AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton 

Summary: 

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. 

My Review: 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: YES!! A million times yes!

Disclosure: Received an ARC from a friend. Mild spoilers for problematic content.

Release Date: February 20, 2018 Disney-Hyperion 
Where do I even begin?

 Dhonielle Clayton has created a world that blurs the line between dangerous and beautiful.  The stunning prose and dedication to world building is a testament to Dhonielle’s talent as a writer. From the first page, Dhonielle creates a world so mysterious and inviting that it feels as if Dhonielle herself is a Belle. 

Along with the world building and immaculate prose, she also creates characters that stay in your mind days after reading. Camellia the heroine of this story is one of the best YA heroines I’ve seen in years. She’s resilient and unwavering in herself and her faith in others. She wants to make everyone feel beautiful inside and out but her innocence holds her back at times. Her curiosity is one of her most admirable traits and she’s never afraid to voice her opinions. 

As this review is super early I can’t say too much, but this book is stunning inside and out. Dhonielle Clayton truly made a story that is worth its weight in gold. 

UPDATE 6/05/17

It has come to my attention after reading another review and rereading my ARC that there is problematic content in The Belles.

In the review I’ve linked below it details the transphobia, fatphobia, and queerphobia that occurs in the book. There are mild spoilers for The Belles but as a reviewers it’s necessary to warn readers of harmful content that could be triggering to them. If you have any questions regarding my review you may contact me by email which is 

afroboricuareads@gmail.com

or

On Twitter at @_tatilee through DM which is always open. 

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1970019332

Waiting on Wednesday: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton 

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Release Date: February 18, 2018

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Hi Everbody! 

Welcome to my first ever Waiting on Wednesday! My TBR is filled with books that release dates seem so far away and final covers to still be revealed. This is the oldest and most anticipated.

Fantasy is my favorite genre of all time and it needs to be filled with more #ownvoices, like The Belles.  I can already tell this book will be filled with Black Girl Magic. Dhonielle Clayton is an amazing author, if you haven’t read her series that she cowrote with Sona Charaipotra, Tiny Pretty Things do so right now!

If you follow me on Twitter you know it’s one of my most anticipated reads ever. Here’s why the main character Camellia is black and will be on the cover in a ball gown. A BALL GOWN. Black girls in YA fantasy are scarce and we’re never the main characters always the side character. So this book is going to be a moment for so many of us and already I know this book will mean so much to Black girls who want to be the hero. 

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads and a link to its Goodreads page. 

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.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23197837-the-belles

Also follow Dhonielle on Twitter and Instagram @brownbookworm. The Belles Instagram is @the_belles