The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
BIBLIO: 2018,Freeform. Ages 12-17.
REVIEWER: Gwen Harter.
FORMAT: Young Adult
Camellia is a Belle. A treasure among the people of Orleans, a Belle is a woman that has been blessed by the Goddess of Beauty and has arcane abilities. The people of Orleans, the Gris, are born with gray skin, red eyes, and ratty hair, while the Belles are born beautiful and can shape the Gris in their image.
Trained all her life to be a Belle with her six sisters, Camellia yearns to be the favorite Belle of Orleans and to serve the royal family. Once the sisters have presented their abilities they are placed in teahouses throughout the kingdom to serve their patrons and make the people of Orleans beautiful time and time again, as the results are only temporary.
Once the Belles begin fulfilling their duties they begin to uncover dark and revolutionary secrets. The royal family is not as perfect as they seem either. Camellia must perform her duties, play the dangerous game of politics, and fight for her life and everything she’s ever known.
This book is written to entertain through its fantastic descriptions and impeccable world building. With themes of bullying, self-esteem, and typical teenage struggles, this book is a great way to connect these important topics to everyday life. I personally loved this book and would highly recommend it. The book is reminiscent of The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This book is best suited for young adults 12-17.