The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Series: The Belles #1
Publisher: Gollancz
First published February 6th, 2018
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 434
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon / Audible

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.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21This was the type of book I didn’t want to end, I tried and tried to stretch it, but it ended up ending anyway… I loved this book so incredibly much! I didn’t even think I was going to like it because I heard it had a lot of descriptions… Normally I’m a person that doesn’t like when there’s too much, but… This was so incredibly beautiful!

I started by listening the audiobook and I really liked the book, even tho, the audio has some weird/funny voices for some of the characters? I now believe one of the characters either has VERY big stuffy cheeks or had her mouth stuffed all the time while talking… But it worked pretty well with the descriptions, so I ended up both reading and earing the book…

The Belles is set in a fantasy New Orleans and in this world, people are born grey. But there’s a group of ladies called The Belles that can make people “beautiful” for a period of time. But beauty has a price, and only those who can afford it can be beautiful and keep changing according to the latest fashion. The greys are treated below others – so we basically have racism just like we have in our world, but here, towards grey people.

The Belles gave an understanding of the world right at the beginning – which is extraordinary – and we started to know and understand the Belles and their powers. It was slowly and steadily built, without info dumps. The writing was just so well balanced, and it builds up tension in an incredible way! Oh, that end…

Actually, one of the strongest points of this book is the writing. It has the most beautiful descriptions ever! How everything was described was so beautiful! All the colors the Belles used, all the beauty they made; even the food, the dresses, and EVERYTHING. Every tiny description was beautifully written. The pace was a bit slow in the beginning but it builds up pretty well, and the descriptions didn’t make it slower, contrary to what I thought before.

But although we have a lot of descriptions and details in this book, we also have a hell of a plot. It started getting faster around the middle of the book, and a LOT more intense! There are some incredible twists I did not see coming at all, a lot of surprises and emotions. There are some parts that really got me heated up, and others were I was swooning over anything, really. It’s just so warm-hearted and yet so intense! It’s balanced really well, and it gripped me from beginning to end!

The characters were very well developed and kept surprising me! I never thought I could hate anyone more or the same as Dolores Umbridge but I believe I found her a sister!

I don’t want to say too much, but this book deeply played with my emotions.

It’s tense, gripping and full of beauty. But also full of danger and ugliness of the heart. I felt SO angry in some parts, and especially at the end! What the hell was that!! I feel emotionally drained… You guys really need to meet the characters in this book! You will adore some and really want to kill others, I promise you!

TW to themes like racism, slavery, and abuse (both psychological and physical). 

I’m so happy I decided to read this book! – even tho I was almost sure I wasn’t going to like it, it’s one of my favorites of the year and I highly recommend it!

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

7 thoughts on “The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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