Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 356 (Hardcover)
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 Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.
Oh. My. Gosh. Belles was awesome! Awesome! Honestly I prefer first-person-POV, but once I had adapted to third-person-POV, this book became so engrossing. The book switches POV between Izzie and Mira, which let us get to know both girls. The sentences just flow and I enjoyed the writing very much. I think the author has chosen the words well and I actually shed tears at heartbreaking moments.
I could relate with the characters easily, especially with Izzie. Her character felt real and I was rooting for her for the entire book through the happy and sad moments. Mira took a while for me – she’s too submissive when it comes to her friends, but gradually I began to understand her more and at the end I liked her too. I was glad that eventually, she learns to trust and accept Izzie in her life – even stands up for Izzie. Hayden is a kind brother and he always tries to encourage Izzie when she feels bad about herself. I loved these characters. They are not perfect, but they seem real and every breakdown they have only makes them even more realistic.
Let’s not forget about the romance. Yes. Well, I think it’s too predictable that Brayden is Izzie’s love interest. But that didn’t stop me from being curious about how their relationship would turn out.
The plot is in fact very common among YA books but it managed to keep me wondering what would happen next. School’s Queen Bee torturing the lower classes with a sprinkle of family issue, full of drama and not to forget well-concluded ending. The author practically closes Belles perfectly, but with a little hint of the next book. Recommended.
“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.”