I love Jen Calonita’s books. Her stories a fresh, clean, and fluffy. While sometimes the plot may seem a little predictable, I am guaranteed a smile or two when I read her light and breezy prose. So let’s see if Belles falls into the Calonita tradition of great easy reads.
General Summary: Izzie Scott’s grandma and her have been by themselves for years and have gotten along quite well, thank you very much. However, Gram’s health is failing and she is unable to take care of Izzie and soon Izzie finds herself moving in with her long lost and very rich relatives. Soon Izzie finds herself trying to deal with high society and her snooty pants cousin Mira.
You will either really like this book or really not like this book. The reason I say this is there are parts of this book that are rather cliche. In order to enjoy it, you just have to let it go. I did and found the book to be a delightful read while I sat in the cardiologist’s office the other day.
The book is pretty sweet. I actually liked it better then Calonita’s other because it deals deal with some tough subject matters while Secrets of My Hollywood Life is pure fun.
For the most part the characters in Belles are pretty well developed. Some of the supporting characters are a little one dimensional. But both the leads are fully developed.
Best Feature: High Society: This book explores life of North Carolina’s rich and fabulous. Meaning it makes for a pretty juicy read. Sort of like Desperate Housewives for the teen set except without poor dead Mary Alice and the rampant random neighborhood mysteries. Okay, so there are a couple of mysteries here. But at heart his book is about family. A very rich family.
Worst Feature: Savannah: She’s mean, she’s evil. And honestly at times she felt a bit unrealistic because of her bitchiness. I like a good mean girl in a novel, but sometimes I want there to be little flashes that a human being might exist under that plastic facade. Savannah didn’t have the flashes, Mira however did. So while I did have a problem with Savannah, I will commend Calonita for making Mira likable.
Appropriateness: Clean as a whistle. After reading City of Lost Souls and all it’s grittiness, Belles was refreshing and charming. There’s nothing really inappropriate about this book. Middle graders could easily read it.
Blockbuster Worthy: You know, it surprises me that none of Jen’s books have become movies or a television series yet. I think Belles would be perfect on the CW. They always in need for a good soapish like series and this is definitely it. Here’s who I’d cast for some of the roles:
Mira: Amanda Seyfried: While Mira is described as a brunette in the book, I can’t help but think of Amanda when I think of her. Perhaps it’s because she’s a Mean Girl’s second in command.
Izzie: A part of me wants to say Amanda Bynes (a la What a Girl Wants) because her character in that movie remind me a lot of Izzie But as of late, Amanda doesn’t really look very Izzie-ish so there goes that casting pick.
Overall Rating: Seven out of ten belles. I liked this book despite the fact it’s a bit cliche. It’s one of those juicy reads that you don’t want to put down even though you know you should.