Sarah's Reviews > The Belles
The Belles (The Belles, #1)
This novel is, in a word, LUSH. Every sight, smell, taste, and texture is lovingly, tenderly described by a character who notices every splendid detail. The fantasy envelopes the reader in sensory delight. When Camellia's rose-colored view of the world begins to sour, as she realizes the terrible lies and hardships upon which Orlean's utopia is constructed (because utopias always are), the sensory details are just as vivid, making this book both delightful and harrowing to read. It's an emotional roller coaster in the best way. Camellia is a heroine who is both plucky and realistic, brave but also terrified of those who hold power over her, fierce but also vulnerable and naive. She witnesses and even does terrible things, in a story that is no doubt a metaphor for every high school mean girl clique taken to the extreme, but still manages to be a relatable and likable character. I highly recommend the audiobook, wherein the narrator brings to life the cast of characters with a wide variety of accents, and really makes the terrifying Princess Sophia leap off the page. The ending sets us up for a sequel, and I can only hope there will be more than one!
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