RELEASE DATE: October 8th 2019
AUTHOR: Renee Ahdieh
GENRE: Young-Adult, Historical Fantasy, Vampires, Romance.
PUBLISHER: 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 Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’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.
Beautiful is Renee Ahdieh’s YA historical fantasy novel inspired by vampire myth. Okay, when I first heard about this book, I was super thrilled because Renee Ahdieh is one of my favorite authors and I love Vampire novels, but as I started to hear mixed reviews mostly complaining that it was a typical YA historical mystery novel, I was a little disappointed. So when I finally picked it up, I really didn’t expect to love it. Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed the story even though it was not what I had expected. I loved the characters, the gothic setting, and the storyline. I can understand why so many people got disappointed with it because this is more a historical murder mystery and less vampir-ish novel. You won’t see much of blood sucking vampires, but there’s some supernatural elements in it.
The story is set in New Orleans 1872 and our heroine Celine Rousseau flees from her dark past in Paris and arrives in Fave City for a new beginning. She’s taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls. She quickly becomes friends with one of the girl named Pippa. She’s quite enamored with the city and soon she crosses paths with the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain, leader of Le Cour des Lions. When one of the convent girl’s dead body is found at Le Cour des Lions, Celine becomes suspicious of him. Even if she’s attracted to him, she couldn’t trust him. When more bodies are discovered, she takes matters in her own hands by investigating the murder by herself and soon discovers that the murderer is now fixated on her.
Celine was a strong, witty, stubborn, and smart heroine. I quite enjoyed her character. She’s insecure about trusting others with her past. We get brief flashes and it’s pretty easy to guess what really happened. Celine tries hard to forget it, and move on with her life. Sèbastien is a bit cocky, mysterious, and arrogant, but I still liked him. He’s a guy with many secrets. He keeps his distance from Celine because he doesn’t want her enter into his dangerous world. Celine and Sèbastien develop forbidden feelings for each other. The romance was a bit isnta-lovey, but I still enjoyed every part of it.
The secondary characters were pretty good. I loved Odette, Pippa, Michael Grimaldi and Arjun Desai. Odette is one of the member of Le Cour des Lions. She likes fashion and loves wearing pants. Pippa is Celine’s best friend and the only one who understands her better. Arjun Desai is Sèbastien’s best friend. He’s pretty fun but quite deadly too. Micheal Grimaldi is the policer officer who’s incharge of the murder investigation. There’s some rivalry between him and Sebastien, and he’s also another potential love interest for Celine.
The plot was interesting filled with mystery, feminism, and romance. It has a slow start, but It didn’t bother me much because I really enjoyed getting acquainted with the characters and the world. Loved the diverse aspect. The mystery part reminded me of stalking Jack the ripper. Some might find the romance between Sebastien and Celine cliched, but for myself, I liked it. There’s no beautiful vampires in this book which is kinda disappointing, but I really hope we get some in the next book. The author’s writing was beautiful, as always. The book was written in multiple POV’s, and I’m glad we also got the murderer’s POV. I think no one could guess the killer. It’s so unpredictable. The setting was great. Renee’s words made this world come alive. I loved the descriptions of the food, the city, and the clothes. I hope there’s more supernatural elements and vampires in the next book.
Overall, I loved this book! It concludes with a huge cliffhanger and I’m dying to know what happens next.
If you love historical YA murder mystery mixed with a dash of romance and supernatural elements, then definitely give this a shot.
So, What do you think of this book? Have you read it yet? Do you Plan to read it?
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