AUTHOR Jen Calonita
PUBLICATION April 10, 2012 by Poppy
READ May 28, 2012
BUY IT Amazon / The Book Depository
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.
Where can I start here? Belles was just so good that I can't even gather my thoughts cohesively. It was a flashback to some of my all time favourite shows, it had a hint of The OC with a whole lot of 90210. I could not put this book down, and as soon as it was over I wanted to go back to page 1 and start all over again. Jen Calonita has put together a contemporary story that is full of laughs, heartbreak and love.
Isabelle Scott is thrust into a foreign world when her grams' dementia takes over and she goes to live in a home. Isabelle goes from living in Harborside, which is widely known in her new digs as the "ghetto", to Emerald Cove, an upper class suburbia that is driven by wealth. Watching Izzie get thrown out of her comfort zone and adjust to her new life was written in such a real way, I felt her emotions, and I totally believed them. It wasn't an easy adjustment and it was really hard on her. It may have been easier had the people in EC been more welcoming to her, but they were cold and judgemental and it had me feeling so angry!
We also get to experience the story from Izzie's cousins perspective which serves the story well in showing two viewpoints that couldn't be any more different. Mira has grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth and she is amongst the popular rich girls at her school. Throughout the story we also get to watch Mira go through changes of her own and really come out of her shell. The group she has situated herself in is headed by Savannah, and Vannah has the evil "queen bee" role down to a T.
There is a lot to be enjoyed in the pages of Belles, and this one will be taking a coveted space on my favourites list. It's heavy on the high school drama and light on the romance. If you're looking for a refreshing contemporary read that has it's own little twist, than this one is definitely for you. I highly recommend Belles to anyone looking for an Alluring Read.