ARC Copy of ‘The Belles’ Review


Dhonielle Clayton won my heart with her book, The Belles. In a world she has created brilliantly that makes you question all you believe about beauty and the evil that some might be hiding behind their beauty, and the lengths that one will go to fight for what they believe is right. Beauty is what makes the world go round in this story. People purchase to have themselves adjusted so that their gray physic that they are born with is to be hidden by immaculate changes of beauty by group of magical ladies called ‘The Belles’.

‘The people of Orleans hate themselves. You must change that.’

It is the Belles who have magical blood called their arcana that gives them the magic they need to change what someone looks like from their psychical aspects to their personality BUT these Belles can’t give too much of themselves at once or they can ruin their own beauty and lose their abilities.

‘Always remember that emotions are tethered to the blood, and the blood is where your gifts are.’

We follow Camellia after she has trained long and hard to be the favorite Belle who services at the Palace to the Queen and her Princesses. It is a very hard position to win but she feels that she has the creativity to take it all but the hardest part is that she is competing with her sisters for the exact position!

‘I want it so much there’s no room inside me for anything else.’

She goes against the rules during the last competition and lets her creativity shine through but this does not win her any points for being favorite. She has a villager change to look almost identical to her.

‘Imagine if everyone went around wanting to look like you. what if they’d only pay if they could have your features? There’d be millions of your lookalikes walking around. We’d be better off being gray again. Beauty is variety. Beauty is change.’

Her sister, Amber wins the favorite position and Camellia is sent to work at a Teahouse that is far from the position she wanted at the palace. She is still expected though to serve her patrons that schedule appointments to the best of her abilities. That is her business.

‘The point is to show them that you’re strong enough to complete your role. That you’re capable, confident, and proficient in the arcana. That you can serve this great world.’

When things start going awry in more ways than one and her sisters seem to not be absolutely thrilled about being Belles and servicing the their patrons Camellia begins to worry, is this really their destiny? She doesn’t realize how much things have gone awry until her sister, Amber, gets booted from the favorite position and Camellia is picked! It is not all roses and parities. Let’s just say that Princess Sophia’s role model may be the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland!

Follow Camellia as she learns more and more about the realistic truths of what it means to be able to purchase your own beauty and as she fights to keep her sisters safe.


Available February 20th, 2018 but if you are a librarian you can request a digital copy on !

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