I read this one a while ago but finally got around to writing down this review. Renee Ahdieh blew me away with her The Wrath and the Dawn duology so obviously I was very excited for this new series. It’s also about time that we get some new YA vampire books. Let’s see what I thought about this YA fantasy set in historical New Orleans.
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.
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1) by Renée Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on 08/10/2019
Cognez au nid de guêpe, et vous serez pique. Strike a wasp’s nest, and you will be stung.
I love this cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous and the vibe fits the story perfectly. I really like the color scheme and the typography is beautiful. The cup that spills rose petals also has a bit of a dress shape to it and I like that you can see different things in that one image.
Trust in this important lesson I learned long ago: Rage is a moment. Regret is forever.
The Beautiful starts off with Celine Rousseau arriving in 1872 New Orleans. She had to flee Paris and is taken into a convent with a couple of other girls. Soon someone gets murdered and she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.
What I loved about The Wrath and the Dawn was the writing style and the epic romance. So of course those two elements were what I was hoping for in this story. And I’m happy to say they were both present. The writing style fits the story perfectly and draw the picture of historical New Orleans perfectly. I also quite liked the romance.
The story is pretty slow paced, something I don’t mind but a lot of people seem to do mind it. Because the story is slower paced, we get quite some time with the writing, the location and most importantly the characters. Luckily the actual plot was also quite interesting and I couldn’t wait to find out how everything was connected.
And the infinite captivates us because it allows us to believe all things are possible. That true love can last beyond time.
In between the chapters we get a short ‘chapter’ in the POV of the killer. I really like books that are formatted like this. You get a look inside the head of the villain but you don’t quite know who it is yet. And I didn’t guess the murderer at all! It was a nice twist and I’m very excited for the sequel The Damned.
I think a lot of people will be disappointed by the vampire part of the story. This is also part of the slow paced way of writing, we don’t get to see much of actual vampires during most of the story. In the end this pays off quite nicely and I’m expecting more vampire stuff in the next book.
There are a couple of interesting characters in The Beautiful but I don’t want to say too much about them. I think they are mostly characters you need to meet for yourself! Celine is our main character and she was interesting the figure out. She has a secret at the start, and while I figured it out pretty early on, I did really ‘like’ what happened. While Celine wasn’t my favorite character, I did like her as a MC. If I have to pick a favorite character, it might be Pippa, Celine’s friend. She was supportive and soft and I just loved her.
She was no lamb. She was a lion.
After that ending, I need the sequel now! I also just found out this will be a quartet and not a duology. So it makes sense the story is a bit slower paced. I can’t wait to see where Renee will take this story. Have you read The Beautiful yet? Or any other Renee Ahdieh book? Come talk to me in the comments!