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.
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Pages: 356 (Hardcover)
Series? Belles #1
This is a back-to-school book. This is a book that will appeal to all those of you who (like me) are completely fed up with the rich spoiled brats (sorry, I know - language!) at your school that just won't stop behaving like rich spoiled brats ;)
It is a book, though, that most contemporary readers (no matter how rich or poor) will enjoy because you get to see two girls growing up, trying to do the right thing and growing into their own person.
I could identify with Izzie pretty much from the first page but even if you can't the book will have you in - at the latest after the first chapter. Belles starts as a very special type of feel - good novel because you can somehow feel how happy Izzie is with her life. It is hard, of course but her personal confidence and strength really transforms the reader, too.
What I liked about Mira's family was how none of them was a really flat character -and most of the time they weren't your cliche Gossip Girl kind of family. Mira's mom was a bit superstitious and clothing-obsessed, but at the same time she had a heart and you could see that she cared about her kids - and Izzie - a LOT.
Mira's dad was exactly what you would imagine a politician to be like but at the same time he was also the most stereotypical dad you could think of - and that made him totally unique. He was a bit naive, a bit clumsy when it came to emotions and very loveable!
Don't get me wrong. Belles is on the edge of being a very predictable chick-lit, girly read. BUT it isn't because the story is a tad too deep for it and because the characters are a little too realistic and unique for that.
All in all, Belles is absolutely enjoyable because it doesn't make you sad, but it makes you think and it doesn't make you choke from cheesiness but still has that comforting, feel - good touch to it.
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties