What Makes Us Beautiful

Today I have a book that questions what makes us beautiful.  I don’t often read YA, but every once in a while I love a good romp through the young adult world, especially when the story is full of suspense and questioning our belief in the way things are meant to be.  I was totally caught up in the fantasy of this one, a page-turner.  And on the plus side, it is appropriate for middle school readers looking for a more adult story.

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Title: The Belleswhat makes us beautiful the belles

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Target: Grades 6-12

Series: This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about:

In Orleans, the people are born gray. The Belles are worshiped for their ability to bring color and beauty to the citizens. The most talented Belle serves the Queen and Princess at court and Camellia is hoping she will be picked as the favorite this year. But all is not as it appears for the Belles. They are being used and manipulated by a society that is revering physical beauty over everything else. Things begin to come crashing down when Camellia and her fellow Belles are asked to push their abilities beyond what has been expected.

Why I love this book:

  • I loved the way this book pushes our notions of beauty in so many different directions. On a positive note, I really appreciated the way the book looked at physical beauty as many different shades and forms. Some stunning characters were white, some mocha, some black, and some caramel. On the flip side, the obsession with being physically beautiful lead to cruelty and pain.
  • I loved the world that the author created. In some ways, it reminded me of Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette with over the top decadence and the Hunger Games for the sheer lavishness of the makeup and fashion.
  • I got caught up in this book. The story arch was a little predictable but it was fun and Camellia and her cohorts were absolutely appealing characters.

Who this book is for:

Great book for kids who enjoyed The Selection series. This book is appropriate for both middle school and high school students.

Final thoughts:

I like where the author is taking this series in terms of beauty and identity.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Belles.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.