The Resource The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton

Label
The Belles
Title
The Belles
Statement of responsibility
Dhonielle Clayton
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. Camellia Beauregard wants to be the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But she soon finds that behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets. When the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia faces an impossible decision
Member of
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Award
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2019.
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2018.
Review
  • Grades 9-12 /* Starred Review */ Clayton’s latest imagines a world in which the drive for perfection is also the greatest ruin. In Camellia’s archipelago world of Orléans, a Promethean legend has it that the God of the Sky fell in love with the Goddess of Beauty but soon grew jealous of the attention she gave to their children, the first humans. In punishment, he cursed them with ugliness: “Skin the color of a sunless sky, eyes the shade of blood, hair the texture of rotten straw, and a deep sadness that quickly turned to madness.” In retaliation, the legend goes, Beauty made the Belles. Now, beauty is the ultimate commodity. Camellia is one such Belle, a beautiful girl who is blessed, like her sisters, to transform the gray and ugly bodies of the citizens of Orléans into something beautiful—for a time. Camellia and her five sisters have just turned 16 and are about to take their places in society, where they will, for an exorbitant fee, work their magic upon the citizens of Orléans when the people’s beauty starts to fade. For one Belle, that place will be in the imperial palace alongside the royal family. Like all her sisters, Camellia wants desperately to be chosen as the favorite, and though her talents are strong, her reluctance to follow directions may keep her from the ultimate prize. Despite the magic in Camellia’s blood, beauty in Orléans is also pain. The expensive treatments Camellia performs can be torturous for the customer, but they drain Camellia of her own energy, which can only be replenished by having her blood treated with leeches. But above all other things, beauty here is deception. It’s not long before Camellia realizes that the life she has been trained for and the world she has been prepared to enter are nothing more than mirages. The royal family is facing terrible challenges: a crown princess who has been in a mysterious sleep for years and a second daughter whose ascension to the throne could be disastrous. Camellia and her sisters have been kept in the dark most of their lives about their powers and strengths, and when Camellia is asked to use her Belle magic in ways it’s not intended, she finds herself caught up in a political plot and faced with impossible choices. In many ways continuing a conversation that began in Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, Clayton examines the price of beauty in a society that reveres it. Unlike in Westerfeld’s series, race isn’t edited out of Clayton’s universe, and she’s altogether wily about describing beauty, especially when it comes to skin tone—skin is “the color of toasted walnuts,” “the rich color of honey bread,” “a sugared beignet fresh from the oil.” It’s a clever indictment of the way women of color in particular are often portrayed in literature today, in a way that fetishizes and commodifies them. And Camellia, despite her status and her abilities, is often subjected to both. Clayton impressively offers up a series starter that, despite its broad commercial appeal, doesn’t shy away from facing uncomfortable truths in our own society. The dual natures of ugliness and shame, the commodification of beauty and of women, the drive for perfection at any cost, the widening of one girl’s moral landscape—all of it comes into play here. But even as it does, the action never slows, and the rich, rotting world never wavers. Readers may be almost grateful for that cliff-hanger ending—it means there’s more to come. -- Reagan, Maggie (Reviewed 12/1/2017) (Booklist, vol 114, number 7, p52)
  • POPGr 8 Up—When the Goddess paid more attention to her children, the humans, the God of the Sky became jealous and cursed them to have skin of colorless sky. Never one to abandon her children, Beauty created The Belles to bring beauty back to the damned. Camillia Beauregard and her sisters are Belles, vessels of beauty, and their time has come to save Orleans from a life of unbearable sameness, but they must first be placed in houses. The coveted position is The Favorite, and to serve the royal family. Camillia desires to be chosen Favorite like her mother and when her time comes to shine, she is unforgettable. Sophia the Queen Regent does not forget her. As Camillia begins her life of royal servitude, she starts to see the underbelly of her world—mysterious cries within the walls, veiled Belles of a time passed, and people who risk their lives to be beautiful. The grandest realization is the volatile temperament of Sophia. Camillia must make a choice—be the vessel of beauty and follow every command or use her powers to save her world from Sophia. Clayton has created a world full of lush colors, beautiful people, and delicious desserts. Strong themes are interwoven in this fantasy, including choice and envy. This work challenges readers to reflect on their notions of beauty. Through the actions of the characters, teens will understand what a beauty-obsessed world really looks like and that possessing conviction and selflessness is just as beautiful as outward appearances. VERDICT A must-have addition to libraries with fans of The Selection by Kiera Cass.—Dawn Abron, Zion-Benton Public Library, IL --Dawn Abron (Reviewed 01/01/2018) (School Library Journal, vol 64, issue 1, p86)
  • Sixteen-year-old sisters Camellia, Edelweiss, Ambrosia, Padma, Valeria, and Hana are the new generation of Belles, young women who are responsible for keeping the citizens of Orléans beautiful, magically transforming their appearances to align with the latest trends. Descendants of the Goddess of Beauty, the Belles are paid to perform their magic to prevent their people from reverting to pallid, red-eyed creatures, their natural state. Talented Camellia believes that she will be selected as the Queen’s favorite, a role the sisters covet deeply. But when another Belle is chosen, and Camellia is assigned to a teahouse to perform beauty rituals on the wealthy, she begins to wonder if what she has always believed about the Belles is true. Clayton (coauthor of Tiny Pretty Things) creates a vivid island world in this enticing series opener, saturating the narration with lush descriptions (“Carts hold tiers of pastries frosted in rose-petal pinks and pearly whites and apple reds, flutes overflow with jewel-tone liquids”) that reflect the culture’s obsession with elegance, appearance, and luxury. Readers will be left with much to consider about morality, individuality, and the malleability and artificiality of beauty. Ages 14–up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Literary. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed 11/20/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 47, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In Tiny Pretty Things co-author Clayton's solo debut, beauty comes at a price. On their joint 16th birthday, Camellia and her five sisters are sent out to restore beauty to Orléans, where everybody is born gray and ugly. They've been training for this their whole lives. As Belles, the sisters can use their magic to transform the citizens of Orléans from their original states. For the right price, Belles can grant any desired look. When Camellia secures the coveted spot of Her Majesty's favorite, it seems as if her dreams have come true. As the most powerful, sought-out Belle, she is in charge of the royal family's looks. However, the princess is insatiable in her quest for beauty and will do anything to get it—even if it means endangering the Belles and the kingdom—and Camellia may be the only one who can stop her. Not only that, but Camellia finds herself slowly uncovering the secrets of the Belles' origin, and it's not as pretty as she was taught. With wonderfully descriptive language, Clayton builds a grand and lavish world, carefully chipping away at the veneer to reveal its dark, sinister interior. In a world where anyone can change their skin color as often as they can change their hair color, race is fluid. Camellia is brown, and her sisters are various shades of brown and pale. With a refreshingly original concept, this substantial fantasy, the first in a duology, is an undeniable page-turner. (Fantasy. 14-adult) (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2017)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10599323
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Clayton, Dhonielle
Dewey number
  • [Fic]
  • 813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3603.L398
LC item number
B45 2018
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Belles ;, The
Series volume
1
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Beauty, Personal
  • Beauty, Personal
  • Nobility
  • Magic
  • Teenage girls
  • Beauty, Personal
  • Fantasy
  • YOUNG ADULT FICTION
  • YOUNG ADULT FICTION
  • YOUNG ADULT FICTION
  • Beauty, Personal
  • Magic
  • Nobility
  • Teenage girls
Target audience
adolescent
Label
The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Series information from goodreads.com
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn970641578
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
434 pages
Isbn
9781484728499
Lccn
2016054241
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)970641578
Label
The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton
Publication
Copyright
Note
Series information from goodreads.com
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn970641578
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
434 pages
Isbn
9781484728499
Lccn
2016054241
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)970641578

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