The Belles Review | Delectable Prose DOES Exist

Hi friends! I’m sick (as of November 25th) so let’s forget this intro and jump straight into this! 

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Ruqs for recommending this book to me! I thought about reading back when hype was a thing but then bad reviews flooded in and I was just a little thrown-off. But then she made me read it and I’m so so so happy I did!

Dhonielle Clayton’s writing is so sugary sweet, I think you could possibly go into a sugar-coma from it????

Literally, her descriptions were a step above “lush”. I did like how they weren’t over-the-top most of the time, rather they painted pictures and really hammered in how glamorous this world is. For example, I absolutely love Stephanie Garber’s writing but I mean: “the color of lost wishes and fallen stardust”? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THESE COLORS. But Clayton’s prose was full of real colors and beautiful lines but seriously enough about the writing.

I can see how some people would think that the plot is super slow, but I was personally sucked in from the beginning! Clayton created this world where beauty is the focus, beauty is the be-all-end-all, and I can’t even describe how it impacted the story. It’s such an amazing example of how horrible society’s  focus on being beautiful and accepted is. Every gruesome and immoral act is hidden and lined underneath layers of sugar and makeup, and our protagonist slowly uncovers that.

I do think that the plot doesn’t really do anything new. The twists and characters aren’t anything special, especially if you’re a YA veteran. However, I do think that the incredibly unique magic system, worlds, and just the set-up of everything made the story so much more distinct.

I LOVED how diverse the characters were! It was actually really interesting how, despite having every shade of skin-tone ever to exist, there was no form of racism. Someone who was milky white one day could be midnight the next, and both were considered equally beautiful. It was honestly the one thing I wish I could take and plant into real life!

Finally, I didn’t really feel the romance? I think a lot of decisions and twists would have been more impactful had I been more interested in the romance. I shipped Remy and Camellia the most!

I think that’s all of my thoughts! Tell me: have you heard of this book? Do you want to read it? What are some unique magic systems? 


14 thoughts on “The Belles Review | Delectable Prose DOES Exist

  1. So I also started the book after Ruqs recommended it but i don’t know, it just didn’t appeal to me. I ended up dnfing after a few chapters. I think this one’s not for me, unfortunately.

    Also, i used to comment as ‘zahra’ but im changing my username because it’s confusing so yeah, its still me 🙃

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ooh – this sounds like an exciting book to read – it’s going on my TBR list now! 😂💞 I really like the concept of (like you mentioned) although they have ever colour of skin tone, there is no racism – that is something to aim for in our world today. Lovely review, Autumn x (P.s: I am new to your blog & love it! *waves excitedly from the corner!*)

    Liked by 1 person

    YES YES YES YESSSS! I’m so sorry it took me so long to comment on here literally when I opened my blog email… it had exploded. But oh MY GOSH I’m so HAPPy for you!!!! Yes the writing is gorgeous, beautiful, stunning, breathtaking!

    AND YES diverse characters 10/10 goals, I love it.

    ALSO girl your reviews are looking SO PRETTY and unfortunately I’m not talented enough to figure out how you make your pictures that say your rating and thoughts and stuff?? I’ve tried but failed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re totally fine!! I know how that goes…midterms are upon us all (at least in the US LOL). IKR how does she do it???


      Thank you so much! I’ll admit I know next to nothing about blog graphics (especially matching ones?) but what I do is I go to Canva, have a blank sheet of white, and just choose the prettiest font and color lol!

      Liked by 1 person

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