Belles, The

Dhonielle Clayton
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, 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 Orleans 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 Orleans 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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2021-05-22
You know those... love/hate relationships, right?
But did you ever get a like/burn-this-thing relationship? (kidding, I would never burn a book)

My emotions are not even like jumbled or whatever. I know exactly when and what went wrong.

The first half was pretty nice. Not fascinating-nice just interesting enough.
And than...

I mean, okay, I guess after the acknowledgments and explanation from the author, I am totally on board, 100% for the message of this book, admire the authenticity...

But let me tell you, it has been so LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG since I felt such strong and crippling dislike for a character - NO - characterS! I am not a violent person. Even towards fictional characters. But the things I felt during reading this... I shudder to even remember.

On a more objective note, the style, the description of every place and dress and person was a really strong point. Such imagination! I was pleased the girls were friends and had all mostly positive upbringing but still behaved as befit their age, emotional and immature at times. I even dig the world and the system. And I am in no way a fan of fashion and other Belle stuff.

The main character ... I am still not sure if I can dress up her frustrating weakness and naivete as goodness, pure nice-vibe. I like, really want, a heroine that does not feel like taking up arms like swords or guns to fight for something better. I can really admire woman that is really feminine but that is what makes her strong, that is how she changes the world.

Here, it was just hair-pulling, pillow-screaming, pent-up frustration-rage-tears.

Everyone, everyTHING seemed so, so SO SOOOO stupid.

Well, yes, please do hesitate to stop the human-monster tyrant from destroying everyone. Yes, please, give the said tyrant absolute power and make everyone around her just too stupid to stop her (even her mother). Yes, I really want The Guy to be just a useless plot-filler and make me cringe every time he appears in the book.

As a message to the whole world to shake themselves and encourage woman and girls NOT to look like the models we can see now in fashion spreads and to HELP their self-esteem and build them instead of bringing them down, compliment them instead of criticizing; yeah, in that case, great. GREAT.

As a normal book, so NOT my cup of coffee. From the moment a certain bad girl forced our heroine to do not nice things to another person, it went downhill. And ended up really, really down.
Reviewed: 2019-09-17
This is a quick read. It’s a bit juvenile in its content, especially with the interactions between Camille’s potential love interests, but the story line and the anticipation it brings keeps you reading. I’m almost at the end and I know there’s not enough reading to come for a reveal of how things turn out. That’s why there’s 2 more books in the series. I’m looking forward to book 2.
Reviewed: 2018-10-28
This book hasn't even come out yet, and I am anticipating the sequel.
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