C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Beautiful

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
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bookshelves: read-2019, young-adult, paranormal, historical-fiction

I'm surprisingly okay with the fact vampires are making a comeback. 👀And this definitely was gothic and darkly rich. It took a while for vampires to actually do their vampirey thing. Basically...the last 100pages 😂 But it was building it up, okay!!! The immortal kids need time time to reveal their secrets!!! They need to flirt darkly first!

It followed Celine, a girl fleeing from Paris to New Orleans after committing a dark deed. So it was also hugely about feminism, about women striking out against cultural oppression, about racism and abuse of power, and legacy and murder. I really did like Celine, with her bit of Slytherin streak there. Also the female friendships were A+ and Odette and Pippa were incredible. I hope they feature more in book 2 because they were 500 x better than Michael (the police boy) and Bastien (the bad boy). Also am here for Odette, our favourite gay. Just anything she wants to do. Breathe? She's doing her best and I love her.

It's basically a late 1800s murder mystery. If you like The Infernal Devices x The Diviners, this will definitely be for you. I did want more vampires but then the vampires came and were just so goth and stupidly secretive and angsty it was entertaining af. I am not laughing 😂 I just 😂I want to talk to a brooding rich cocky lordling boy from this era and ask if he ever needs to giggle when he starts growling at some girl that she has no idea how dangerous he is. Sure, Bas. You're adorable.

I did however want and need more backstory. It dropped a lot of "omg !! gasp!! plot twist!" moments that I really had no understand for their depth? Because it's so deeply from Celine's limited perspective. Bastien narrates a few chapters, but I wish it'd been 50/50 split between them so we got the depth of what his uncle Nicodemus is on about and why Bastien is special etc. I still have no idea. It's probably because he's handsome. (Also it's instalove but they're dramatic KIDS AND I DON'T CARE.)

This is a gorgeously rich and lavish tale, heavy on the description and outfits and decor, about vampires in the New Orleans and lustrous murder and age-old feuds. The cast is almost entirely POC which is incredible and absolutely wish more POC authors will take alllll the old YA tropes and rewrite them beautifully. I very much enjoyed empowered girls and all the food scenes. That restaurant scene killed me. Death by vampires? No. Death by Renee Ahdieh's food descriptions omg.
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Reading Progress

October 9, 2018 – Shelved
October 9, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 14, 2019 – Started Reading
November 15, 2019 –
page 245
56.71% "I'm still waiting for someone to actually admit to being a vampire 👀"
November 15, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
November 15, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 15, 2019 – Shelved as: paranormal
November 15, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
November 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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