Mundie Moms

Friday, February 16, 2018

THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway #TheBelles

Welcome to the last stop in THE BELLES blog tour. Today's stop includes my spoiler review and a giveaway! Be sure to check out all the giveaway details at the end of the post. First, here's a little bit about the book. 


By: Dhonielle Clayton
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Released on: February 6, 2018
Series: The Belles #1
Purchase from: AmazonB&NiBooksTBD
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Stars
Thank you to Disney/Freeform for providing an arc of this book to read in exchange for my honest review

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.

A dark, intriguing YA fantasy that will leave you wanting more. The Belle's is a richly detailed story brimming with deception, resilience, danger, romance, and beauty. This story is not at all what I was excepting it to. It was so much better. 

Clayton did a beautiful job at pacing this story. Sure, the story does feel like it stalls at times, but I excepted that because it's incredibly detailed oriented. Some times when a story is so overly detailed, the story does tend to stall. That didn't take away from the story too much, because she gave just enough details and intrigue to hook me in the beginning of her story. It didn't take long to feel like I was thrown into the mix of this complicated, beautifully detailed, complex world. The last 1/3 of this book made it nearly impossible to put this book down, because of all that happens. Talk about deception, and unsuspecting plot twists. I was not excepting all that happens towards the end of the book, or that ending.

This story has an interesting cast of characters. It wasn't hard for me to like Camille, and Remy. They were definitely my favorite characters from this story. I may have wished for more romance in this story, but what I got was good. I'll admit, it definitely has me hopeful for something more serious to transpire in the next book. Another favorite character of mine is Edel. Oh my word, I need more Edel! There's something that happens that surprised me with Edel, and I need answers! 

Talk about villains. This book is chalk full of cruel characters that make mean girls look like a cake walk. There are some down right nasty turn of events that happen because of them. Let's just say no one is spared their wrath. Battle lines are definitely drawn. I'm curious to see what happens to a certain someone in the next book. The cruelty of characters definitely counter balances the beauty of The Belle's world.  

The world of The Belles is a beautiful one. That beauty masks something sinister, and dangerous. There's so much more than the outward appearance of beauty in this book. That in itself is part of Clayton's powerful message to her readers. Her message is one that readers can pick up on, between the printed words on the pages of this book. I also appreciated her author notes at the end of this book talking about her own personal story. 

Clayton's writing is mesmerizing. Her message is a powerful one. Her story is one you won't even feel like you've read a 400+page book. From her world building, to her characters, and all that transpires, her story will hook readers, and leave them wishing the second book was already in their hands. This book is more than just a beautiful cover, and I love this cover.


She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily. 
She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School. 
She taught secondary school for several years – at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them. 
She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent – and decidedly diverse – literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.
What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.


2/5/2018- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
2/6/2018- The Young FolksReview
2/7/2018- YA BibliophileReview
2/8/2018- YA Books CentralInterview
2/9/2018- Ex LibrisReview
2/12/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
2/13/2018- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderEvent Recap Post
2/14/2018- NerdophilesReview
2/15/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post
2/16/2018- Mundie MomsReview