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Belles (Belles #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  2,996 ratings  ·  395 reviews
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 Cov ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Poppy (first published April 2012)
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Reader Q&A

The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithMy Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickEasy by Tammara WebberGraffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
2012 YA Contemporary Challenge!
51st out of 214 books — 1,299 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithMy Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickEasy by Tammara WebberPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
2012 YA Contemporaries
78th out of 294 books — 2,526 voters

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Community Reviews

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This was a breath of fresh air for me. Just what I needed to get a nice breather from dark paranormals. Belles gives us a delightful read with loads of personalities and jaw dropping schemes. Imagine living a quiet life in a bad part of town, when you're suddenly whisked away to live with your senator uncle and his glamorous Gossip Girl lifestyle. That's what's happening to Izzie, however, turning into a princess overnight is not as fun as it seems!

Belles is told in an alternating point-of-view
Red. I see red.

That the Belles are both fifteen is made clear from the word go. Yet, their behavior in this was far from that. About the only thing I actually liked about this was the cover. Oh, beautiful cover, how you have mislead me again! Well, that AND page 270, (and I actually do mean it when I say just that page.) Frankly, just about any negative you could think of might just apply to this one.

Characters. What characters? Card board cut outs, more likely. I felt them ALL one dimensional,
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Jen Calonita has a way of getting into your head and making her books can't-put-down-ers. Belles is no exception.

While the premise is a predictable fish-out-of-water story (poor girl suddenly gets rich and has to deal with snobby people), Calonita never lets that stop her from creating a rich characters or a world that is easy to believe in. Izzie and Mira feel real even if the Emerald Cove world that they live in is a fantasy for most people. Izzie is smart, determined and fights for what she
Mimi Valentine
I've always been more of a paranormal or fantasy girl (preferring made up worlds to our boring old realistic one), but I think that this was exactly the kind of contemporary book that I've been looking for to get me back into the genre — and I kind of want to hug it for that!

Belles zeroes on the lives of two completely different girls who are inexplicably linked: Isabelle (Izzie), the spunky swimmer who comes from the "wrong side of town," and Mirabelle (Mira), the privileged social butterfly wh
PLEASE NOTE: This is a DNF (did not finish) review. That means I did not finishthis book. If reviews of half-finished books bother you, please look elsewhere. For the rest of you, I am going to try to explain why I didn't feel the need to finish this.

Alright, I feel like this can be pretty brief, actually. There are times when I put something on the DNF shelf because they are horribly written/edited, or because I hate the characters/plot/world/etc. Sometimes I DNF things because they are indescr
Belles was one of those books that pulled me in and wouldn't let me go until the very last chapter. From the first couple of pages, I was completely sucked into Isabelle Scott's story and the world of Mira Monroe. I seriously could not get enough!

Isabelle "Izzie" Scott is just a down-to-earth kind of girl living in Harborside, a quaint although slightly run-down town full of surfers and pizza joints and not-so-well-off families. She loves to be out in the water, especially if it's with her hunky
Emily Anne
Belles is an entertaining read. The characters and settings are vibrant, and there is a good, strong message about being yourself, not judging, and having guts. I am looking forward to the next book.

Belles starts off by meeting Izzie Scott and Mira Monroe (Also known as Isabelle and Mirabelle). Izzie is a sweet girl who lives in a poor town, Harborside, where she swims and has ice cream with her friends each day. Her home life isn't so good though. Her grandma has medical issues and on somedays
This review was first posted on

It's difficult for me to write negative reviews, and this is especially true when I'm dealing with a book I'm also giving away. I toyed with a few alternate ideas, and even asked around a bit. People suggested interviews with the author and things like that, but when it came down to it, I kept coming back to the same thought. It's as important for me to write negative reviews as it is for me to write positive ones. Additionally, I had o
Jul 04, 2012 K rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: library
In West Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shootin' some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started makin' trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
And said you're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air

Izzy doesn’t get into a fight (Harborside isn’t like that, swear), but this is a story all about how her life got flipped turned
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
HOLY ROSES! I would like to give a huge THANK YOU THANK YOU to Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to read this book! I have to say that I loved this book so much I went out and purchased my own copy. The ARC did not do the cover any justice. It is absolutely STUNNING!

What would you do if one day your life was normal and in that same night your life was turned upside down? What would you do if you lost everyone you loved? You had to leave the only comfort you have ever known. You have to
Kelly Hager
Since her mom died a few years ago, Izzie has lived with her grandmother. It's worked out well, except now Grams is clearly suffering from Alzheimer's. Still, Izzie has managed to get by (thanks to help from her neighbors)...but then her social worker found out. Now they've found a distant relative of her mom's to take care of Izzie until she's old enough. Except her distant cousin is a state senator about to run for the US Senate. The family is crazy wealthy (Izzie made ends meet but that's abo ...more
Jenni Arndt
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

Where can I start here? Belles was just so good that I can't even gather my thoughts cohesively. It was a flashback to some of my all time favourite shows, it had a hint of The OC with a whole lot of 90210. I could not put this book down, and as soon as it was over I wanted to go back to page 1 and start all over again. Jen Calonita has put together a contemporary story that is full of laughs, heartbreak and love.

Isabelle Scott is thrust into a fo
I picked up Belles when I was needing a fresh, fun contemporary read and it easily exceeded my expectations in this area! It's a surprisingly tender and stirring book, one that features a vibrant cast of characters and introduces its readers to a fun, new contemporary series that will leave you eager for the next book, Winter White.

Reasonst to Read:

1.Charming characters:

Izzie quickly grew on me as a character, even though I was worried at first that she would be needy and whiny. Boy, was I ever
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: Oh, what a fun novel. We are introduced to two girls who couldn't be more different, Isabell and Mirabelle. They are total opposites. Izzie is from Harborside which is known as a bad place, thefts happen, not a good place to live. In reality, none of these things really happen, it's just a small little town near a beach. Mirabelle aka Mira is from Emerald Cove, she's popular, goes to a private school, and her dad is running for senator. She lives with her mother, and two brothers.

This was such a fun, beautiful and enjoyable read. I was pleasantly surprised by this book because it was not at all what I was expecting. I was expected something light and fluffy but instead I got a novel with depth, heart and a beautiful story.

Isabelle Scott lives near the boardwalk with her grandmother in North Carolina. Isabelle’s grandmother’s health is quickly declining and so she has been looking after herself and grandmother for years now. Until a social worker comes in and sends her to
When Izzie Scott's grandmother becomes too frail to take care of her, she's sent to live with some distant family members in the affluent neighboring town of Emerald Cove. Mira Monroe, Izzie's cousin, is hardly excited about having to babysit a girl from Harborside and a "life-changing secret" hovers beneath the perfect surface of the Monroe family. This was a sweet, if somewhat generic, chick lit offering that will probably appeal to younger impressionable readers seeking an entree into the gen ...more
Crystal (Kris)
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 bo ...more
What an amazing book. Belles is one of those feel good books, it does have some tough moments but for the most part it's really feel good type of book in my opinion. I had figured I would enjoy Belles, I loved the concept of it and I had heard quite a few good things about it before I actually started reading. I just think it surpassed my expectations by a long shot. This book wasn't just great, it was easily one of best Contemporaries that I have read. Jen is a fantastic author, and I loved the ...more
I have read and loved Jen Calonita’s Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and so I was super excited to read Belles especially after reading the summary.

Contemporary fiction is not really my thing, I mean I like it enough but give me a historical or a fantasy over contemp. any day. But then I read books like this and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and I remember how much I actually like contemporary fiction.

I really enjoyed Belles. It was so much more than I originally expect
I read the ARC on this one.
I think there's more that annoyed me about this book than I liked. Granted, part of that could be because there's a big "secret" (as advertized on the front of the book, where is says, "Two Southern girls. One life-changing secret.") but the publisher put the big secret (revealed at page 336 in the book) ON THE BACK COVER. Um, hello? Don't put something from page 336 on the back cover of your book, especially if it's your BIG SECRET. (Maybe they only did that on the AR
I was so excited to start Belles. I sounded amazing and of course, took place in the south. Where I reside! I really liked this book. It was beautifully written. Jen Calonita really wrote such a fantastic book with amazing jump off the page characters that I enjoyed throughout the book. I loved watching them grow as individuals and, as a whole as well.
Izzie's mother died when she was 10. Her Father isn't in the picture. So all Izzie has left is her Grandmother, who has cared for Izzie for all t
I think my biggest problem with this book is that, though I'm not usually the target audience of a YA novel, this book skews a little bit younger than that. When I finished, I realized that this author had also written the Secrets of my Hollywood Life series, and that made a lot of sense to me. The characters are a little less mature than I prefer reading about, and there is a certain wish fulfillment aspect of this book that isn't my favorite plot. I know that part of the point is that Isabelle ...more
I enjoyed Calonita's previous book series as it was light, fun and clean. I am reasonably certain this will be another series I will enjoy, as well.

The story is somewhat predictable with a couple of concepts that I found well integrated. There is a Cinderella factor to some extent as Izzie goes from poor to rich in a matter of hours. The part I really liked about this was that Izzie didn't believe her life was broken. She lived in a rough town with her grandmother who was slowly losing her cogni
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Izzie’s life has been far from easy. She’s had to care for her grandmother for a long time, and she bears a burden far greater than girls her age should carry. Nevertheless, life is a far cry from what she’s about to be plunged into. When a social worker sends her to live with a well-to-do distant relative, Lizzie’s world is turned upside down…in the best possible way. When Izzie’s world becomes one of wealth and prestige, a private school and a glamorous home life with a glitzy cousin, Mira tho ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Andrea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Contemporary Young Adult Fans
I think it's a universal truth that 99.9% of all kids have a fantasy: One day they will be whisked away from their drab, parent-addled life into a world filled with clothes, money, new get the idea. Back when I was a kid, I hoped my "real parents" were a king and queen. These days, I think kids will settle for unlimited texting and a bottomless iTunes account.

But not Isabelle "Izzy" Scott. She's happy with her life on the wrong side of the tracks. She doesn't even mind the run down h
Carrie Ardoin
Isabelle Scott is happily living with her grandmother in the town of Harborside, North Carolina. The town has a bad reputation, and her grandmother's health is in decline, but she's making it day by day with the help of her community. She can escape to the beach for her lifeguard job and time with her recently met surfer friend, Brayden.

Then Izzie gets a bombshell dropped on her: her grandmother is being admitted to a nursing home, and she must go to live with her long-lost uncle and his family
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison (AlisonCanRead)
Jen Calonita is a master of light contemporary girl-centered novels. I fell in love with her Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and have since read every single one of her books. What do I mean by girl centered? Her stories feature girls in various - often unusual - life situations, who are dealing with the same problems as every teenage girl. Family drama, peer pressure, friends, forming a self-identity, boys. Romance is present in each book, but the heart of the stories are always the girls t ...more
This book was like a milk shake. Frothy fun.

I enjoy the fish-out-of-water tales of 'ordinary girl finds out her real family/adoptive parents/guardians are ridiculously rich and privileged'. Love them to pieces (seriously, can anyone recommend some to me?)

I guessed the secret within pages, but still enjoyed it. I hope in future books, the home life of the Monroes is given more substance, because their backstory is quite interesting for their socio-economic status.

The characters could do with a l
I'm not sure why this book is getting a lot of positive reviews. There's really nothing redeeming about it. All these characters are flat and unchanging.

The "eye candy" was nothing to get excited about. Brayden was this rich boy who didn't want that life. Boo hoo. You get whatever you want just handed to you. Your life must be so hard.

Mira, drove me insane. So many times I wished I could strangle her and her family. Hayden was the only person I could stand in the family, and he wasn't actually
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Who loves this series? 2 3 Jul 25, 2014 09:21PM  
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Hi Goodreads!
I'm Jen Calonita, a YA author who loves what I do because it lets me connect with all of you (and no, I wasn't intending for that to rhyme!).

I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it was fourth grade when I put my "three wishes" for a genie down on paper. They were:
#1. Buy all the Cabbage Patch Kids in the world and give them away for free (because apparently that was how I
More about Jen Calonita...

Other Books in the Series

Belles (3 books)
  • Winter White (Belles, #2)
  • The Grass Is Always Greener (Belles, #3)
Secrets of My Hollywood Life (Secrets of My Hollywood Life, #1) On Location (Secrets of My Hollywood Life, #2) Family Affairs (Secrets of My Hollywood Life, #3) Sleepaway Girls (Whispering Pines, #1) Paparazzi Princess (Secrets of My Hollywood Life, #4)

Share This Book

“Good clothes made a person feel different. -Izzie” 12 likes
“I want someone who builds people up, not tears them down. I need someone who makes me laugh and isn't afraid to rib me when I'm being a royal jerk.' She smiled a little. 'You're that girl. I want to be with you, and I want everyone to know it.” 9 likes
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