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Review - Belles

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Belles (Belles #1)
by Jen Calonita

4 Stars: Recommended
Publication: April 10th, 2012 (Hardback)
Pages: 356
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

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.

Jen Calonita brings Cinderella to modern times. Izzie lived a rough life, taking care of her grandmother and trying to make ends meet. She had good friends and neighbors, people who respected her and were concerned over her wellbeing. Then a social worker intervenes and sends her to live with a distant relative, and Izzie enters the world of the rich and glamorous. Here, the fairy-tale world takes a twists, and Izzie becomes new girl in a rich private school, threatened by the queen bee whose boyfriend she takes an interest in.

The story is told through the alternating perspectives of Izzie and her cousin Mira, two very different individuals. Izzie is down-to-earth and easy to connect with. Having taken care of her grandmother and herself for some time, Izzie is independent and doesn't easily fall prey to moments of weakness. She cares about people and doesn't let her sudden rich lifestyle get to her head. Mira, on the other hand, is the queen bee's minion. Having lived a privileged life, Mira comes off as a bit conceited and bratty at first. She is afraid to stand up for herself and makes decisions based off what she thinks others will do instead of trying to think for herself. Without her telling part of the story, it would have been hard for me to find something in her to relate to.

Drama, politics, and rumors fly in Belles, with the added charm of a little romance sprinkled in. I grew to love many of the cast. This is a fun contemporary read, a good one to pick up if you're not looking for an especially dark or heavy atmosphere. I definitely recommend picking it up when you get the chance!

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
7 comments on "Review - Belles"
  1. Great review Kris I really enjoyed this one too I loved the dual perspectives and how different they were from each other. IT's a refreshing read!

  2. This looks like such a cute story-I love Calonita's Hollywood series and this looks like another fun book from her.

  3. I have never heard of Belles before this post. You make it sound so interesting. I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary, but I made a promise to myself to get into the genre. I think this may be the book that I begin that endeavor with!

  4. This book is so good I am reading it now The cover a dust jacket are so beautiful... Great review :)

  5. The cover is really well designed; it's definitely very pretty. :) I'll have to give this one a go, it's been a while since I read a light-hearted book. :)


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