Apr 24, 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Title: Belles
Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher:  Poppy
Publication Date: 4.10.2012
Pages: 356
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: B-

Summary (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.

Belles is a sweet, fun tale about two girls, Isabelle and Mirabelle, trying to make the best of an awkward and uncomfortable situation. Jen Calonita delivers a warm, poignant tale in this novel that shows the grass isn’t always greener.

Belles is told through both Izzie and Mira’s perspectives, but not as a first-person story and it also doesn’t allocate a single chapter to each girl. Calonita seamlessly gives voice to both girls, gracefully and artfully telling each side of the story. I’ve read a lot of novels that alternate narrators, and it can be jarring. I’ll get used to one voice and then be thrust in someone else’s head. This novel is much more fluid and makes for an easy read.

I finished this story in about a day, and it was nice. Nice, but not extraordinary. There are no real surprises. The climax I saw the novel building towards at the end of chapter four. There’s nothing shocking or jaw dropping, it just moves along at a somewhat meandering pace.

I can appreciate Calonita trying to humanize Mira, but most of the time I felt she was a spoiled little brat that need a good shake. Izzie was by far my favorite character, and I wouldn’t have minded if the story was told entirely from her perspective. I also wasn’t crazy about Izzie love interest, Brayden. I wasn’t impressed by him and found him a little lacking in the boyfriend department.

If you’re looking for a quick beach read or something to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I recommend giving this book a go. It’s not a stay-up-all-night and devour kind of book, but there is a certain charm to it that I couldn’t deny.


  1. Awesome review! I think I want to read this book.:)I like that the cover is pink, too. It's so girly.

  2. Hello, beautiful space, passing to say hello, nice to read your text.
    if you like the poetry I invite you to my espacioes, thanks.
    happy day.


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