I wasn’t feeling good these past few days but thankfully, I’m feeling better now so I was able to write this review. I got an e-ARC from the publishers via Netgalley but this does not affect my opinions in any way.
TITLE: The Beautiful
BY: Renée Ahdieh
SERIES: The Beautiful #1
GENRE: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Historical
PUBLICATION: Oct. 08, 2019 by G.P Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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.
The story, indeed, is filled with cliche tropes and I’m not talking about Vampires. I don’t care if Vampires are in thousand paranormal books. I’m fine with them but the thing about The Beautiful is the plot’s filled with tropes. Let’s see, a young lady fleeing to another country from a horrible past, a mysterious Court with mysterious people in it, one of the said mysterious people would be so BEAUTIFUL that our young lady would be pulled and soon, she’s in their world and in danger. You probably know what the rest is.
The mystery and suspense surrounding the killer — this is a murder mystery — were not enough to amp up the story and the reveal wasn’t also that surprising. But I can’t say the mystery and suspense is badly done, IT IS NOT. If you’ve read The Wrath and the Dawn by this author, you’d know, Ahdieh is a great storyteller. It’s just that, in this book, I felt like I already read this before. But I can say, I was more concerned in the mystery of Celine’s past. That’s what kept me reading.
On a brighter side, the tropes that this book has are the ones that most of the readers love so I believe this will work to some, if not most, readers. And all the clicheness became understandable upon reading the author’s Acknowledgement at the end of the book. This idea have been alive ever since she was a teenager and a fan of Anne Rice.
The atmosphere though is quite good. I know, I know I said the mystery and suspense were not enough to amp up the story but I also said it’s not badly done and the atmosphere I’m referring here is New Orleans itself. I can’t explain it but there’s something about New Orleans that just by hearing or reading it, I felt like it’s dark and there’s something (or someone) sinister lurking in the shadows, waiting to grab me around the corner. I haven’t been there in real life but you know what I mean. One more thing to note about the atmosphere and setting is this is Historical – 1872. But I didn’t feel that that much. I was actually picturing a modern New Orleans. Not a 2019-New Orleans but more modern than 1872.
The Romance. I think by now it’s obvious it’s also something most of us have already read before so I have nothing much to say about it. Forbidden Romance, of course. The main characters, Celine and Bastien, are interesting though. They’re characters were cliche but like I said, cliche that most of us love. Celine is different from other women being bold and spirited. She wanted to fit in the society though but like Bastien said, she’s a lion so that’s hard. And Bastien is the most beautiful man, rougish and devilish. So I think I do like these characters. The side characters were good enough but no one I can say unforgettable. I had high hopes with the “found family trope” but it wasn’t so grand.
And oh the dialogues are sometimes cliche too. There are dialogues such as “I thought you’ll never ask” or “You should’ve run away when you had a chance” and so many more. But I read an ARC from Netgalley so these quotes might have been changed.
Finally, and this is the most beautiful part, is the ENDING. I love the promise of the ending that really made me want to read the next book. And I will. This isn’t the first book that ahs and ending like that but oh my God, I love it. I love it so much. So overall, this isn’t a bad book, don’t let the ratings on Goodreads put you off from reading a new Vampire story. Don’t even let my meager rating discourage you. I only gave it 3 stars because it is trope-y and trope-y books are not so grand for me.
“It doesn’t matter who you were. It matters who you are.”Tweet this
“Love is not a feeling. It is a choice. Contrary to popular opinion, there are many paths to happiness.”Tweet this
What I learned:
There are many forms of BAD and some of them, we choose to run away from but others, we rather wish to be part of because there are things we can’t just forget or live without, once we got a taste.Tweet this
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s Chat.