I received this ARC from Publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: ARC from Publisher
Welcome to the next stop on the blog tour for The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton! There has been so much buzz about this book. I’m so excited to share my review, as well as a giveaway.
About the Book:
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.
First of all, that cover! Ohmystars. So gorgeous. I was interested in this book when I first heard about it. Then they revealed the cover and I was sold!
The Belles was one of those books where reading “just one more chapter” was nearly impossible. I wanted more of the story and more of the world so I just kept thinking, “Okay, maybe just one more” over and over! I had to set an alarm to make myself stop so I could sleep/get work done.
I was so interested in finding out more about Orléans and the Belles. Their world runs very differently from ours. I soaked up each little detail as it was revealed. It was such a fascinating concept and I loved learning more about the history, as well as what the Belles do. I thought it was especially interesting to see how the Belles themselves were sheltered from certain things. I don’t want to be too spoilery here so I’ll just say that I liked the way the reader learns things along with Cameilla.
I already know that The Belles is going to be a high interest title with my students. I cannot wait to get a copy out on my shelves. There’s so much to discuss (about beauty, family, and so much more!)
About the Author:
Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn”) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books.
She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her
equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.
She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.
She taught secondary school for several years – at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them.
She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent – and decidedly diverse – literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.
What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE BELLES, US Only. Ends on February 20th at Midnight EST!