It is time for another review! I have recently finished The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh, and since the book is coming out in less than a month, I thought it would be a good idea to post a review of it, and let you know what I thought.
- Publication date: October 8th 2019
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
- Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction (I guess?)
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.
First and foremost:
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Oh, boy… I don’t know how to sum up my feelings about this book. I guess let me start with my expectations…
I have read Reneé Ahdieh’s The Wrath and The Dawn duology and I loved every second of it. The writing was beautiful, the story intricate and magical, and I even liked the romance, which is almost unheard of from me. I thought that will be the case with The Beautiful. I hoped to love it. I didn’t. I guess I set the bar too high.
The first couple of chapters were intriguing, but soon I realised that the writing didn’t mesh with me whatsoever. It felt forced and quite pretentious. The amount of French in this book is ridiculous. Now, I understand New Orleans was a French colony. I understand Celine is French. I don’t think the amount of French was needed in it, though. It took me out of the story, having to constantly look up what certain phrases mean. It got very annoying very fast.
Celine herself wasn’t my favourite character, though she grew on me eventually. Pippa, on the other hand, while very likeable at the start, turned out quite bland. Bastien was every single brooding bad boy love interest I’ve ever read about, he had no personality of his own. I’m sure many will love him. I didn’t. Michael was better, in my opinion, though the whole not quite love triangle got on my nerves quickly.
Only about 70% did the book take a turn for the better. The plot was stagnant for most of the book. Although things happened, it really felt like it didn’t have much impact on the overall story, it was a waiting game. I was really invested in the story in the end, though, once the plot stopped dillydallying and had actual structure instead of a lot of filler. Once we started getting answers, I definitely enjoyed it more.
As you can see, I’m conflicted. I am also disappointed. I wanted the vampire revival to be grand and amazing. It flopped.
I feel this is a very generous rating and it’s mostly prompted by the ending of the book. To be honest with you, I still think a lot of people are going to love it.
For fans of: romance, supernatural and historical fiction
Preorder the book here:
Until the next time!