AUTHOR Jen Calonita
PUBLICATION October 9th 2012 by Poppy
READ September 27 to 28, 2012
SOURCE Hachette Book Group Canada for review
Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story and the girls are caught up in a flurry of talk-show appearances and newspaper interviews. They've put on a happy public face, but someone is leaking their true feelings to the press, and while it seems like the world is watching their every move, at least they have each other.The first thing I feel I have to say about Jen Calonita's Belles series is that it has my favorite covers. You need to see these books in their full hardcover beauty to fully appreciate them, I have never seen ones this stunning. Having picked up Belles due to it being so pretty and absolutely loving the story I was very anxious for Winter White. I can't say that it fully lived up to its predecessor, but nevertheless Jen has weaved a southern, high society story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night.
But with cotillion season right around the corner, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood. Mira has dreamed of making her debut in a gorgeous white gown forever-now, if only she could find an escort. Izzie, meanwhile, is still struggling to find her place in Emerald Cove and it's seeming ever more impossible with EC mean-girls, young and old, doing their best to keep her down. As cotillion preparations heat up, though, there are dance steps to learn, manners to perfect... and secret initiations to complete? As if sophomore year wasn't hard enough!
It's time for the gowns to go on and the gloves to come off.
It was nice to catch up with Izzy and Mira and see how they are coping with the bombshell that was dropped at the end of Belles. They are both understandably bitter, and through that I did find that they started grating on my nerves. Yes Bill screwed up but there are so many factors working into it and he really does try his best to be a great dad and do anything he can to make the girls happy. I found it frustrating that they simply refused to move on from their bitterness in light of his kindness. That being said, I know that these are teenage girls and everything is most definitely magnified at that age, so this is more of a personal complaint simply because I know I wouldn't act like that.
Izzy and Mira's relationship is not the only one growing in this one, Izzy is struggling with getting closer to Braydon and Mira is warming up to Kellan. These are great relationships and in them, the girls are often shown to be putting themselves, and their happiness first. It is refreshing to see girls with heads firmly on their shoulders in the face of a blossoming romance. There are of course wrenches thrown into the progression and the romance is quite slow moving but that's perfect because we get to enjoy so many other great aspects of the novel.
I had so much fun with the Cotillion and the initiations! Some of them actually had me laughing out loud and I really enjoyed watching Savannah get a taste of her own medicine. I found the initiation to be a great way for Jen to make it believable that Izzie would go through with something as out of her comfort zone as cotillion. Another awesome choice by her was to make the opening scene the family airing their dirty laundry on a daytime talk show, that was a great way to give the reader a good refresher of Belles and I think it would definitely help anyone to enjoy Winter White and catch up if they hadn't read the first book in the series.
Once again there are twists and bombshells thrown in at the end of the novel (these ones I found easy to predict and wasn't as shocked as I was in the first) but it still makes for an enjoyable read that leaves you anxious for the next in the series.