply couldn't stop reading this addictive story. 

This book started as a bit of a slow burn, but it was still mesmerizing. The author created such an interesting world, that I didn't even mind the slow build. As the plot started to unfold, the dark part of the story started to creep in and the book started to get more intense. The ominous turn the story took was unexpected but definitely welcomed. 

The underlying message threaded throughout this story was one that was poignant and powerful. The idea of having a society that is so obsessed with being beautiful was sadly familiar. Yes, it was more drastic than the society we currently live in, but it was not hard to compare the two societies. This book really drove home the idea that no matter how beautiful someone is, there still could be darkness lying underneath that perfect surface. The message about beauty the author presented in this novel is an important subject that everyone needs to be reminded of.

The main character, Camellia, was the perfect heroine for this story. She was a kind, intelligent, strong, brave, and courageous girl. She was someone who wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in and she always fought for what was right. Her bond with her sisters warmed my heart and I loved how much she treasured their those friendships. Camellia was an inspiring character that we all could learn from.

The Belles was an addictive and magnficient new story. This original and compelling novel is one that will pull you in from the first page and never let go. If this book isn't on your TBR, it should be. 

4.5 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. * 

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