by Jen Calonita
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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 life of Emerald Cover 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, Isabelle finds out a secret about her new family that she can’t ignore.
Plot: The plot of ‘Belles’ is very predictable and reminded me of many other books and movies. The twists and turns really weren’t all that exciting and the big secret at the end wasn’t all that shocking, however, I still really enjoyed it. It was just what I expected it to be; cute, quick and fun to read. I was very pleased to find out that this is in fact a new series, I can’t wait to see what happens next with the Belles.
Characters: The characters definitely made up for the plot’s lack of unexpected twists and turns. They were all relatable and likable (except for Savannah and her minions of course). The alternating view points made it really easy to get to know Izzie and Mira. Both girls have misconceptions about each other and by including the alternating view points, we get to actually see who each girl is and not who each girl thinks the other is which was great because both girls are very, very different. Izzie is really down to Earth, knows exactly who she is and won’t take crap from anyone, while her cousin, Mira, has a harder time breaking away from her circle of popular friends and being herself. It frustrated me every time Mira plotted against her own cousin. After all, family first, right?
Cover: The cover is simple, cute and girly and I’m assuming the girl on the cover is supposed to represent Izzie? I like it, I would definitely pick it up if I came across it in stores.
Overall Impression: I absolutely love all of Jen Calonita’s books and this one was no exception!
Rating: * * * *