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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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: December 2019

Oh hey, LAST READING MONTH OF THE DECADE.

And what a month it was. I tried to read as many Christmas books as I could get my hands on to really feel that Christmas spirit. It totally worked. I had a lot of fantastic reads for the end of the year.

  • Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Bid My Soul Farewell (Give the Dark my Love #2) by Beth Revis – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Of Rioters & Royals (Swift Shadows #1) by M.L. Greye – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Powell and Faith Erin Hicks – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4) by Kerri Maniscalco – (☆☆☆☆)
  • It Happened at Christmas by Christen Krumm – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Christmas Like This by Carina Taylor – (☆☆)
  • Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West – (☆☆☆)
  • Defy the Stars (Constellation #1) by Claudia Gray – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Entwined Paths (Swift Shadows #2) by M.L. Greye – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
  • One Christmas in Winter by Bell Renshaw – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Ashlords by Scott Reintgen – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Defy the Worlds (Constellation #2) by Claudia Gray – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Defy the Fates (Constellation #3) by Claudia Gray – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Veins of Magic (The Otherworld #2) by Emma Hamm – (☆☆☆☆)
  • East (East #1) by Edith Pattou – (☆☆☆☆)

My favorite this month: Faking Under the Mistletoe

Least favorite this month: Christmas Like This

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I broke this into two parts because not only are their some great new releases coming out, there’s also a huge stack of books I’m staring at in my house that need to be read too. Lots of books to read this fall y’all.

NEW RELEASES ON MY FALL TBR:

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones


The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh


The Toll (Arc of a Sycthe #3) by Neal Shusterman


Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer


Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson


The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black


Ninth House (Ninth House Series #1) by Leigh Bardugo


Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda


Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy #1) by Amelie Wen Zhao


The Sky Weaver (Iskari #3) by Kristen Ciccarelli

BOOKS I’M DETERMINED TO READ THIS FALL:

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson


Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim


A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn


The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud


Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco


There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool


The Vine Witch (Vine Witch #1) by Luanne G. Smith


The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar


Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) by Elise Kova


The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

What books are on your fall TBR? Any new releases or are you trying to conquer your back list? May we not be buried by our TBR this fall! Lets talk in the comments.

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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 Talk

2019 Most Anticipated Releases

I am so hyped for all the new books in 2019!! This is a compilation of some of my top choices for reading this year.

The only books that don’t have an official release date are Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas (super thrilled to see what story she’ll give us next) and The Bone Season #4 by Samantha Shannon (I can NOT be the only one waiting for this!?)

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer: Very fortunate to be currently reading an ARC – Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA!
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: She is one of my top insta-buy authors
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black: The hype is real with this one; hope it doesn’t disappoint!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: Best December present was receiving an ARC of this via Netgalley and Del Ray!
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller: Real obsessed with this author after her debut, Daughter of the Pirate King
  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith: the synopsis + the hype = an impatient reader
  • Sherwood by Meagan Spooner: I enjoyed her Beauty and the Beast re-telling (Hunted), which makes me intrigued for this gender-bend Robin Hood story!
  • Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi: Impatiently waiting for this cover and this book because HOLY CLIFF HANGER
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was a bitter-sweet story & I expect great things from her next novel
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: Another uber-hyped book I can’t wait for!!
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber: BE EXCITED WITH ME, THIS FINALE WILL BE EPIC
  • Rage by Cora Carmack: I HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO YEARS

  • Dark Age by Pierce Brown: I am here for all things related to Red Rising
  • Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez: The first book in this series left me shook. I’m so excited to see what happens next!!
  • Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson: Okay, I’m still recovering from that ending.
  • The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I must have more of ToG
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh: I have loved all of her duologies, so of course I’m buying her next one!
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare: Did someone say MORE WILL HERONDALE!?
  • This seems to be the only month I don’t have any known releases. Is there something I need to add? Let me know!

Are any of these on your TBR for 2019? Let’s chat in the comments!