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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton ARC {DNF}

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton ARC {DNF}

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on Feb. 20th, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 512 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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 to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Belles from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.


Oh man this hurts. I was SO excited for this book but I just can’t keep reading. The writing really doesn’t work for me:

  • Lots of hyphens in descriptions. This seems like such a silly thing to care about but it started to really bug me :(.
  • Everything looks like food. At first it just made me really hungry every time they mentioned how something looked like some pastry, but then I just got annoyed.
  • Pages upon pages are spent on nothing interesting (to me!) happening, such as the girls talking about stuff that doesn’t seem important to the plot or getting dressed in yet another fancy outfit. These just aren’t interesting to me! Someone who likes reading about pretty clothes will love it.

Also, there has been some discussion of ableism due to the use of albinism. Some confusion seems to be in how these people lack color. In the ARC they have pale skin and red eyes, which definitely sounds like albinism and it is said that people who stay like that too long go mad. Changing your appearance costs money and therefore is a symbol of privilege.


Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Thanks for reviewing this one, it’s been on my radar for a while now. Not sure the same issues would be as bothersome to me but the ableism issues definitely have me curious.
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