Thursday, April 12

Belles by Jen Calonita

Belles by Jen Calonita
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: 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.

My Thoughts: Oh, what a fun novel. We are introduced to two girls who couldn't be more different, Isabell and Mirabelle. They are total opposites. Izzie is from Harborside which is known as a bad place, thefts happen, not a good place to live. In reality, none of these things really happen, it's just a small little town near a beach. Mirabelle aka Mira is from Emerald Cove, she's popular, goes to a private school, and her dad is running for senator. She lives with her mother, and two brothers.

Izzie is perfectly happy with her life. Yes, its hard as her mother died when she was 10 and she's never known her father. She lives with her grandma whose health is going downhill. It goes downhill so fast that her social worker finds her another family member to live with. Her uncle who in Emerald Cove, where Mira is his daughter. He is soon to be running for senator so once Izzie goes to live with him, she has to be part of their picture perfect family.

Of course she doesn't want to leave her small town. She's a lifeguard, volunteers teaching swimming lessons, hangs out at the community center, has great friends, and a cute guy friend named Brayden. She doesn't want to leave it all but she has no choice.

She ends up in Emerald Cove trying to adapt to her new life and family. But being in  a new school where everybody thinks she is scum is hard. And even more difficult is seeing her cousin Mira let her friends bully her.

The other kicker? Brayden. Cute sweet friendly Brayden. I kind of saw that whole thing coming, but I won't ruin it by telling you what happens. We'll leave that a secret, it's something you have to find out on your own. The whole mystery between this boy is enough to make you read this novel and pull at your heartstrings.

Belles was an amazing book but this isn't surprising at all. Calonita has a way to suck you into her stories and make you want to read them as soon as they come out. She can just do it so easily too. She makes you love her characters and want to be friends with them.

I completely understand where Izzie was coming from. When you live in the bad part of town people will judge you just by your appearance or where you were raised. She gets that and she doesn't let it beat her down.

I also did like Mira once she woke up and realized what a mean girl her best friend Savannah was. I wanted to kick Savannah in the face a few times.

And the ending, talk about a major turning point! I was so surprised! I had to read a few lines over again! So funny and jaw dropping! Makes sense though.

Overall: Totally enjoyable. Please give this novel a chance! It may sound too girlish for you or too much like a book about mean popular girls, but there was so much more to it, and the plot and storyline was great. Not to mention, all the characters were awesome and so full of personality.  Belles was a fun book with laugh loud moments and real lessons to be learned. Please read it! I'm excited to read the next in the series!

The ending result on my mind is that Belles is a sweet southern novel. I want to go to a hoedown in a barn now.

While you're going to the bookstore to get this one, I also recommend reading Sleepaway Girls by Calonita as well.

Cover: This cover works but its hard to really see anything but I do love how we can see half of her face and her pink bow.

What I'd Give It:


Anonymous said...

Gah, I need to own this book! I want to read it!!!! It sounds so good!

Jenny at Books to the Sky

Lena said...

Wow, this book sounds great!!!! I am glad that you liked it :)


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