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The Beautiful

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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 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 La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien'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.


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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 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 La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien'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.

30 review for The Beautiful

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    No matter where she went, danger followed. And it horrified her. Just as it thrilled her. I did end up quite enjoying The Beautiful. Let's face it, mix in some scary vamps with a sexy forbidden romance and how bad can it be? Still, there were a number of issues that prevented me from loving it. But it is a book for teens, and after nine years on Goodreads I'm somewhat less of a teen than I was when I started. So I don't feel like being too harsh. It's 1872 and Celine Rousseau has just arrived in No matter where she went, danger followed. And it horrified her. Just as it thrilled her. I did end up quite enjoying The Beautiful. Let's face it, mix in some scary vamps with a sexy forbidden romance and how bad can it be? Still, there were a number of issues that prevented me from loving it. But it is a book for teens, and after nine years on Goodreads I'm somewhat less of a teen than I was when I started. So I don't feel like being too harsh. It's 1872 and Celine Rousseau has just arrived in New Orleans, fleeing her life in Paris and a dark secret. She is taken in by a convent and lives with six other girls until the nuns can find a "suitable match" for her. If you've ever been to the French Quarter of New Orleans, you will know the intoxicating otherworldly vibe the city gives off-- and it is undoubtedly the perfect place for a supernatural murder mystery. Which is exactly what Celine soon finds herself caught up in. Bodies drained of blood begin to appear, and Celine can't help but believe it is all linked to the mysterious La Cour des Lions-- an underground society made up of those with special abilities. The leader is the equally mysterious Sébastien Saint Germain, who Celine can't seem to get out of her mind. Thrills abound! One of the major issues I had was that I have no idea why this book is set in the 1870s. Nothing is done with the historical aspect, and all the atmosphere of the novel comes from New Orleans itself and could have been achieved just as easily with a modern setting. The jarring anachronisms made it really difficult to believe this was 150 years ago. Celine herself thinks and talks like a modern girl who has time travelled back to the 19th century, and the early mentions of the sexism and racism of the time seem to have no real bearing on the story. La Cour des Lions appears to treat men and women, people of colour, and LGBTQ people equally. Why bother even having it be a historical novel? There's also so much repetition. And not all of it is convincing. Take Bastien. The first time Celine compared Bastien to the devil, it was quite sexy. By the fiftieth time, I was so sick of hearing him referred to as "the devil", "Lucifer", or "devilish". Not only was it tiring to read, but after a while I found myself wondering just what Bastien had done to earn such a moniker. He's so baaddd, apparently, but he spends most of the book being nothing more than a mild-mannered young guy who smirks a lot. The other repetition was about Celine's "inner creature" and, my god, I was getting serious Fifty Shades of Grey "inner goddess" flashbacks. Also, also, why is the lead police detective basically a teenager? And a gorgeous one at that? Actually, I know the answer. It's so we can have some kind of faux-love triangle in the next book, isn't it? And I say "faux" because who actually wants her to be with Michael?? Sexiness + vampires, though. I've never been able to resist that combo. I'll be back to see how this goes. That almost-sex scene was promising. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    not to be over dramatic or anything but the decline in popularity of vampire stories is one of the most disappointing decisions we’ve made as a modern society and I'm glad that's being remedied

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sabaa Tahir

    I read this book as Renee wrote it, which meant that she sent me sections of it, I read them and then got really upset because I didn't have more, and then pestered and bothered her until she gave me the rest. I finished it recently and it is FANTASTIC. An incredibly ornate, lush New Orleans; characters who imprint themselves on your memory forever; a story that is nail-biting and swoony and satisfying and tense ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And of course...VAMPIRES. This is a one of a kind book, by a I read this book as Renee wrote it, which meant that she sent me sections of it, I read them and then got really upset because I didn't have more, and then pestered and bothered her until she gave me the rest. I finished it recently and it is FANTASTIC. An incredibly ornate, lush New Orleans; characters who imprint themselves on your memory forever; a story that is nail-biting and swoony and satisfying and tense ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And of course...VAMPIRES. This is a one of a kind book, by a singularly original author. Add it to your TBR because you won't want to miss it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I say this with all seriousness: please let 2019 be the year we bring back vampires in YA

  5. 5 out of 5

    chan ☆

    definitely not for everyone, but it WAS for me :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    if theres one city that promises the haunting presence of the paranormal, its new orleans. and i, for one, am so happy the crescent city is finally being showcased in all is vampire glory. i was actually very worried to read this. its one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and the reviews that have been popping up have been a little less than positive. but either i read a different ARC or i am just a simple girl who doesnt need much to be entertained, because i found this to be quite if theres one city that promises the haunting presence of the paranormal, its new orleans. and i, for one, am so happy the crescent city is finally being showcased in all is vampire glory. i was actually very worried to read this. its one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and the reviews that have been popping up have been a little less than positive. but either i read a different ARC or i am just a simple girl who doesnt need much to be entertained, because i found this to be quite splendid. renee ahdieh is the queen of duologies so, while i admit that other readers are right when they say the pacing is super slow, i know a great foundation is built and the plot will be much faster paced in the next book. i will also concede that there isnt much focus on vampires. there is a great deal of mystery and secrecy surrounding the city and its society. while the reader can infer what many of the characters are, its never confirmed until the very end. based on the conclusion, the focus will definitely shift in the next book, with it being very vampire heavy. like i said, this felt like a foundation building beginning, which i didnt mind in the slightest. i feel so bad that this disappointed so many, but i thought it felt like a classic ahdieh story. so obviously, i loved it! ↠ 4.5 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest When this book was announced, everyone was like, "Woohoo! Vampires are back!" And I was sitting there in the corner, swathed in black and clutching a glass of wine, thinking to myself, "Fools! For some of us, vampires never left." You see, I love vampire stories and always have. For many, TWILIGHT was the "gateway book" into vampire fiction, but I'd been reading L.J. Smith's Night World and Bram Stoker's Dracula and Amelia Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest When this book was announced, everyone was like, "Woohoo! Vampires are back!" And I was sitting there in the corner, swathed in black and clutching a glass of wine, thinking to myself, "Fools! For some of us, vampires never left." You see, I love vampire stories and always have. For many, TWILIGHT was the "gateway book" into vampire fiction, but I'd been reading L.J. Smith's Night World and Bram Stoker's Dracula and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's Den of Shadows years before it came out; Lost Boys was my favorite movie, and I was trying (but failing) to cultivate Anne Rice, as I much-preferred the chunkier books of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro with their dense historic montages, and entire paragraphs that are odes to food and fashion as written by someone with a deep and undying passion for history. So, in short, I freaking love vampires. I want you to keep that in mind, that this review is being written by someone who is obsessed and has been for a while. It is important. THE BEAUTIFUL is about a girl named Celine who lives in a convent with a bunch of other girls in 19th century New Orleans. A beautiful terror is stalking the city, killing innocent girls. Celine is laboring under a "dark" secret that she must keep hidden at all costs. There's a secret society of beautiful people who are more than they seem. Everything is beautiful, even death-- because for some, it is not the end. *evil laughter* (Seriously, why haven't I been hired on as a blurb-writer, yet?) I don't want to go too deep in to the plot for spoilers' sake, but there's a love triangle between a mysterious, possibly supernatural boy and a police officer. The "attraction" between both is suspect, as Celine goes from hating both these boys to finding them charming basically overnight. There's a secret society that ends up welcoming Celine and she finds herself the obsession of a depraved and self-absorbed evil guy who likes to wax on and on about how powerful and artistic he is in his first person interludes, which had me rolling my eyes a little. Not much happens-- there's fancy dresses and some murders, but between that there's a whole lot of nothing and Celine's "dark secret" is actually kind of horrible (and not in a good way), and I honestly don't understand why it was such a big deal or why she felt so guilty about it. Celine is such a passive heroine and I really didn't like her. Oh-- and the book with no resolution. Because there's a sequel. Here's my person issue with Renee Ahdieh: all of her book summaries sound amazing. She writes books that, without picking them up and going only by the summary, sound exactly like the types of books I want to read. A retelling of Arabian Nights? YES. A retelling of the Ballad of Mulan? YES. A vampire story set in New Orleans and laced with Gothic elements? YES YES YES. But then I pick them up, and each time, like Boo Boo the fool from Yogi Bear, I end up finding myself betrayed all over again as I encounter not awesomeness, but very empty, pretty writing that is too busy being mired in its own overwrought nature to move the plot along; cardboard characters; and plots that literally take 400+ pages to accomplish what could have been done in 250. WHY. The biggest problem that I personally have with THE BEAUTIFUL is that it is a conglomeration of elements that appear to be borrowed or inspired by vampire stories that already did it better, and it still isn't a good book. The hero's name, for example, is Bastien Saint Germain and I did wonder if that was taken from or inspired by the alchemist, Count of St. Germain, especially since Sebastian's uncle is actually a count. He was a fascinating historical figure who made all sorts of weird claims, like that he was actually 500 years old. You might think that would make him ripe for being incorporated into a vampire myth, and you would be right, only Chelsea Quinn Yarbro-- that author I mentioned earlier-- actually already did that, with her Saint-Germain series. The concept of angsty and flamboyant vampires living it up in New Orleans is also not new or novel, as that was done by Anne Rice with her Vampire Chronicles series-- which then set the mode for ceaseless imitations and fanfic (despite Rice's "no fanfic" policy), especially in the 2000s, when Interview with a Vampire was made into a movie with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, and everyone suddenly decided that a vampire was a nobody unless he or she spoke with a French accent and wore a ruffled and very expensive cravat. Another similarity is that Anne Rice's hero is named "Lestat de Lioncourt" and the paranormal entourage Celine encounters in THE BEAUTIFUL is called "The Court of Lions." You also can't look at that cover and tell me that it isn't trying-- either actively or subconsciously-- to capitalize on the nostalgia and the branding of the TWILIGHT books. The black/white/red color scheme, the font choices, and the central photograph set against the black cover are all very reminiscent of the Twilight series' cover art, as well as several paranormal copycats that rose to prominence at the peak of the YA paranormal craze. To clarify, I'm not rating low because of these similarities, but because if the author was reading and researching into all these different worlds to write her own vampire book and still managed to write something that was mediocre and uninspired, that is 100% on her. What I think Renee Ahdieh was trying to do was to write a book that would appeal not just to her YA audience, but also to vampire fans who would notice all of these vampire references and clap their hands in excitement at each bat-winged Easter egg. That, if that is what she was trying to do, is not a bad tactic in principle and it really could have worked if this book had actually been what I, as a vampire fan, look for in fiction. I have no problem with books that were inspired by something else and have Easter eggs and clever winks and nods to their original sources if they do a good job and pay proper homage to what they're inspired by. That technique was precisely what made READY PLAYER ONE so popular. It was greater than the sum of its parts, but each individual part was also special on its own. Authors also should read, and actively, in the genres they want to write because it teaches them not just what they should do, but also what they shouldn't do. I've read books that were clearly inspired by other books but managed to do them better, case in point: Pippa DaCosta's Messenger Chronicles, clearly inspired by the paranormal science-fiction books of the 1960s and 70s, only with a strong female protagonist instead of an outmoded white guy with questionable morality. No, I'm rating low because this could have been the READY PLAYER ONE for vampire lovers, and it ended up being a tired, washed out imitation. That's a crying shame. If you are new to vampire fiction or like Renee Ahdieh's, um, unique writing style, then you will probably really enjoy this book. She has a pretty devoted fanbase and must be doing something right, even if I personally can't appreciate it. But if you are a veteran of books in the vampire genre and were hoping for something new or homage-worthy, or have been burned by Ahdieh's books in the past as I was and hoping that maybe she'd changed her tune, you should probably save yourself the disappointment and avoid this book. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!    1.5 to 2 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️

    2 Stars I'm kind of torn on what I want to rate this and how I want to review it. On one hand, I definitely found myself flying through the pages and being very interested in how things would play out...but on the other hand, I was also left with this feeling of unfulfilled satisfaction the whole time I was reading it. But let's back up a little bit. When I learned about this book, I was excited. This was my first Ahdieh book (although I have a couple of hers sitting on my shelf waiting to be 2 Stars I'm kind of torn on what I want to rate this and how I want to review it. On one hand, I definitely found myself flying through the pages and being very interested in how things would play out...but on the other hand, I was also left with this feeling of unfulfilled satisfaction the whole time I was reading it. But let's back up a little bit. When I learned about this book, I was excited. This was my first Ahdieh book (although I have a couple of hers sitting on my shelf waiting to be read) and I have heard nothing but good things about her writing. Also, vampires in 19th century New Orleans...very Anne Rice and all that jazz. I think a lot of people of a certain age (aka those who were teens when Twilight came out) have this erroneous belief that Twilight was the first big vampire book series to ever hit the stands. However, vamp stories have been around forEVER. During my teenage years, it was Anne Rice, Christopher Pike, Christine Feehan...adult, YA (before it was really called that), and romance...all there for the devouring. And devour I did. Did I read and enjoy Twilight too when it came out? Sure. But one of the unfortunate effects of the success of Twilight was the sudden over-saturation of the reading world of all things vampiric. Suddenly, everyone wanted to write about vampires. Especially romance and YA authors. Everyone wanted to be the next Stephanie Meyer in much the same way that so many have tried to replicate the success of Harry Potter. And, after any period of TOO much of anything, the pendulum always swings the other way. Meaning, it suddenly felt like authors were avoiding the vampire trope like the plague. And all we readers got to cleanse our palette a bit. So when this book was announced, it kind of felt like it represented the next coming of solid vamp stories, I suppose. Or maybe all of that is just my opinion and completely baseless. Either way, I was really looking forward to reading this and even joined the Book of the Month YA box so I could get this thing for a $9.99 steal. And all I can say is... The New Orleans backdrop was somewhat well done, although there was also a lot of French that never gets translated for the reader. Also, the world-building left a lot to be desired. There is the Court of Lions, something called the Brotherhood, and another group called The Fallen...none of which truly ever get explained, even at the end. None of the characters are fully fleshed out and the main romance is like a tree with pretty leaves - but no actual root system. Much like the writing. It's like Ahdieh is trying for purple prose (which I loathe by the way) but merely succeeds in sprinkling overwrought metaphors and similes that stand out like sore thumbs throughout a book already plagued by too many flowery scene descriptions (that don't actually describe much, by the way) and really poor character building. But most of all, I just didn't like Celine, our main character. I think she was supposed to come across as a sassy, strong woman who just wanted respect and equality as a female...but for me she merely came across as a whiny brat who bemoaned the horror and unfairness of being treated as a beautiful piece of meat with no brain (edited: and no I am obviously not talking about the attempted sexual assault she suffered here, snowflakes, I am talking about other references)...but would then turn around and try to use said beauty and wiles to get her way. It felt hypocritical and I didn't like or respect her as a result. In general, I just thought many things about this story were murky and convoluted. The world-building, the characters, their motivations...everything. You can definitely tell this is all meant to unfold over the course of a series. And Ahdieh seemingly wrote this in such a way as to hold enough back to keep us coming back for more. In my opinion, she just simply held back a little too much.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roshani Chokshi

    HI OMG THE NEWS IS OUT AND YOU GUYS ARE NOT READY FOR THIS. I had the extraordinary privilege to read this story in draft & it's intoxicating. THE BEAUTIFUL has that decadent, slow-moving horror that feels like a dream slipping to nightmare. It's like walking alone down a twilight street and feeling the snap of a branch behind you and that acidic heart-in-your-throat rush of knowing that you're being followed. Stalked.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Renée Ahdieh

    IDK . . . I guess if you like vampires and stuff, you’ll probably dig it IDK . . . I guess if you like vampires and stuff, you’ll probably dig it 😘

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    The October Fairyloot Unboxing! I hope I love this book!! Click on the GOODIES LINK below to see the goodies. THE GOODIES LINK OMG WELL SON OF A DAMN BISCUIT EATER!! I didn’t like it at all . Okay, I’m gonna have to drop all my book boxes if they don’t give me more books to love because it’s a waste of money. Thank goodness the goodies were freaking amaze balls! I was worried when I saw it was this author as I didn’t like one of her other books. She’s just not for me but I’m glad other people The October Fairyloot Unboxing! I hope I love this book!! Click on the GOODIES LINK below to see the goodies. THE GOODIES LINK OMG WELL SON OF A DAMN BISCUIT EATER!! I didn’t like it at all 😕. Okay, I’m gonna have to drop all my book boxes if they don’t give me more books to love because it’s a waste of money. Thank goodness the goodies were freaking amaze balls! I was worried when I saw it was this author as I didn’t like one of her other books. She’s just not for me but I’m glad other people like her work! 😉 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Oh lalala the idea of a book takes place in NOLA, one of my mystic, magical, gothic, entertaining city to pass a good time excited me so much. Mardi Gras celebrations, a crowded streets with its people dancing 24/7, delicious jazz quartets, boat tours around Mississippi river, cocktails at Carousel Bar and tours at the haunted places still perform voodoo (Wow! This city summons the witch hid inside me!) And of course it’s so normal to expect something spectacular from the author of “Wrath and Oh lalala the idea of a book takes place in NOLA, one of my mystic, magical, gothic, entertaining city to pass a good time excited me so much. Mardi Gras celebrations, a crowded streets with its people dancing 24/7, delicious jazz quartets, boat tours around Mississippi river, cocktails at Carousel Bar and tours at the haunted places still perform voodoo (Wow! This city summons the witch hid inside me!) And of course it’s so normal to expect something spectacular from the author of “Wrath and Dawn” series. The blurb warns us there are vampires, murder mystery and of course a forbidden, hot, heart throbbing, magical love story. JE SUIS SUREXCITE! DONNE MOI ÇA! See even my language settings turned into French because of too much excitement. To celebrate my new reading I opened up Dauvissat Domaine Vincent Chablis (bought with my mother-in laws credit card, when she finds out I’m sure she will make her counter attack by stealing my sweets at home. But thankfully we don’t have any sweets left! His big bellied boy a.k.a husband dearest already consumed them all including toothpastes, splenda pockets) But now I’m so ashamed to tell my total points are 3.45 rounded down to 3 stars ( if you ask me what happened to this critical 0.5 point, I say, LACK OF THRILLING PARTS AND ROMANCE ATE MOST OF THE STARS!) I was expecting too much but as I start to read I feel like inflated balloon and my big hopes to love this book begin to float accompanied by Pennyweise! At the late 19th century Celine Rousseau arrives in NOLA, escaping from her old life she had in Paris, leaving her dark past behind. She joins a convent, living with six different girls till a proper young groom is found for her to make an appropriate marriage. But the darkness surrounds the city, a killer on the loose reminds us Jack the Ripper who chooses the young woman victims to cut their throats. (He mostly chose the prostitutes, but this time murderer mostly chooses the woman with dark pasts. So he is the punisher of sinners, nothing new my friends!) Blood drained bodies start to be seen at the streets left behind. Celine thinks all those murders are connected to La Cour des Lions, a secret, mysterious underground society which has gifted members who have special supernatural abilities. All those definitions worked with me but at the end of the book I said: SO THAT’S ALLLLLL???? A weird and meaningless sacrifice for creating a cliffhanger to read the second book. IS THAT ALL FOLKS? ( Woody Wodpecker gives its signature laugh!) I felt betrayed because: I couldn’t catch anything so mysterious and special about Bastien. Celine and he spent only one night out together so maybe I bought the reduced version of the book because I couldn’t catch when they fall in love, what make them so attract with each other? Why Michael Grimaldi (reminds me of Michael Corleone before he chooses the dark side) fell for Celine so fast? Is there any secret spell the girl uses on the man so without spending so much time and seeing her at the first time make them fall for her hard! Where the hell were the vampires? As a die-hard Anne Rice books fan ( I even liked Charlene Harris’ True Blood- but not the books, the series are better –minus the last season, it was heartbreakingly big disappointment) I also didn’t much like author’s approach to the vampires. Please they are mystical creatures with splendid, heartbreaking past time stories! But the author chose to use vampire as the bad guy of the story ( By the way the twist about the bad guy is not a satisfying conclusion made me scream: GET OUT OF HERE!!! REALLLY!!!!!) What are the special gifts of the secret organization members? ( Odette tells she can see the future but she mostly acted like artificial, senseless, spoiled rich girl more than a clairvoyant!) My unanswered questions , wasted, juicy elements and potentials, frustration not to read more dark, bloody, mysterious book with hotter and heartbreaking love story FRUSTRATED THE HELL OF ME… BUT…I still have hopes the second book gives us the answers we need, more mystery, more twists, more love triangle and more exciting vampire stories. So I still left my 0.45 point for the potential. I know how talented and how an amazing storyteller the author is. So I’m still ready to give the second chance. Well at least I had an amazing wine, made peace with mother in law by accepting binge watch Breaking Bad series with her( Only that kind of mother-in law can stand me J , forced my husband cook me pasta corbonara in exchange my secret Kit Kat stash ) So life is still good and let’s move to the other book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    *sobs* I hate that I wasn't able to push through this one, but I think it's just a case of my not being compatible with the story. Life's too short to force myself to read a book that I probably wouldn't give a glowing review to, so please try this one for yourself and come back and tell me what a party pooper I am later. <3

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    DNF @ page 259: This just.. was not what I thought it was going to be and I am sad. I may pick it back up again in October, but I am not risking a slump this close to the ContemporaryAThon onto the next one! DNF @ page 259: This just.. was not what I thought it was going to be and I am sad. I may pick it back up again in October, but I am not risking a slump this close to the ContemporaryAThon 😅 onto the next one!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Umairah | Sereadipity

    Plot: 5/5 Characters: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Usually, I can't stand vampire books but I trusted Renée Ahdieh to write one that I'd enjoy and I'm glad that I did. The Beautiful was a glamorous, mysterious read- set in 1872, New Orleans- that had me spellbound throughout and I'm so excited for its sequel. Celine Rousseau was a dressmaker in Paris until a terrible event forced her to flee her life there and start a new one in the dazzling city of New Orleans. Soon, she became caught up in a gruesome murder Plot: 5/5 Characters: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Usually, I can't stand vampire books but I trusted Renée Ahdieh to write one that I'd enjoy and I'm glad that I did. The Beautiful was a glamorous, mysterious read- set in 1872, New Orleans- that had me spellbound throughout and I'm so excited for its sequel. Celine Rousseau was a dressmaker in Paris until a terrible event forced her to flee her life there and start a new one in the dazzling city of New Orleans. Soon, she became caught up in a gruesome murder mystery along with a group of people known as La Cour de Lions and she made discoveries that meant her life would never be the same again. Celine was incredibly reckless, she wanted to live life on the edge and experience everything it had to offer. She was also very headstrong and admirably confident- she knew who she wanted to be and didn't care what anyone else thought about it. However the main reason I loved her was because we both share a deep appreciation for delicious food and she loved eating mille-feuille almost as much as I do! I adored the other characters too. Odette Valmont was the kind of person I wish I was friends with and was always full of enthusiasm and humour. Sébastien Saint Germain was like a more refined and fancy version of Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows and his relationship with Celine was perfect. The writing and world building were stunning. Ahdieh's vibrant descriptions of New Orleans conveyed a genuine love for the city and I loved the way she managed to weave in themes of feminism and racism into the story too. Furthermore, I liked how many different languages were incorporated like lots of French and a bit of Spanish, Italian and more as well as multiple references to famous works of literature. It made for an extremely multi-faceted and engrossing experience- I felt like I could get lost in the world she created and never find my way out again. Also, the vampires were more subtle and elegant than I thought they'd be and didn't come across as tacky and annoying like they usually do for me (thank goodness they didn't sparkle). The reader is slowly fed information about them and there's so much that still hasn't been revealed that I'm assuming will be in the next book. A sparkling world, an endearing cast of characters and so much more. I loved The Beautiful and it most certainly didn't disappoint! Thank you to Hodderscape for providing me with a proof copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    Not in the mood for this book at the moment. I'm craving something light-hearted and cute, funny. Possibly something that will make me cry... evidently my mood is all over the place. -------------- I don’t know nothing about this book other than the fact that it is about vampires. Please don’t flop! Buddy reading with Nadhira!

  17. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I'm surprisingly okay with the fact vampires are making a comeback. And this definitely was gothic and darkly rich. It took a while for vampires to actually do their vampirey thing. Basically...the last 100pages But it was building it up, okay!!! The immortal kids need time time to reveal their secrets!!! They need to flirt darkly first! It followed Celine, a girl fleeing from Paris to New Orleans after committing a dark deed. So it was also hugely about feminism, about women striking out I'm surprisingly okay with the fact vampires are making a comeback. 👀And this definitely was gothic and darkly rich. It took a while for vampires to actually do their vampirey thing. Basically...the last 100pages 😂 But it was building it up, okay!!! The immortal kids need time time to reveal their secrets!!! They need to flirt darkly first! It followed Celine, a girl fleeing from Paris to New Orleans after committing a dark deed. So it was also hugely about feminism, about women striking out against cultural oppression, about racism and abuse of power, and legacy and murder. I really did like Celine, with her bit of Slytherin streak there. Also the female friendships were A+ and Odette and Pippa were incredible. I hope they feature more in book 2 because they were 500 x better than Michael (the police boy) and Bastien (the bad boy). Also am here for Odette, our favourite gay. Just anything she wants to do. Breathe? She's doing her best and I love her. It's basically a late 1800s murder mystery. If you like The Infernal Devices x The Diviners, this will definitely be for you. I did want more vampires but then the vampires came and were just so goth and stupidly secretive and angsty it was entertaining af. I am not laughing 😂 I just 😂I want to talk to a brooding rich cocky lordling boy from this era and ask if he ever needs to giggle when he starts growling at some girl that she has no idea how dangerous he is. Sure, Bas. You're adorable. I did however want and need more backstory. It dropped a lot of "omg !! gasp!! plot twist!" moments that I really had no understand for their depth? Because it's so deeply from Celine's limited perspective. Bastien narrates a few chapters, but I wish it'd been 50/50 split between them so we got the depth of what his uncle Nicodemus is on about and why Bastien is special etc. I still have no idea. It's probably because he's handsome. (Also it's instalove but they're dramatic KIDS AND I DON'T CARE.) This is a gorgeously rich and lavish tale, heavy on the description and outfits and decor, about vampires in the New Orleans and lustrous murder and age-old feuds. The cast is almost entirely POC which is incredible and absolutely wish more POC authors will take alllll the old YA tropes and rewrite them beautifully. I very much enjoyed empowered girls and all the food scenes. That restaurant scene killed me. Death by vampires? No. Death by Renee Ahdieh's food descriptions omg.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I received this book through Bookish.com It breaks my heart to not give this book 5 stars. If I had to describe The Beautiful using one word that word would be.... Fine. The Beautiful was just fine. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. I just expected so much more out of this book. The Beautiful was probably my most anticipated book of 2019 and in the end it just left me feeling meh. The characters were bland. There were barely any cool vampires The romance was meh. The Beautiful's only saving I received this book through Bookish.com It breaks my heart to not give this book 5 stars. If I had to describe The Beautiful using one word that word would be.... Fine. The Beautiful was just fine. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. I just expected so much more out of this book. The Beautiful was probably my most anticipated book of 2019 and in the end it just left me feeling meh. The characters were bland. There were barely any cool vampires The romance was meh. The Beautiful's only saving grace was the last 30-40 pages. The way the end of this book was written is how the entire book should have been written. I already know my opinion about this book will be in the minority. I know this book will be one of the biggest books of Fall and everyone will be raving about it but I just thought it was Fine. I will probably be reading book 2 but unlike with The Beautiful, I will be going into it with lower expectations. No rec.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ☽ TheBibliotheque

    Oh hell. Like we say in Spanish, all my joy went down a freaking pit. Alright, I have a lot of stuff to say and not a clue as to how to say it, so I’ll just start vomiting it all out. Let’s start with the fact that I have been thirsty for this book since I first heard of it. Basically because (a) vampires (b) New Orleans and (c) vampires again. And if you are thinking of leaving some bad shit about Twilight on the comments, please save it, because here we stan sparkling vampires. Anyway, going Oh hell. Like we say in Spanish, all my joy went down a freaking pit. Alright, I have a lot of stuff to say and not a clue as to how to say it, so I’ll just start vomiting it all out. Let’s start with the fact that I have been thirsty for this book since I first heard of it. Basically because (a) vampires (b) New Orleans and (c) vampires again. And if you are thinking of leaving some bad shit about Twilight on the comments, please save it, because here we stan sparkling vampires. Anyway, going back to the topic at hand, it’s not that I had extremely high expectations. But damn, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dying to read a vampire book. One by an author that many love and adore at that. And especially, when vampires seem to be making a come back (finally!). I would like to say that The Beautiful is not all bad (even if it turned out to be hella confusing). But in a way, I couldn’t help but feel that I was reading a drafty version that contained a really good idea that needed work. I know, who the hell am I to say something like that about an established author like Renee Ahdieh? And listen, I get it. I have no authority or expertise in writing. But as the mere reader I am, when I pick a book and I’m constantly confused by the way the characters behave, the direction in which the story is going, and how the plot is swaying from one side to the other without much sense, I am bound to think that maybe - just maybe - this book could have profited from some further work. Because that’s exactly my problem with The Beautiful. While the setting and the premise both are superb, the rest of the elements of this novel crumbled under their own weight. Starting with the main characters. After 425 pages, I feel like I know nothing about them. I wasn’t able to figure them out, much less love them. Not even one of them. But how could I when their personalities and motivations were so damn confusing. Celine. I don’t know if Ahdieh wanted to go with an unlikeable main character, but somehow that’s what she accomplished with me. I found very few redeeming qualities in Celine’s character. Maybe none, but hey, perhaps it is because I couldn’t - for the life of me - figure her out. While every other character seemed to be enamoured by how beautiful (the most beautiful of them all, obvs), fierce and witty she was, to me Celine was a never ending source of of frustrating. If anything else, she was confusing. A pendulum continuously oscillating between wanting power and adventure and being a lost, lone and poor soul that could never amount to anything. Going from hating Bastien to seemingly believe he was the only other soul in the planet that understood her. From telling him not to fall in love with her, to seek him out when he warned her time and time again that she should stay away. I also believe that a detail about her past that plays a role in the way she is could have been dealt in a different way (TW: attempt of rape). All in all, Celine was, simply, an irritating character. Bastien. While mystery can work in favour of turning a character - a love interest at that - more appealing, this boy was so wrapped up in secrets and deceit that I couldn’t even find him compelling. And coming from me, that’s saying something, because I’m the easiest most basic b*** when it comes to love interests. Bastien was the most promising character one out of the whole array of The Beautiful. I loved the fact that he was ruthless and cryptic but at some point, I felt like Ahdieh crossed the line with him. His character was just too much. He had too many names, the Ghost, the Devil, Lucifer… he was the most beautiful creature Celine had ever seen. He was a rich heir that at the same time was cast out because of his mixed heritage. He had immeasurable power at only 18 years old. His background dark, and his future darker. He didn’t want Celine and all of a sudden he couldn’t quite live without her. I found no substance, no way of empathising with him through his actions, besides what I was told about him. Which brings me to the point that pained the most. The romance. I just didn’t buy it, it didn’t convince me. And right here is where all your alarms should go the hell off. Because me? Not buying the romance? Most won’t even believe this to be true. Sigh. I am not disappointed, I’m just so very underwhelmed by this book. To the point that my favourite parts where the chapters from the pov of the villain. And even those, after finding out the villain’s motivations that were unveiled at the very end, make little sense now. So yeah, I’m not going to get into the fact that the prose was rather contrived at some points and therefore a bit hard to follow at times, because hey, the style did go with the setting. I’m also not going to discuss the blatant love triangle Ahdieh just set for book #2 (and certain blood feud that sounds extremely familiar - like come on Ahdieh). But I’ll say this, in my opinion, this novel had oceans of potential. And I swear, it was really really easy to win me over just with the setting and the vampires. But somehow it didn’t. Too many elements fell flat or half baked or just confusing. Like the ending, it created lots of questions instead of resolving them. The ending dismantled everything that was built throughout the book AND THAT LAST CHAPTER left me like Oh sigh, I really wish I could say I loved it, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. It just wasn’t, simply, that good. *A million thanks to Seji who grabbed an early copy at YALC for me. Rating: 2.5/5 ----------------- Pre-release thoughts. Is New Orleans a thing now? Are vamps coming back? BECAUSE I APPROVE.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    I-- I JUST-- I HAVE TO STAN OH MY GOD

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary S. R.

    [I did something to the synopsis for TVD/Originals fans somewhere in there] First, let's get the overused but utterly true pun out of the way: just look at The Beautiful cover Funny, right!? No. Now, let's get serious. I'm hear to warn y'all that this is a Vampire conspiracy and the bloodsucking terrors of the night are back to take over. Yes. We. Are. Doomed. It's not a coincidence that Jay Kristoff is also publishing a vampire series in 2020, nope. And guess what? I'm 99.9% sure Niklaus [I did something to the synopsis for TVD/Originals fans somewhere in there] First, let's get the overused but utterly true pun out of the way: just look at The Beautiful cover 😂 Funny, right!? No. Now, let's get serious. I'm hear to warn y'all that this is a Vampire conspiracy and the bloodsucking terrors of the night are back to take over. Yes. We. Are. Doomed. It's not a coincidence that Jay Kristoff is also publishing a vampire series in 2020, nope. And guess what? I'm 99.9% sure Niklaus Mikaelson is behind this comeback. Uhum, the Vampire King, the Original Hybrid, the Alpha, the Big Bad Wolf, the immortal bastard Klaus the Mad... What the synopsis says: 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. Blah blah blah. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. What I hear: In 1872, amid the rule of the Original Family of Vampires known as the Mikaelsons in New Orleans (1700s-1919), seventeen-year-old Caroline Forbes flees her life in Mystic Falls to avoid being hunted down by the vampire hunters, coming to the vibrant city that enamours her with its music, food, soirées and—especially—its danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy supernatural underworld, after catching the eye of the hybrid king, the enigmatic Klaus Mikaelson. What the synopsis says: When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt, blah blah blah. New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—blah blah blah; an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface. What I hear: When the body of one of the witches is found headless and drained of blood, the city shakes with the terror of a ripper on the loose...a ripper well known in the underworld, none other than the ruthless Stefan Salvatore. Caroline is determined to uncover the truth of whether her old love is behind the murders...but in the city's pursuit of the serial killer, old feuds awaken and the three factions—vampires, werewolves, and witches—tear eachother apart, turning the city of life into a city of the dead where, with the excuse of keeping the peace, any who cross the line are viciously executed by the king, the very man who has stolen her heart. And Caroline wonders if Stefan isn't a loose criminal but, in fact, under Klaus's wing and protection, here to do his bidding—a tyrant with absolute power amidst the fear which has gripped the land... Yup, that sounds better *nods* this might as well be a Klaroline+Steroline fanfiction 😋 *goes to sulk in a corner waiting for someone to redo The Originals* welcome to New Orleans, I guess *huffs*

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Langford

    2** This book was so meh. I was excited to delve in again and read about blood sucking vampires... and instead it just sucked out all the enjoyment from a book. The first half of this was probably a 3- I loved the allure and details of New Orleans and the possibilities of the supernatural. ... But that was it. Other than the setting of New Orleans everything else fell flat for me: there were too heavy/many descriptions of what the MC was wearing, not enough detail on the mysterious groups of 2** This book was so meh. I was excited to delve in again and read about blood sucking vampires... and instead it just sucked out all the enjoyment from a book. The first half of this was probably a 3- I loved the allure and details of New Orleans and the possibilities of the supernatural. ... But that was it. Other than the setting of New Orleans everything else fell flat for me: there were too heavy/many descriptions of what the MC was wearing, not enough detail on the mysterious groups of people, a MC constantly obsessing over power and an instant love that didn’t make any sense. All of the characters in this were pretty one dimensional which probably adds to the issues I had with the instant love- as the romance was so rushed and seemed to come out of nowhere. The plot at the end of the book I found was wrapped up too quickly and a “surprising reveal” just had me rolling my eyes. I found this book focused too heavily on the MC and the no-sense attraction to a rather dull character, rather than the vampires and murder which drew me to this book originally. Another issue is that if you do not know french / Italian this book maybe hard to understand. There were many sentences dotted around in these languages, where I would’ve found it helpful to have some form of footnote to understand the translation. Overall I just didn’t enjoy this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    ok so vampires are making a comeback and I am nothing if not ABSOLUTELY here for it! Thirteen year old me is reliving her Twilight obsession and I'm so ready for this!!!! Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vibur

    Alright, I adore Ahdieh's writing but this—this was an unremitting turmoil of agony and closed eyes-why-oh-whys. So. The story. The story was tortuously slow. To put it simply, it was a meaningless garble of hem-hawing and non-answers and woe-is-me inner monologuing. Now, I pushed through because I wanted to see the plot unfold at some point in time, but for the first half of this novel next to nothing happens—and at which point, I was deliberating whether or not to put an end to my suffering Alright, I adore Ahdieh's writing but this—this was an unremitting turmoil of agony and closed eyes-why-oh-whys. So. The story. The story was tortuously slow. To put it simply, it was a meaningless garble of hem-hawing and non-answers and woe-is-me inner monologuing. Now, I pushed through because I wanted to see the plot unfold at some point in time, but for the first half of this novel next to nothing happens—and at which point, I was deliberating whether or not to put an end to my suffering via self-asphyxiation, or y'know, via physically burying my face in this disappointing paper heap of a novel. Side note: if you're going to write a story about vampires, maybe include, I dunno, more vampires? I have very mixed feelings about the writing—there's a fine line between beautiful and absurd and this novel is about a toe-away from falling into the depths of guess-which particular side. (Somebody's eyelashes were described as "deliciously sooty", I kid you not.) Now, I am all for purple prose (really, I am!). But that didn't stop the tragic realisation—as it hollowed my insides and created a shell of my now-very-disillusioned self—that maybe, just maybe, I was getting tired of this utter. Abuse. Of full. Stops. It's a shame, because what beautiful descriptions we read are trapped in weirdly fragmented sentences. And as for the characters—or what I suppose those stale wafer things with pretty faces taped on were meant to be. First off, we have Celine, the strwong female character who did nothing more than bemoan the "sheer arrogance" of the opposite gender and stew in an unending cesspit of guilt and self-loathing and the bitter resentment of nineteenth-century feminism. Which wouldn't have annoyed me so were it not for the fact that the author felt the need to lay out these feelings for us every five minutes. And we get it already, Celine was not a "proper young woman" because, yes, she "lifted her chin" (the number of times I read this, I swear) and actually kept direct eye contact with another person—the sheer nerve of that girl, indeed! And please, let's not forget Bastien-slash-resident-dark-prince-slash-handsome-devil-Lucifer-slash-whatever-edgy-epithet-is-worthy-enough-for-this-embodiment-of-badboyness. (Except: he is kinda forgettable. Moving on.) Being the very attractive beings that they are, Celine and Bastien are naturally fated to insta-love from the first page of their meeting. Just. Ugh, how? Or, more importantly, why—ah, wait, actually, I do know why. But seriously, why? DNF at 50%. 1.5/5

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maggie ☘ (Wonderland-Reader)

    So the cover is AWESOME! The Twilight puns had been removed from the final synopsis, which is a good thing, as I know (hope) this book will slay entirely on its own regardless! If this book will be anything at all like the Originals, I'm going to be one happy reader! Bring on the dark and murder-y vampires! ***************************** Unpopular Opinion Time: I think indirectly making fun of Twilight in the synopsis of this new vampire book is just too conventional and unprofessional from whoever So the cover is AWESOME! The Twilight puns had been removed from the final synopsis, which is a good thing, as I know (hope) this book will slay entirely on its own regardless! If this book will be anything at all like the Originals, I'm going to be one happy reader! Bring on the dark and murder-y vampires! ***************************** Unpopular Opinion Time: I think indirectly making fun of Twilight in the synopsis of this new vampire book is just too conventional and unprofessional from whoever wrote this annotation (probs not the author). And although I am not a fan of Twilight, I'm not here for it, it's been done too many times for it to be even remotely funny now. At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful. And these vampires don’t sparkle. They slay. On a side not, even though the title is kinda ??? , I'm still really interested in this book as I really enjoyed the author's Wrath and the Dawn duology, and hoping for some The Originals vibes!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lilith Black

    Oh... VAMPIRES! I didn't know I need them back in my life until now!!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    ELLIAS (elliasreads)

    Three things: 1. My sister was almost named Celine LOL. 2. Um, we all dam know the love interest isn't going to be the serial killer. But if he is...literally kinda lame but also a plot twist we wouldn't see coming but IDK this is YA lmao. 3. V A M P I R E S??? Only reason why i click: 'want to read'. :) Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maryam

    ”We forget our dreams, but nightmares linger with us evermore.” Okay. I just finished this book so I’ll try to piece what I’m thinking as much as I can. To say that this was a disappointment would be an understatement. I’m frustrated by how some things turned out. And a little sad that I couldn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I wanted to :( I wanted to read this book for New Orleans, the vampires and Renée’s writing style. Here are some thoughts I had while reading the book (that I’ve written down) ”We forget our dreams, but nightmares linger with us evermore.” Okay. I just finished this book so I’ll try to piece what I’m thinking as much as I can. To say that this was a disappointment would be an understatement. I’m frustrated by how some things turned out. And a little sad that I couldn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I wanted to :( I wanted to read this book for New Orleans, the vampires and Renée’s writing style. Here are some thoughts I had while reading the book (that I’ve written down) and after I finished it. WHAT I LIKED: - The writing. I usually don’t go for the descriptive writing style but Renee’s style is just so...captivating. She captures you in the moment; makes you taste the food, smell the rich air, join the festivals and parades, hear the music, and just live in the moment. I’ve loved New Orleans since The Originals and she made it alive in my mind again. - Celine was a character that had depth. She was fierce and witty and didn’t let anyone talk her down. She has her own dark past and a fair share of dark thoughts. She craves to have the kind of power the men in her society have because of something that happened to her in the past. She was very bold and didn’t let societies rules confine her...but still she annoyed me in some situations and being in her head was somewhat repetitive at times but overall she gave something to the story and I admired her character. WHAT I DISLIKED: - The storyline is something we’ve seen multiple times in other YA books. girls are murdered and the main character sets on to find the murderer etc etc. The only thing that was unique about it was the vampires but still their presence was sparse and not until the last 25% of the book. I saw glimpses here and there but nothing pointing obviously that this character is a VAMPIRE, ya know? It was like toying around the concept and that just made me feel confused all the time. - The Court of Lions were an interesting, diverse community but the thing was that they have some kind of superpowers that we don’t know where it came from; if it’s unique to their kind or some other thing...even though they were a BIG part of the story they remained a mystery. - I don’t know what to make of Sébastian Saint-Germain. Do I like him? I’m not sure. Even though he was supposed to be an essential part of the story, he barely made an appearance. His character seemed superficial and I just wasn’t able to connect with him. - And of course as a result I didn’t care much for the romance even though there were some beautiful moments but I don’t know it just didn’t do anything for me. - A character named Micheal that is the police detective (who was a teenager and miraculously handsome. figures) was made to fall in love with Celine and it turned into a love triangle (confirmed in the last chapter oh god🤦🏻‍♀️) and I hated it. So unnecessary. - Now the part that confused me and frustrated me was the last 50 pages. Like what the hell was that? What happened? I DON’T UNDERSTAND SOMEBODY EXPLAIN IT TO ME. I don’t know who the hell is who because we have too many damn ‘mysterious’ POVs aside from Celine’s. I still don’t have a clue about the creatures/kind of demons in this book. Like what kind of creatures are the Court of Lions? What kind of creatures those unknowable people in the mysterious POVs are supposed to be? What the hell was that that happened with Sebastian. And Celine. Those last pages ruined the whole book for me and the events at the end were useless and unnecessary just to create a cliffhanger for the book. As you can see, I’ve put all my feelings into this review. The good and the bad. Thank you for those who stuck to the end of this and even though this wasn’t my kind of book doesn’t mean that it won’t be yours💕 Still debating if I want to add the sequel to my tbr or not..

  29. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    “It's easy to lose sight of what's real when you're lost in the stars.” representation: characters of colour (mc is half Korean, male MC is black and Puerto Rican, side characters include Portuguese rep, Indian rep and Chinese rep, lesbian rep. [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ・゚: *・゚:* 4 . 5 s t a r s *:・゚*:・゚ omgggg this was everything!!! I immediately fell in love with the setting, the characters and the main ship????? MY OTP. I honestly “It's easy to lose sight of what's real when you're lost in the stars.” representation: characters of colour (mc is half Korean, male MC is black and Puerto Rican, side characters include Portuguese rep, Indian rep and Chinese rep, lesbian rep. [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 4 . 5 s t a r s *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ omgggg this was everything!!! I immediately fell in love with the setting, the characters and the main ship????? MY OTP. I honestly thought I knew where this was going and who the killer was but I was dead wrong! I also love how there's still so many questions and we weren't given all of the answers so I can't wait for the next book!!! LOVE! “From my heart to yours.” trigger warnings: fatphobia, gore, murder, religion (catholicism i think?), snakes, racism (challenged), sexual assault (in the past), kidnapping.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    2 or 2 1/2 stars maybe??? Damn, I really wanted this to be the one that brought vampires back... or at least gave them a good showing. Now you might think that my history of struggling with YA means that I probably shouldn't have been reading this anyway, but.... it's vampires. I will give anything a go if cold-to-touch sexy undead people are involved. Even the sparkly ones. One of the first UF series that got me hooked was (early) Anita Blake and it cemented my love for all things dead and 2 or 2 1/2 stars maybe??? Damn, I really wanted this to be the one that brought vampires back... or at least gave them a good showing. Now you might think that my history of struggling with YA means that I probably shouldn't have been reading this anyway, but.... it's vampires. I will give anything a go if cold-to-touch sexy undead people are involved. Even the sparkly ones. One of the first UF series that got me hooked was (early) Anita Blake and it cemented my love for all things dead and shiftery. That hasn't much changed, so when I got a copy of this through my door, I was thrilled. Vampires in New Orleans?? Even if it's been done before, I'm still here yelling YES please. It's 1872 and our protagonist, Celine Rousseau, arrives in New Orleans via steamer, planning to forget her past and start afresh in a convent. She's one of seven girls in the same boat (wink), all passing the time until the 'right match' can be found. Of course, Celine sees a mysterious stranger on the first day and it all escalates from there. Romance. Dead girls drained of blood. A mysterious gathering with inexplicable powers. So far, so fine. Even though there's nothing new here, it would have been decent enough if not for the writing. It just doesn't work. At all. The book is overwhelmed by repetition. Celine's schtick is that she's #differentfromothergirls, with an inner darkness that delights in danger. But damn girl, stop telling me every 5 mins. Her entire inner life is excruciating. Even accounting for the fact that she's a young girl and I am not, the obsessive depiction of herself as unusual (read: special) was a bit much. Especially since the foundation of this seems to be an act of self-preservation that has her believing herself evil. Worse than that is the interludes by the evil killer also obsessed with her. Man alive, someone needs to get a grip. Genuinely the most villainy villain I've ever encountered. It's all so clunky. Everything dramatic to the nth degree. Scenes that go on way too long and make no sense. No depth to the emotion or characters. No tension or movement. Dire conversation. Zero emotional connection. Safe to say it wasn't for me. I've been looking at reviews for other books by the author and she seems to have a love it or loath it reaction. If you've liked her stuff before, pick this up and enjoy. Otherwise, avoid. ARC via publisher

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