Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles (The Belles #1)Title: The Belles
Author:  Dhonielle Clayton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publishing Date: February 6th 2018
Pages: 448
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Series: The Belles #1 
Source: Audio
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.

I was really excited for this book. I mean really excited. So many great reviews, highly rated star book. Cover is gorgeous. Premise intriguing. I was so disappointed. This book just fell flat for me. I almost didn't finish it, but I stuck through it. It did get better, but I am kind of glad I finish it. But jury is still out on that one.

In this world, the world of Belles, the people are born gray and ugly. Their only hope are the Belles. The few girls are blessed by the Goddess of Beauty and they can manipulate the looks of the gray and ugly to make them beautiful. When the Belles are old enough they have a competition to find the favorite and to assign all the other girls to tea houses, where they where perform their beauty work. Camellia dreams of being the favorite, working in the palace, making royalty beautiful. When she becomes the favorite, life isn't what she expected. She finds cruelty, betrayal, secrets, and death. 

This book just didn't do it for me. The story was intriguing but that is all. The pace was way too slow, it dragged. I had a hard time sticking with it because I felt nothing was ever going to happen, and really it didn't until I had about 10 percent left. That last 10 percent was great. If the entire book had been even half that excited, it would have been better.

I can sometimes deal with slow if I can connect with the characters, or like them in any way. Can't say I did. The main character was tolerable at best. She was stubborn and daring, but way too naive, a little whiny, and just way too.. brainwashed.

I did like how she made her own designs when given the chance, but I hated the guilt that came along with it. Own it, please. You are using your own mind. Even if late, or it was a mistake, own it. Redeeming character- Remy the body guard, I did like him.

The story played out okay. The only saving grace for me was the ending which was good, but not because cliffhanger. Now I need to decide if the second book is worth it, because I kind of want to see how it plays out.

This story had a bad romance and I hope maybe the next book there will be some romance with Remy. That might just make it worth the read. 

Not that good, but maybe room for potential... I hope...

Dhonielle ClaytonDhonielle 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 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.

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