The Blonde Bookworm: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton -- Review

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton -- Review

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Title: The Belles 
Author: Dhonielle Clayton 
Pages: 448 
Publishing: February 6th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 1484728491

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

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.


The Belles has been on my "must read" list for quite some time, but before reading the first few pages, I was already starting to feel the hype pressure. You know what I'm talking about? That feeling when a novel is talked about and talked about and then you start to get nervous you might not like it and be excommunicated from the book world??? Well, I got that feeling. And sadly, I think the feeling was warranted. Don't get me wrong, the novel wasn't bad... It was good. But I just don't think it lived up to the ridiculous hype (which is quite hard to do, honestly). 

The story line in The Belles was definitely unique and interesting. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and their personalities, but something just continued to fall flat for me. I felt like the novel was a bit predictable. Even the "plot twists" were pretty predictable. I also wasn't a huge fan of the love interests. I just kept having the feeling of wanting more from the characters. 

But enough about what I didn't like. Let's talk about the good stuff! I looooooved the world building. I could perfectly imagine the beauty products and gorgeous elaborate dresses, and the palace seemed magical! I think the mini animals were quite possibly my favorite part of the book. I think I would want to have a mini panda bear! Clayton's magical world reminded me a bit of the Capitol in Hunger Games and I loved it. 

All in all, The Belles was an interesting novel that explores identity, self esteem, confidence, and the world of privilege. I had a few issues with the pacing and depth of characters, but overall it was an interesting read and I look forward to reading the second novel. Thank you to Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley for sending the novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 3/5


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