Book Review

Book Review: The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Ahdieh

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult historical fiction + romance + paranormal
Length: 448 pages
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

VAMPIRES?

I hesitantly picked this book up because I love Ahdieh’s books, but I heard the hypeness over the apparent vampires in this book [note: not a fan of vampire books, never really have been]. My cautionary read turned out a lot better than I thought. And I know I liked this much better than others BECAUSE there were barely any vampires in the entire book.

Ahdieh’s writing is always wonderful. I was easily invested in the story and enjoyed reading it. I love the setting, especially having traveled there, it really added to the atmosphere and vibe of old world New Orleans. The mystery and mythical combination is a tune I can love.

The romance was good, when the love triangle wasn’t in play. UGH. It didn’t need that at all to add to it (though now apparently it’ll play a big part in book two). Jury is still out and how the rest of this will unfold, but I was definitely shipping Celene and Bastien. I love the sultry banter and romantic moments they had. The ending left me all up in arms and I need a resolution.

I liked Celene for the most part. Her lack of communication skills were obvious and annoying. Celene could have had a better friendship with Pippa if she would trust her for one minute. The amount of inner dialogue she had about not telling anyone anything was running me ragged. An inability to communicate anything can really sour a character. Otherwise, I enjoyed her braveness and her courage against her situation.

Oh yes, those vampires? Well throughout the book I really couldn’t figure out who the mystery chapters were (in the vampires POV). I honestly didn’t know until they showed up on the page. That was satisfying to be on edge the entire time with who was attacking Celene and her cohorts. I definitely think they underworld of New Orleans will play a much bigger role in the second book since all of the reveals didn’t come out until the second half.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal, historical fiction romance
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: some kisses, an almost love scene with a little detail
  • Violence: gory murder description
  • Trigger Warning: attempted rape (never in full detail, discussed as part of Celene’s past with a few paragraphs dedicated to how he attacked her)

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

Howdy! Another week into January, and another Top 10 Tuesday before us!

This week is a beautiful topic because of it’s simplicity. Find my most recent additions below:


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

Emergence (Shadowfire #2) by Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh

There you have it! Are you excited about any of these? Have you read some of these? Lets talk in the comments!

Book Review

Review: Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2) by Renee Ahdieh

Smoke in the Sun

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA, very little language, torture violence, some kiss scenes [one a touch love-ish]
Length: 408 pages
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn’t expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn’t expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.

Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign’s brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.

As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami’s rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.

Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, Smoke in the Sun is the breathless, romantic, not-to-be-missed fiery conclusion to a spell-binding adventure.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

OKAMI IS MY CINNAMON ROLL.

I love him. That little cinnamon roll is my latest book boyfriend, because he just gives you all the heart eyes. His loyalty, sass, and honor round out a great character.

But on a real note, I LOVE BAD-A WOMEN. Mariko for the win. Ahdieh brought a dynamic, thoughtful and strong character in Mariko, and Yumi. Even Kanako, while evil-esque, still awesome. It’s so great when female characters really get the spotlight.

This book excels at multiple POV. Even when it changes mid-chapter, it’s easy to tell who’s speaking and what is happening. It was great getting everyone’s views because it rounded at the story from so many angles. I felt the anguish and triumphs of each character. Ahdieh is quickly becoming one of my top favorite authors. Her duologies make me happy and are the perfect length to convey a remarkable story.

Definitely a YA novel, maybe 2 curse words. Some kissing scenes with one being a touch love-ish. Multiple characters involved with torture violence.