Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Release Date: February 6th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: sexual assault, animal torture
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.
R E V I E W
To start off this review lets just address how beautiful this cover is. I’m not usually a fan of people on the cover of books (my eye prefers designs) but wow. The Belles was a book I instantly wanted to pick up after seeing the cover. The model is stunning and so is the design surrounding her. I don’t know, I was just left utterly speechless when I saw it.
Now, about the book. The Belles was a book I felt a bit cautious about. I had requested it but I wasn’t sure if it was a book that would suit my tastes. Especially since it took me a couple days to even reach 100 pages. However, once I was able to sit down and truly get into the world I flew through the remaining pages in a day. The concept and execution were so seamless for me that I couldn’t put the book down without knowing what happened.
The Belles is a fantasy novel set in a world where a large majority of people are born void of colour. A select few girls are born with colour and are tasked with the job to make everyone (who can afford it) beautiful. To keep trends changing and people different because in this world beauty is power. If you are not beautiful you are basically treated like trash. Camellia is a Belle, one of the few, and her goal has always been to become the Favourite of the queen. Which means that she will be the one doing all the beauty treatments of anyone royal, creating the new fashion and being trusted by the most beautiful people in Orléans.
I was pleasantly surprised by everything in this book. I didn’t find it predictable at all and I felt that every scene was happening for a reason and not simply to add page count. I also really enjoyed reading about a character who I shared a name with. One of Camellia’s sister’s name is Ambrosia but goes by Amber (which, is my name if you weren’t aware).
Speaking of the characters I felt everyone had such a depth. Especially Camellia. At the beginning, she isn’t that great of a person and I didn’t exactly like her, at all. Throughout The Belles, she grows as she realises the world and position she holds aren’t what she always dreamed about. The world around her is a lot messier and she needs to adapt now or die (not even an exaggeration). Everyone around her isn’t as she originally thought. My favourite character had to be Remy, who is the bodyguard for Camellia. I’m rooting for him in the sequel.
To round this up and stop babbling about this masterpiece, The Belles shattered me. It is well worth the hype in my opinion and has a fantastic cast throughout. I desperately need help picking up my scattered brain for this. I’m sure once the book is officially out in the world there will be some more concise book reviews out but just trust me here read this book. It’s worth it.
Happy reading everyone!
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