Hollis 's Reviews > The Beautiful

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
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So this one is an interesting mix for me. Because on the one hand, I was pretty damn entertained while reading this. I read it mostly in one sitting, with only brief pauses, and had a pretty romping good time while I was in it.

It was during those breaks, though, and post-epilogue where I really paused and went, huh. So, we do have some problems.

First of all, let me say, I loved Ahdieh's first series. And she brings that same magical weaving of atmosphere and setting, of flowy but not too purpley, prose, to THE BEAUTIFUL. Between the vibrancy of a carnival in the dark of the night, the decadence of the food, the colours of a masquerade, it's a treat to read. I love the French woven through the story, along with a few other languages!, and how sometimes it isn't even translated. That worked for me, though I imagine it won't work for all, but. I liked it because it felt true and authentic to the scenery. I'm not entirely sure about the choice of the time period, other than wanting some old world charm, complaints about corsets, and an impetus to send a bunch of girls, mainly our main character, across the sea to the New World to escape their pasts, though. Because there was so much of this that felt very present-day, had very modern commentary, and overall just felt a bit uneven.

"If you think I used my wiles to catch your notice like a girl trying to fill her dance card at a ball, then–"
"Whatever I think has nothing to do with you. My behaviour is not your responsibility."

Also in relation to the setting, beautiful (hah) as it may be, I have some world building/mythology confusion regarding The Fallen and The Brotherhood — though honestly I think we're meant to want to know more, wanting to have it all explained, as that will drive us to pick up book two. Additionally because we obviously want a resolution to the events of said epilogue. Which is probably the biggest thing that made me go, huh.

I don't quite remember seeing it but apparently with the announcement of this book, they came right out of the gate trying to throw shade on a certain other vampire series. Which, hey, whatever. We probably all throw some shade at it. That's not my issue here. My issue here is that.. why are we throwing shade when some of this book is so damn similar to said other book? I'm not spoiling specifics. But I can't be the only reader who is seeing it?

"I've heard many people ay tragedy shapes us. But I am not the worst thing that's ever happened to me, nor am I the worst thing I've ever done. Nothing in life is that simple."

Anyway. A lot of this, like I said, was really good. I was hooked in. I like Celine for the most part, I liked Bastien for the most part, and I definitely loved Odette, the glue that kind of holds them together when initially they are keeping to the hate part of their hate-attraction-situation. But honestly these two were best when they were snarking at each other or when.. ahem, well, there was that one time.. because otherwise? I don't know. They're both too much and not enough.

"I can stand there forever in irritated silence. It it no bother to me. You can perish wondering what I’m thinking, for I'll never tell."

I do think this book suffers a bit from lack of polish. There's so much going on, so much unknown, and it's definitely going for a bigger scope that I imagine will get explained now that we're on the other side of things going into book two. Or maybe not, who is to say. But I have lots of questions, lots of things that in hindsight, I say again, make me go, hm. But again. I had a good time with it. Though I'm going to hope for more vampires in the sequel. Because, minor spoiler? They were hard to spot. Like I said.. there's a lot going on and this is more than what you might think it to be.

THE BEAUTIFUL is a slowburn plot build that develops into a murder mystery revenge story with more secrets than vampires and more modern day commentary and inclusion than a historical fiction novel actually deserves. But I'll definitely be picking up book two.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
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Reading Progress

May 29, 2019 – Shelved
May 29, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
September 14, 2019 – Started Reading
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-reads
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: arc
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: assault
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: buddy-read-sorta
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: crime-mystery
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: dark
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: family-focused
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: finished-in-september-2019
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: ya
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: romance
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: para-romance
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: grief-or-loss
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: hello-diversity
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: hist-fiction
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbtqia
September 14, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Lisette (new)

Lisette Kristensen Great and insightful review, Hollis :)

Bookphenomena (Micky) That's not the full review?😂

message 3: by Moony (new)

Moony Eliver Me, every time I read one of your "preview reviews": Bookphenomena (Micky) wrote: "That's not the full review?😂"

Great review, already! 😅

Hollis Moony wrote: "Me, every time I read one of your "preview reviews": Bookphenomena (Micky) wrote: "That's not the full review?😂"

Great review, already! 😅"

Bookphenomena (Micky) wrote: "That's not the full review?😂"

hahaha no. y'all know I like to be ramble mcramblyson.

Hollis Lisette wrote: "Great and insightful review, Hollis :)"

thanks Lisette!

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