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(Belles #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,467 ratings  ·  489 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
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,467 ratings  ·  489 reviews

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Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
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
May 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 finish this 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 indes
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, sweet
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
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Kelly Hager
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Darius Murretti
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Truly awesome
Princess Bookie
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2012
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.

Nov 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, hachette
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
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
Jenni Arndt
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-own
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
Darius Murretti
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Just read it again after reading the whole spy school series. In that context I would give it 5 stars this time as it was for a ore mature audience and I needed to feed that part of my brain . Its an intense plot that packs a punch . Though events like Izzie and Millie not immediately pointing at Savannah and blurting out that Savannah put them up to stealing the necklace was unrealistic yet often what makes for an intense drama is stuff that would not normally happen )

I really liked Izzie. Sh
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought the concept from Belles was great - take girl from supposedly the wrong side of the tracks and implant her in the lifestyles of the rich and the famous and see what happens. As predicted, it didn't exactly go well. Her cousin is less than welcoming and all the popular girls at school soon freeze her out. Turns out being rich is harder than being poor, but I was proud of Izzie for staying strong.

Izzie was definitely an admirable character and while we can all learn a little something fr
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cecily Kyle
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: towers
I almost want to give this a lower rating because it was super predictable and have read these kinds of stories so many times but its like a guilty pleasure and I really actually liked it...
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison (AlisonCanRead)
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrenyalit
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
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, young-adult, arc
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
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Carrie Ardoin
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
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
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, series, 2012, april-12
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
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
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
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Who loves this series? 2 5 Jul 25, 2014 09:21PM  
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Hi Goodreads!
I'm Jen Calonita, a MG and 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 wa

Other books in the series

Belles (3 books)
  • Winter White (Belles, #2)
  • The Grass Is Always Greener (Belles, #3)

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
23 likes · 2 comments
“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.” 16 likes
“Good clothes made a person feel different. -Izzie” 15 likes
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