The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
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.
But once Camilla gets to the castle and starts learning the court’s secrets and interacting with Princess Sophia, things started to get more interesting. And then the last few hundred pages… oh my goodness! You’ll just have to read it to find out what I mean! And here are some of my other thoughts I had while reading:
Impossible beauty standards surround us every single day. This book was made up of a society that lived for those standards. They wanted to be the most beautiful, according to the latest trends. The Belles made me think because it really makes you wonder how far people might go for beauty.
Sometimes following the rules is good but sometimes it’s not. Basically, I’ve just been thinking about that quote from Harry Potter that says sometimes we need to choose between what is right and what is easy (that quote is from HP right? I’m not crazy??)
Sometimes the people we look up to or the people that we trust aren’t always the people we should be leaning on. Sometimes you just need to go your own way and sometimes you need to trust your gut.
All in all, The Belles was a beautiful book and I am so glad I read it. I have no idea what to expect in book 2 but I’m ready for it now! 5/5 stars.