Title – The Beautiful
Author – Renée Ahdieh
My Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre – Fantasy
Publication Date – October 8th 2019
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.
When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair–the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks–Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose–one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.
First Thoughts ✨
The start of this novel set a very good atmosphere for the rest of the story. It was the perfect amount of eerie while also being full of excitement of the bustling city of New Orleans. Renee’s writing is so beautiful and descriptive that I felt like I was there – I was in New Orleans and I heard, felt, saw and smelt everything. I can’t wait to read more from Renee as her writing was so captivating.
Ah, the premise of the story did not disappoint! I got what I was expecting and more! This book basically centres around a mystery happening around our main character Celine. I quite enjoyed that – but the characters really lead the story – which was unusual as this is the first book of, what I think will be a long series. Everything just felt so woven together – it didn’t feel jumbled – it was very cohesive!
Celine: Ah, Celine was pleasure to read about! Her spunk and constant ‘rise-up’ attitude was a breath of fresh air. I love YA heroines that feel human. Not ones that seem to be immortal and are never hurt by anything. Celine felt so relatable and just in a state of battling. She was always was ready for anything – and her lines were nothing short of perfection!
Sebastian: I can’t talk enough about this character. He was the typical broody, dark – but is nice, character. He added a great contrast to what Celine was. He never felt whole to me. He was Celine’s second half, but while she could live without him – I don’t think he can. I can’t wait to see him explored more in the second book – because he remained a mystery for most of this book.
Michael – I liked Michael more as the main-male character. I felt like we got to know him more than Sebastian, even though he got less page-time. He was another very human character. (are you seeing a trend here?) His wit was unmatched in this novel and I felt myself biting my knuckles while reading his parts.
Pippa: I don’t really have much to say about Pippa as she was a very, very side-character character. I loved her scenes and felt like she was so meant for that time period – she really portrayed her time period very well!
Last Thoughts 💭
The end of the novel was a very, wait for the second book, type of ending – which slightly vexed me but I can’t wait for the second book! I can’t really talk about the ending without spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that!
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
thank you Hodder for sending me and ARC.
Make sure to pick up the Beautiful when it comes out!
Thanks for reading – Nick.