Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March's "Cheat" Book - The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Disney-Hyperion, 2018

As you know by now, I'm loosely allowing myself one brand-new "cheat" book each month to keep me going during my 2018 Books I Already Own Challenge.  I could not resist the gorgeous cover and description of The Belles and knew it would have to be my cheat book this month.

I haven't been copying the descriptions of the books I've been reviewing this year as I've been less interested in formally reviewing them, but check this description out:

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.
(description taken from goodreads entry)

This book sounded amazing. I love when authors examine our concepts of beauty and the regard we hold for them in American society. To have Beauty be equated with true Power.... irresistible. Plus, we all know I love a good dystopian and boy, did this sound like a doozy.

Let's just say I was not at ALL disappointed in this book. Clayton sucked me in right from the first chapter and it was all I could do to put the book down to go to sleep that night. I almost wanted to pull my first all-nighter in years, and I am NOT one to give up sleep willingly. Instead, I happily hunkered down on my snow day yesterday, picked it up and read straight through to the end.

The characters, the descriptions, the world-building, the plot; I found very little fault with any of them. Character introspection occurs, betrayals abound, and morality is questioned throughout. This is one of the best books I have read yet this year and I am now waiting ANXIOUSLY for the next book.

Recommended for readers who enjoyed books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Selection by Kiera Cass. 

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