Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

2:46 PM


 Title: Belles

Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher:  Poppy
Publication date: April 10, 2012
How I got the copy: Library
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.



þ   Makes you think.  How would you react if you were uprooted from your life?
þ   Written in POV of both the unpopular girl and the mean girl.
þ   Great for YA Contemp fans

While I did enjoy this story, I was a little disappointed that it had nothing to do with southern belles.  In fact, if they hadn't mentioned it was in NC I would have thought they were talking about Wildwood vs. Princeton NJ or something.  I just didn't get that southern feel.  Despite this personal disappointment, I really liked this book for so many reasons.  The book is written through Izzie's POV in the beginning (the girl who moves in with her cousin Mira's family).  Then every few chapters we get to see the story through Mira's POV.  I actually liked this because Mira comes off as a B*tch, but once you get to see her side of things her actions make more sense and I couldn't help but feel a little bad for her.  The real villain, Savannah, got no sympathy from me.  She was like Regina George in Mean Girls.  Usually villains have a "human" moment where we feel bad for them, but not Savannah.  I hated her all the way through.  And now that I think of it Mira really reminded me of a blonde Gretchen Weiners!  Like Gretchen, Mira just wanted to be cool and keep in Savannah's good graces so she basically did whatever she had to to stay popular.

Gretchen Weiners Cry
And none for Gretchen Weiners!
I can't imagine what Izzie went through being uprooted from her poor life and placed in a wealthy home.  I wouldn't be complaining if my aunt wanted to give me a computer and iphone lol.  I say that now, but I probably would feel awkward like Izzie did.  She wasn't used to buying expensive things when what she had worked fine.  I think that was a great quality Izzie had.  She was very down to earth.  

The one thing I wished there was more of was...you guessed it...romance!  There's a budding relationship between Mira and a guy and Izzie and a different guy, but nothing really happens until the end.  Which is great because I hate insta love, but at the same time I didn't swoon at all, not even a little bit.  And I love collecting book boyfriends.  

The other thing I didn't necessarily enjoy was how everything happened so perfectly.  For example, one of the girls is crying and the cute guy just happens to walk by and see her.  Or when she's having trouble with a project he just happens to show up and help.  Either he has some kind of radar for when she's upset or he's Edward Cullening and stalking her in case she's in trouble.  Either way it bothered me.  

Other than those two things, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes YA contemp books.  It's typical- girl moves to a new school and has to deal with the mean girls, but I think since we get to see it through one unpopular girl and one mean girl's point of view it makes it special.  

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Jen Calonita
Have you read Belles?  What did you think?

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