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Monday 23 April 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Poppy
Page Count: 356 pages, Hardcover
Date Published:  April 10th 2012

Goodreads Blurb:

 Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she’s ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.

My Thoughts: The story was a little slow but the soap-opera feel to it was amusing and dramatic.

Belles is one of those books that will have you laughing super hard at one point and then almost bawling your eyes out the next. Jen Calonita is a very talented author, in my opinion. Other than the fact that the plot line moved a little slower than I would have liked, It was... honestly like one of those crazy reality shows you can't turn off. Oh the things girls will do to get what they want, eh? This book has everything you could ever ask for from a soapy-type story: The controlling boyfriend, the psychotic mean girl, the hot surfer dude and of course, the life changing secret! But coming out of reading a bunch of dark and mysterious paranormals and dystopians, this was a breath of clean, non-polluted air!

This book was a very neat contemporary.There was a great Cinderella feel to it and it was a lot of high school fun. There's a big political side to it with Izzie's uncle being a senator and the events that happen with that were fun to read. Plus, the romance wasn't full-on at all. It was mostly a nice side attraction that just added to the fun. I adored Izzie's character. She was determined and loyal to who she is, keeping her head on straight even as her life goes into turmoil. She was one of those characters that you want to go up to, shake their hand and say "well done for getting through this". I really loved the relationship between her and Hayden, Mira's brother. It made me want a Hayden-type of person in my life! Going back to Mira... That's kind of complicated. You see, we have this girl who is best friends with the school's queen bee. She's 'second in command' so to speak. But she begins to realize that she doesn't want to be that puppy following Queenie's every move anymore and finds a niche that she thoroughly enjoys... art. But along the way she does some not too nice things to her cousin. I don't know... I don't particularly like Mira, but I don't hate her. I think as the series progresses we will begin to get more of an understanding of her and see where she stands exactly.

The character depth in this book was really great. Even with the smallest, most insignificant characters, I felt like I at least knew a little bit about them and who they were and what they were contributing to the story. Even with Savannah, said 'Queen Bee', as much as I DESPISED her, she impressed me all the same. She was cunning and swift and added so much to the story that made it all the more fun. I think I secretly liked her... Just a bit. ;)

Finally, the ending. OH the ending. I laughed my head off at the part where we find out the big secret. It's not that it's a funny finale, it's just the way every thing all plays out feels so... Soap-Opera-y. My reaction was a little like this:

But other than that, the secret was a big shock... Kind of. I had the sneaking suspicion that something like this would happen, but once again, the way it all played out, you can't help but be shocked. I'm now really looking forward to Winter White which comes out in December. I can't wait to see how all the drama unfolds and whether or not this family can keep everything together. I guess we'll have to wait and find out!

I hope you enjoyed Belles, or if you haven't read it, that you will enjoy it! I've got to go to bed now, or else I might just pass out in class tomorrow... I need more sleep! If you've read Belles comment below and tell me what you thought; I'd love to hear your opinions!

Have a good night/day everyone!


  1. That's awesome that it's like a reality show, lol!! It sounds really good besides that it's a bit slow. I'm adding it to my TBR now. I need a good Soap Opera! Great review :)

  2. Lets first discuss the cover. I liked the cover, It's secretive, what with only showing the girls eyes but it's also classy with the font. Good job with the cover.


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