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April 16, 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Title: Belles (Belles #1)
Author: Jen Calonita
Publication date: April 10th, 2012
Publisher: Poppy (HBG Canada)
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Finished copy
Pages: 356
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.
Belles by Jen Calonita is another contemporary novel that has a bit more depth than the usual fluff we’ve all been accustomed to. The story revolves around two girls who couldn’t be more different from each one. Isabelle lives with her grandmother in a “humbler” area but had to move to her uncle’s house when her grandmother’s health plummeted. To say that both cousins weren’t happy about this arrangement is an understatement. On the opposite of the social spectrum is Maribelle. Maribelle is a sourthern version of an extra on the movie ‘mean girls’. Maribelle’s dad is running for senator; hence picture perfect family, picket white fence, and everything that Maribelle ever wants, at her feet. When the two cousins meet, or should I say collide, problems start. 
I really hated how Mari treated Izzie, it is so clichéd that the popular, rich girl is trying to make the less fortunate new student’s life a living hell. To top it all, she is her COUSIN. I just couldn’t connect with Mari and how selfish and childish she was, even if deep down her behavior stems from insecurities, I can’t deal with people lashing it out on others, I mean that’s the definition of bullying. As for Izzie? I loved how independent she was! She is definitely my favorite character out of the two!  
I loved how Belles was told from both Mari and Izzie’s POVs, you got to experience it from both sides so you have the complete picture. Belles kept me entertained, it was a cute contemporary about two girls from different social classes and their struggle to fit in and accept themselves for who they are. Also the character development and bonding of the two characters was definitely heart warming. I would recommend Belles to anyone who wants to read realistic fiction where romance isn’t the dominant element, but rather friendship and family.  
On a side note, WOW did you guys see the GORGEOUS cover of the hardback? The jacket cover isn't complete, it only covers 3/4th of the book, when you remove the jacket, wow the art on the hardback is so pretty! I am in love. Book two, Winter White has a gorgeous purple cover too, and its coming out in October of 2012! 
4 musical stars!


  1. I also loved this book. I'm so glad you loved it too :)

  2. I'm seeing this book EVERYWHERE lately! Glad to hear it's worth the read! :)

  3. Lets first discuss the cover. I liked the cover, It's secretive, what with only showing the girls eyes but it's also classy with the font. Good job with the cover.

  4. I love the cover and have heard loads of great things about this book. Can't wait to read it!

  5. The cover is OH SO GORGEOUS! I've been wanting to get this book for a while now, it would look so pretty on my shelf but wasnt sure whether the book itself was good enough. I'm glad you liked it now I will definitely get it. Thanks for the amazing review!