The Belles

The Belles

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 t...

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Title:The Belles
Author:Dhonielle Clayton
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Belles Reviews

  • Sabaa Tahir

    I will eventually leave a legit review for this, but first I have to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart, which, in case you were wondering, was shattered by Dhonielle and this book. Also I desperately wish post-balloons were real. Read the book and you'll agree. Also Remy. I need Remy to be real, too. NEED SEQUEL YESTERDAY. Pre-order this one, you will be so grateful you did.

  • Jill

    WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL WAS THAT? REVIEW TO COME ONCE THE SHOCK FROM THOSE LAST 100 PAGES WEARS OFF

  • Roxane

    I am guessing this is the first book in a series? A trilogy? All I know is that I want to know what happens next. The Belles is richly, gorgeously detailed in the accounting of the world of Orleans and the Belles, young women who are bred to create beauty amongst the citizenry. It took a bit to get into the book but the last third of the book is absolutely worth the world and character building it takes to get there. In the last third of the book, everything starts falling into place exquisitely

    I am guessing this is the first book in a series? A trilogy? All I know is that I want to know what happens next. The Belles is richly, gorgeously detailed in the accounting of the world of Orleans and the Belles, young women who are bred to create beauty amongst the citizenry. It took a bit to get into the book but the last third of the book is absolutely worth the world and character building it takes to get there. In the last third of the book, everything starts falling into place exquisitely and we finally begin to realize what's at stake for Camellia, her sister Belles, and the people of Orleans. At times, I was overwhelmed by all the description and struggled for a solid sense of place or what things looked like but that is likely my limitation. There is a really intriguing twist, a subtle romantic plot, and lots of moments where I found myself holding my breath and turning the pages so fast, wondering what would happen next. I really look forward to the next book in this series. Also, I want a teacup elephant. Meanwhile, Dhonielle Clayton is a whipsmart writer with grand, grand talents and the imaginative world she has created is memorable and intriguing, indeed.

  • Lola  Reviewer

    This is a book that will surprise you.

    From the outside, it looks like it was written for princesses-to-be, but the inside is different. Among the lush descriptions of dresses and beautiful people, there is darkness lurking.

    I couldn’t stop reading. Camellia has all the qualities a heroine needs: kindness, strength, empathy, determination, courage and the willingness to make a change. Quite evidently, it takes her time to realize the danger she and the other Belles are in, but when she does, she

    This is a book that will surprise you.

    From the outside, it looks like it was written for princesses-to-be, but the inside is different. Among the lush descriptions of dresses and beautiful people, there is darkness lurking.

    I couldn’t stop reading. Camellia has all the qualities a heroine needs: kindness, strength, empathy, determination, courage and the willingness to make a change. Quite evidently, it takes her time to realize the danger she and the other Belles are in, but when she does, she doesn’t stay quiet.

    The Belles exist to give people exquisite features; to make them beautiful. Even so, the citizens are the ones who need them the most, as they do not have enough money to pay Belles, but the rich tend to be the only ones to use the abilities of Belles.

    Like it isn’t like that everywhere in the world? And ultimately, the rich overuse the Belles, which puts their health in a precarious spot.

    Although Camellia doesn’t need anyone to share her spotlight, she is better when she is with her sisters, who do not make apparitions often, but they are rather present in the heroine’s thoughts. I loved the sisterhood.

    The author has a lot to say about the definition of beauty and how we should never let other’s perceptions of us create our image.

    I cannot wait to see where this is going.

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  • Emily May

    4 1/2 stars. Woah.

    . The world and story slowly build through stunning descriptions, as the author peels back the layers of society's obsession with beauty, revealing all the ugliness that lies underneath.

    In the fictional world of Orléans, a small number of girls called Belles are able to use magic to create beautiful (or, indeed, ugly) looks to the paying customer's

    4 1/2 stars. Woah.

    . The world and story slowly build through stunning descriptions, as the author peels back the layers of society's obsession with beauty, revealing all the ugliness that lies underneath.

    In the fictional world of Orléans, a small number of girls called Belles are able to use magic to create beautiful (or, indeed, ugly) looks to the paying customer's desire. Camellia and her sister Belles have been trained their whole lives for their job, and each longs to be chosen as Her Majesty’s favorite - the one responsible for keeping the royal family beautiful and satisfied.

    The descriptions are lavish, an effective juxtaposition with the darker plot lines that unfold. The ugliness in this beautiful world creeps out slowly, though I still found the earlier chapters compelling. Clayton's world was unique enough, and the characters interesting enough, to keep me enchanted until it was time to learn what was lurking under the surface, but it is the last hundred pages where the book really shines. In a horrific way.

    Questions gradually arise about the origin of the Belles and their magic. Loyalties are also questioned. Camellia and the other Belles hear voices crying out in the night; voices of people who shouldn't be there. And there is a deliciously despicable villain whose desire for beauty, it seems, cannot be sated, and who made my blood pressure rise and my heart pound.

    But, through it all, the real villain is society's obsession with, and expectations for, beauty. In a world where every part of a person can be changed - skin, hair and eye colour, bone structure, waist, breast and hip size, and more - no one is ever satisfied. In the insatiable quest for beauty, deep down, everyone hates themselves. Behind this mesmerizing fantasy of magic and terrible secrets, there is a sad tale, and one that many of us won't find completely unfamiliar.

    Lots of originality and food for thought. Oh, and it's a damn good pageturner, too.

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  • Adam Silvera

    I'm so damn excited to read what's no doubt a beautiful book by the badass Dhonielle Clayton.

  • Roshani Chokshi

    *sigh* *shriek* *swoon* <-- phases my brain underwent whilst reading this incredible book.

    Longer review to come, but for now, this was the blurb I gave. I really adored it. It's a deliciously horrifying slow burn that will leave you reeling.

    "Clayton dances between the fine lines of glittering, glamorous and gruesome. THE BELLES is a dazzling exploration of body power and identity, and a must-read for anyone looking for a lot more bite when it comes to beauty."

  • Cesar

    .

    Let's get on with the "controversies."

    There have been comments on how the author isn't painting albinism in a good way.

    Albinism is a genetic disorder that leaves little or no pigment of color on a person and animal. i.e., eyes, skin, and hair.

    From what the novel says, the people (the world? I don't know yet) are devoid of color. That does not mean everyone in the world is pale white with albinism. Think of it like a black and white photo.

    Or in that episode of the Powerpuff Girls where the clown steals the colors of Townsville and the people. Notice how there is no color except for different shades and tints of black, white, and gray.

    That is what the people are like in this book: gray. They're on a spectrum of color that has different shades. Any art student/professor/famous artist can say how colors are seen through our eyes and through light. It's basic science.

    It's science, you guys! ....science. 🤓

    Another science lesson: Our eyes have blood vessels in them.

    Our eyes aren't completely white. If you look at someone who got a black eye or got an injury to their eye, you would see the sclera being red/pinkish. Even if a person didn't receive an injury to their eyes, the vessels do stand out. Think back to a time when you watched too much TV, played video games for hours, or even got shampoo on your eyes. Notice in the mirror how your eyes are red. It's because the vessels stand out against the sclera. And in regards to the people in the Belles who are gray, their eyes will stand out as red/pinkish. Not because of albinism, but because of something that happens to our eyes. Science. It's basic biology.

    Plus, the eyes could just be something like red contact lenses.

    This is a perfect example of something being gray with red eyes.

    ^^^^^^

    This is not albinism.

    Therefore, I really cannot see how it's ableist when the people are basically gray with different shades and tints of black, white, and gray. If the author had described everyone as albino and called them ugly, then yes, that is blatant discrimination on someone's skin and their disorder. But she isn't calling anyone albino. People are basically gray. The exception being Belles. I'm sure they were born gray but got their color back at some point either through a ceremony, trial, who knows. (Going on very little information about the world in this book)

    I'd like to think the theme of the book is beauty in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is subjective to a lot of people and seeing how the people in the book are gray, it shows how society sees beauty. Those with color are beautiful and those without are ugly. The same goes for size, skin color, etc. That's what I think the theme of the book is, along with other things.

    What astounds me the most is how people can't seem to differentiate between someone having albinism and someone being devoid of all color. White reflects light, therefore, it's a color. Why can't these people tell the difference between a genetic disorder and a color pallet? Why can't they put two and two together? Why do they assume it's albinism? I am genuinely confused.

    Devoid of all color ≠ Albinism.

    It's a good thing this book isn't getting one-star reviews based on this.

    It came to my attention that apparently, "Dandy" is queerphobic or was used in a way in the book to insult queer people. Of all the derogatory things you can call a gay person, Dandy is the

    bit offensive. It's not even an insult! There are literally lots of derogatory words and names to call a gay person. Dandy isn't one of them.

    Let's take a look at the definition of Dandy:

    Tell me how that is queerphobic? There are a lot of men who want to look good to the public. You see many of them wearing designer clothes and those shoes without socks (how do they walk in those?), their hair neatly cut, and wear cologne. That is not queerphobic. That's just a guy who is devoted to style, as the definition says.

    Look up dandy men on Google and see for yourself (the handsome men).

    There are plenty of straight and gay men who like fashion and take their time to look good.

    Yet somehow, a man being dandy is queerphobic to some people who can't tell the difference between style and literal hate.

    Don't jump to conclusions.

    It's kind of sad how so many people nowadays find something offensive when it really isn't offensive. We are all individuals with different feelings. One person might find something offensive, while another won't. You are not society. You are not representative of a group of people because they can have their own opinions. Not to mention how so many people take things way out of context and make it seem worse when it really isn't. Check out

    Like I said, I'm only going off of what I've been hearing about the book. I did hear that Dhonielle is fixing some things with it. I still want to read the book because the premise does sound interesting. And I'll be sure to keep an eye out on some of the things other people had issues with, whether they really are an issue or not. For now, I think it's best to wait and see what others have to say. I'm not rating this book yet until I have read it myself, that way I can form an honest review.

    Feel free to express how you feel in the comments, I only ask for respect and no rudeness to anyone.

    Thank you.

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries

    I had "wished" for this back in spring of '17 on NetGalley, but afterwards, became disinterested in it... so, naturally, I woke up this morning to an email saying I had been "randomly granted" an ARC of it, and now it's affecting my ratio. I'll go into it with the most open mind possible and give it a try.

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