Thursday, 7 June 2018
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton and is the first of the series of the same name.
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.
1. I was excited about this book. There is so much potential in the summary, but in the end, it just did not live up to all the hype. The world building felt a lot previous books' world smashed together, like Amy Ewing's The Lone City and the Capital from Hunger Games.
2. Clayton has such a wonderful idea with showcasing how societies try to hide the evils of slavery with beauty. She had a lot of interesting points made during the story, but did not take the time to flesh them out. It felt like she was trying to nail down every little detail instead of really developing the important details.
3. I honestly was not a big fan of Camellia. She is all like Amber is my bestie but as soon as she gets what I wanted, even though I broke the rules, I am angry at her. Plus, no big deal when I steal her job. I did respect the way she treated the servants, and I did want more of her pushing people to be a little more natural in their looks.
4. I disliked Auguste, the "love" interest from the very start. He always just seemed a little off, a little too much like he was running a con on Camellia than really interested in her affections. I was really cheering for her personal guard and her to have a thing.
5. I will say this, that Clayton has come up with an absolutely terrifying antagonist in Princess Sophie. She is definitely a psychopath, and her mood swings are beyond frightening.
6. I will say that I am intrigued enough by the ending to continue with the series at least into the second book. I am hoping that Clayton can fix some of the problems from this book and make a great series.
To Read or Not to Read:
Read, because I think there is still potential here.