Genre: YA Fantasy
Release date: 08 02 2018
Price*: Kindle £4.99 (GBP)/ Paperback £7.74 (GBP)
Kindle $6.40 (USD)/ Paperback $10.92 (USD)
Pages: ~ 434
Book rating: 7/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: everything has limits, you have to decide when it’s not safe to cross these limits.
Description of the book: I am a Belle. I control Beauty.
In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle’s powers can make them beautiful.
Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater – and far darker – than she ever imagined.
When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.
How this book made me feel: This book was on my TBR for quite a while, I heard many positive reviews and was glad to finally dig into it.
The protagonist of this novel is Camellia, she is one of few Belles, who has the ability to make people beautiful by altering their bodies, from hair colour to bone structure. Being favourite is the ultimate goal of all Belles. They get recognition and exceptional treatment from the government. When Camellia arrives at the palace, one of her main tasks is to treat royals, and especially, to help princess Sophia, who is an absolute nightmare…
I really enjoyed, how the author picked the characters for this book. She offered a very wide variety to choose from, levelling the balance between positive and negative ones. All the characters have a unique set of characteristics that make this book very diverse and colourful. My favourite character was, of course, Camellia, as a reader I really got to know her personality, her thoughts and wishes, and I think she is a really nice girl, however, she is too weak to be a lead rebel, she needs more fire in her. My least favourite was, of course, Sophia, she is psychotic and an absolute nutter.
The narrative is told from Camellia’s perspective, and I did miss the input from other characters. I think it would’ve been more exciting if there would’ve been Sophia’s thoughts as well. It was a quite slow burner for me, to be honest, the transition between chapters was not very smooth and it did lack pace and adventure. The Belles sometimes felt like plastic surgeons or beauticians, I would’ve liked to see more magic or some unexpected powers. It kind of felt like an introduction to something, because not many things were happening throughout this book. In this novel author is praising women, the country is run by women, and some of the characters are even indulged in lesbian relationships. 🙂
The setting of this novel was absolutely amazing. The author wrote down the surroundings so detailed, that my imagination was working overtime. I would absolutely love to see this book on screen, I think the characters, dresses, atmosphere, all the things and buildings would look amazing in the Netflix series. It sounds so magical and absolutely stunning when you read it. The chapters were pretty short, and the language used was easy to read. I could feel this french breeze from time to time as well, especially with some of the product or food names… The ending was very exciting, and after reading this book, I hope that the second part will bring more adventure and that Camellia will deserve to be the rebel of this series.
So, to conclude, it is an interesting story, filled with very unique characters, and if you like books about beauty and evil princesses, I think you might quite enjoy this read. 🙂
Thank You for Your time 🙂
About the Author: Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series. She grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs on the Maryland side and spent most of her time under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is a co-founder of CAKE Literary—a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers—and COO of the non-profit, We Need Diverse Books. She’s got a serious travel bug and loves spending time outside of the USA, but makes her home in New York City, where she can most likely be found hunting for the best slice of pizza.
Website – https://www.dhonielleclayton.com/ / Twitter – @brownbookworm
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.