Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book!  I don't know if it is because it wasn't depressing and sad or because it wasn't paranormal or what but it was just refreshing for me to read something so fun.  I have always loved a good "rags to riches" story!

Isabelle lives with her grandma in Harborside, just a few short minutes from Emerald Cove.  Harborside is the "bad" town and Emerald Cove is full of privileged, rich kids who are, quite frankly, spoiled rotten.  Harborside is a poor town with a somewhat bad reputation.  Izzie loves her town and it's pier, beach and community center though.  She can't imagine life anywhere else.  Until she gets the call that changes her life forever.  Izzie's grandma has Alzheimer's and is going downhill quickly.  Izzie's mom died in a car accident and she has never known her father.  Izzie's grandma has prepared for her bad health and found Izzie's rich uncle, who lives in Emerald Cove.  She sends Izzie there to live with her aunt and uncle and her cousins, Hayden, Mirabelle and Connor.

 Mirabelle is the same age as Izzie (just a few months separate them).  She is very popular, very spoiled and used to getting whatever she wants.  Her best friend is Savannah and together, the two rule the school.  Mira's father is getting ready to run for the State Senate and spends very little time with his kids but they are expected to drop everything when he calls for a press opportunity.  Which is why Mira isn't surprised when his assistant, Lucas, calls at the last minute and tells her that her father is wanting a family meeting ASAP.  Little does Mira know, what her father is about to tell her is going to completely change her life.

 I really admired Izzie. She was strong and independent and never felt sorry for herself.  She cared about her community and wanted to help them out as much as she could.  She didn't let her aunt and uncle's money make her into someone she wasn't.  She tried to get along with  Mira and her friends but they made that quite impossible. When she is put in charge of a charity event, she takes it and runs with it.  Izzie makes it the best event EC has ever seen, despite all the problems she ran into.

 Mira was, at first, a spoiled little brat!  I really didn't care for her at all and I couldn't stand her boyfriend, Taylor, or her best friend, Savannah.  They were all just downright mean and nasty and all they cared about was their status and money.  Mira was very weak, letting Savannah and Taylor use her and walk all over her.  She cared way too much about what others thought of her and always tried to make her decisions based on what others would do.  By the end of the book though she made some changes and I liked her better.

 I really liked Hayden.  He was so nice and didn't care what others thought.  He was much more mature than Mira and tried to help Izzie out as much as he could.  He was there for her to cry on his shoulder when she needed but always boosted her up too.  

 I really liked how this story progressed.  It was a fun book with a feel good ending.  It didn't have a crazy cliff-hanger ending but it left me just as anxious to read the next book.  I really liked the characters (with the exception of Savannah and Taylor) and can't wait to see what happens next with the girls.

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