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Thursday, 22 March 2018
Review: The Belles
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
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.
Guys...you need to read this book, it was freaking awesome! I wasn't entirely sure if it was a standalone or not but after the ending, there's no doubt and I'm excited for the next book...I need it like, yesterday! I also wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book but it actually blew me away.
The Belles is intriguing from the start and I found the descriptions to me vivid and bright. The settings all sound very beautiful and colourful and bright...but there's a darkness seeping in along with the feeling that something isn't quite right at the palace and the tea house and so on. It's literally like looking at a colourful, beautiful exterior and then scratching it a little bit and seeing the dank, dark underbelly. There's little tidbits dropped throughout that have you thinking "hang on a minute..." and giving you a sense of foreboding as you try to work out what's going on. Literally nothing is as it seems, situations...characters, none of it.
I have to say, I really loved our MC, Camille, she was imaginative, and bored of being told what to do. She questions things and makes her own decisions....she's inquisitive and I loved her for it. She see's something's wrong and she doesn't just ignore it and go about her day, she investigates. Bree I really loved, I was a bit wary of her at first but it became clear she's loyal to Camille and I liked the relationship between the two. Camille and her sister Belles had a brilliant dynamic and relationship amongst them, even if Amber was being a brat a few times and I wasn't sure I liked her...I eventually warmed to her. I'd have loved to have seen some more of the relationship between all of them, but I'm hoping in the next book we get to see more of Amber and Edel and get to know them more!
Remy....I ship he and Camille so bad and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to but I was all set to dislike the grumpy pants....and then I just ended up loving him. Bless him, he tried so hard to try and be friendlier and you got to know more about him and it's impossible not to end up liking him. Although he does give you pause towards the end! As for Auguste....he's charming. Which made me suspicious from the start. I wanted to trust him, I really did, but I couldn't quite bring myself to because I always felt there was something slightly off about him.
This book was somewhat of a hard read for me, as someone who's struggled with their appearance since I was a teenager, and often wished for the things in this book, you know...being able to effortlessly change how you appear and so on. This book shows what's wrong with that. It makes you question it. It makes you see that it wouldn't be a good thing, it shows you what could go wrong and Camille herself just wants people to love themselves and that's what she wants to achieve with her gift, it was actually a really lovely message for the book, if not a hard one to accept.
It genuinely did not take me long to get fully sucked in to this book, there are so many snakes throughout I was never sure who could be trusted, and there's a completely psychotic Princess. Sorry not sorry, but she genuinely is a psycho. I'd say I love to hate her, but really I just hate her, she's awful. There where so many fun, imaginative little details thrown in, I have to say, it really let my imagination run wild as I pictured the world. The pace was good anyway but towards the end it really picked up and then plot twists get thrown at you one after the other and one event triggers others until the book finishes with a bang. Like seriously....I'm gonna be needing more and I'm gonna be impatient while I wait.