Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

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 has the sort of premise I was convinced I’d enjoy! A girl finds out she has a family she’s never met and is now thrown into their world, one that’s the complete opposite of her own.

Poor Izzie has gone through so much. I can’t help but feel for her. She’s your average every day girl. She loves her normal life. She spends her days hanging out with her friends, flirting with the cute new boy, and swimming. Her uncle and his family lives in the ritzier part of North Carolina. They spend their time lounging by the country club pool, preparing for a political race, and doing the things the average person doesn’t do.

Because of the difference in their hometown, Mirabelle, Isabelle’s cousin, and all of her friends find Isabelle to be beneath them. Mira’s friends are nice to Isabelle’s face, but gossip about her and basically make her new life even more complicated.

Anyone who has ever been in a new situation knows how hard it can be to fit in with a new crowd, you can’t help but sympathize with Isabelle who has been uprooted from her happy little life and thrown into this more upscale neighborhood.

The boys of Belles are adorable! My favorite is Mirabelle’s brother, Hayden, who kind of relieves some of the drama and makes it obvious everyone in this town isn’t completely obnoxious.

There was a bit of characters’ name-issues that drove me crazy. It seemed as if the author loved “belle” and “yden” names, as there were a pair of each in the book – Brayden/Hayden and Mirabelle/Isabelle. It wasn’t completely annoying, but it did take some getting used to! (On that note, the “belle” one makes sense, because of the title.)

Belles is a fluffy, cute story that kept me entertained. It reminded me slightly of Spoiled or Gossip Girl, but with a bit more fluff. If you are in the mood for something light, Belles would make the perfect beach read!

I received my copy of Belles in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.

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  1. Ohh I really wanna read this one! It does sound so super cute and I read so many awesome reviews about this one, that I really want to pick it up, sooon!!

  2. I agree, it’s a very nice, light read which would be great for the beach. I didn’t really notice the Brayden/Hayden thing. It was a nice read though, I enjoyed it.

    Great review!

    • Amanda says:

      I think my problem was I read a review before going in that mentioned it…and then it proceeded to drive me crazy. :\ LOL!

      • Haha, yeah.. I tend to avoid reading reviews on books that I’m interested in reading. I don’t want to have someone else’s opinion bouncing around in my brain while I’m reading it :P

        So, if I know it’s something I’m definitely going to read in the near future, I won’t read the review until after.

        Also, that cover is very lovely :) I couldn’t stop looking at it when I recieved my review

  3. kimba88 says:

    Haha..the name thing is too funny. What is the secret? You said light and it must not be to bad. Great review!

    • Amanda says:

      The name thing..ugh. lol! And when have you ever known me to divulge secrets? ;) It is a pretty big one, but it keeps the light tone for the most part.

  4. Great review!! I added it to my TBR list. I’m a new follower and just wanted to drop by and say hi :) Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

    Feel free to check out my blog & follow too!!

    -Riya (The Teen Book Guru)

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