Book: The Belles
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Number of Pages: 448
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 grey, 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.
My Review/My Thoughts:
Hmmm…what do I really think about this book in spite of all the controversial? I actually think that this would be a great series so yes I gave it 4 stars.
The story is about these six young Beauregard sisters who are known as Belles (Camillia, Amber, Edel, Hana, Valerie, and Padma) the people of Orléans, and the royal family who have two daughters.
- The people of Orléans were cursed a long time ago and were all born gray.
- The Belles can control beauty and can make any citizen in Orléans beautiful in any way he/she wants. Whether it’s the color of their hair, the color of their skin, their height, body size or weight, their temperament and many more. These six Belles were trained since they were practically babies to be the best, and when the time comes, one of them will be chosen as the “Favorite” (and they all want to be the “Favorite”). There’s only one “Favorite” and this Favorite will be chosen by the queen. The Favorite will serve the royal family and their court for their ”beauty” needs. Not only that, the Favorite will have all the benefits and privileges of being the chosen one, plus of course the celebrity status.
- Then there’s the royal family who has their own deep secrets, insecurities, fear and inner turmoil.
I love the story. I took out one star because the pacing was a little slow in the beginning but the characters are amazing. I like young Lady Camillia who is hot-headed yet vulnerable, her sister and closest friend Amber who always follows the rules, and also their sister Edel who loves to break the rules. I’m not really impressed with the love interest Augustus but I’m liking the personal guard Remy.
The world created by the author was so mesmerizing for me. From the post balloons to the amazing ball gowns that can change colors or style, teacup animals (as small as teacups) that include a dragon. The magic of the Belles who draw their ”beauty” power from the Arcana. And many, many, many more…
I also love how the author wrote this little message for her readers, towards the end, of her struggle when she was growing up and the reasons why she wrote this book. I think most (not all but most) young ladies out there have these insecurities growing up. At least, I know I did when I was growing up. I sometimes even compared myself to the gorgeous models in the fashion magazines. But I soon realize that nobody is perfect. I learn to accept my shortcomings, my faults, my not so beautiful body. And I also learn to surround myself with people who accept me for who I am with all my imperfections.
I’d say I recommend this book to anyone who loves young adult fantasy.
That’s it for this week!!!
I’m so excited to read this next fantasy book!!!