Review Blog

Apr 06 2018

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

cover image

Gollancz, 2018. ISBN 9781473223967
(Age: YA) Recommended. The Belles looks like a typical fantasy princess story from the outside, but the inside reveals the ugliness that lies under the characters beauty. There are some definite strong points to the novel but also some parts that almost ruin it. The writing style is definitely one of the strong points as it fits the world of Orleans perfectly; the lavish, vivid, and beautifully detailed descriptions of the world enhanced the experience of the story (though it could still be a bit much at some points).
The characters were mostly (I'll talk about the exceptions in a minute) enjoyable to experience. Camellia' sisters (the other Belles) had their own personalities and flaws which will be really interesting to see being explored in the next books in the series (especially excited about Edelweiss and Remy!). The antagonist was really well written as well, creating conflicts and difficult decisions throughout the story in a way that keeps the reader reading. Camellia's character wasn't incredible; I didn't hate her, but I didn't always like her either. She had moments where I cheered for her and thought her decisions were the correct ones, but at other points, she made rash decisions and fell in love with a guy who really seemed to have no redeemable qualities, which made me like her less.
The pacing was also a bit slow at the start, but it sped up once the world was set, and important plot points were laid out.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel! I would recommend it to YA girls and would give it 3.5/5 stars!
Similar books: The Selection Series by Kiera Cass.
Emily Douglass (Student)

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