Belles: A Book Review



Belles by Jen Calonita

Summary: This book focuses on two main characters, so I am going to divide the summary up into two parts.


Isabelle Scott loves her life in Harborside, a cozy, yet rather poor and looked down upon town. She lives with her grandmother because her mom died and her dad is nowhere to be found, and she spends her summers at the boardwalk with her friends, Brayden and Kylie. If her grandmother’s health wasn’t declining, everything would be fine! But, alas, that’s not the case, so Isabelle is made to live with distant relatives, while Gram moves into a nursing home. However, moving into Emerald Cove is a bit of a culture shock to Isabelle. Instead of cut-off denim shorts and a tank, girls have designer bags on their shoulders and are wearing one thousand dollar dresses just for fun. They spend their parent’s money like there is no tomorrow, and, in just a few days, Isabelle already has her own laptop, phone, and a complete wardrobe! With the catty girls, Isabelle is in for a tough start at her new home.


One minute, Mira was at the country club with her best friend, Savannah, worrying about her boyfriends. The next? Mira learns that a girl from Harborside is coming to live with them. Harborside. With them. Mira is shocked. What would her friends think of the new girl? What if she stole something of Mira’s? Mira soon learns that the girl is Isabelle Scott, a distant relative of her dad’s. With no time to spare, Mira meets her a few hours after the big announcement, and, immediately, Mira knows that Isabelle is nothing like her. With her beat-up flip-flops and Old Navy clothing, Mira knows that Iz will never fit in. Even worse? Savannah wants nothing more to bring Isabelle down. And Mira wants NOTHING to do with it.

My Thoughts: {Spoilers} First off, isn’t that a beautiful cover?! I fell in love with the Southern feel the moment I saw it, and I couldn’t wait to actually read the book. The front flap comes off so that you can see the girl underneath, which hints at all the secrets inside. So, kudos to the cover designer! :) Anyhoo, Belles may look like just another young adult book, but the thing is, it is a GOOD young adult book. The plot is well-developed, the writing is solid, and the characters are fleshed out. Isabelle had the tough girl personality. I think that she just wanted to fit in, and when almost every girl is trying to bully you, its hard. On top of that, she had to deal with the move {can you say culture shock?!} and learning the ways of the Emerald Cove community. I liked Isabelle’s determination and courage, and I thought that the author did a great job with her development as a main character. Thinking about it, I can’t remember anything that i didn’t really mind about Isabelle. She was just kind of boring, I guess. I preferred to read from Mira’s perspective more, although I liked Isabelle as a person better. The drama in Mira’s life made it very entertaining to read :) If I am going to be honest, I hated Mira in the beginning. She was just like Savannah – mean, snotty, and selfish. I couldn’t stand how fake she was to Isabelle, and I really wanted to smack her. Gosh! It was like drop the act, and actually get to know Isabelle first! By the end, however, I admired how Mira changed her life for what she wanted to do. She sounded really happy with Kellan, and she made the right decision to take the art classes. What I am truly happy about is that she stood up for Isabelle. Family bond! :) Hayden, Mira’s older brother, was my favorite character and I wish I had him as an older brother. He was down-to-earth, and was so welcoming to Isabelle. Loved him! There were two bullies in this story, and I could.not.stand.them. Lucas, Mira’s dad’s campaign manager {her dad is a senator} was so mean to everyone, and was just plain creepy. I did not like him at ALL. He blackmailed Isabelle, spoke to kids is a harsh tone, and definitely deserved to be fired. Savannah was even worse. Gosh, I hated her. The plot twist at the end was something I suspected, but it wasn’t too obvious. I don’t want to give it away, but if you think hard enough, you’ll think of it when you start reading. I have to say that I almost quit reading this book. {so thankful I didn’t} The first one hundred pages were kind of a drag, but then something clicked, and I read nonstop last night to finish it. {even when the power went out!} My advice? Don’t quit. Please.

Pros: Developed characters and plot.

Cons: The beginning was kind of boring.

Heads Up: I can’t remember much language and there is some romance, but nothing too big, if you know what I mean?

Overall: I give it 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

The next book, Winter White, comes out on October 9, 2012. Yay!

Winter White (Belles)

That’s Savannah right there.

Have a lovely night!
Bella :)


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