New York Times Bestselling Author Ren E Ahdieh Returns With A Sumptuous, Sultry And Romantic New Series Set In Th Century New Orleans Where Vampires Hide In Plain SightIn , 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 Enad With The Vibrant City From The Music To The Food To The Soir Es 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 S Bastien 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 S Bastien S Guilt Along With The Shame Of Her Own Horrible SecretWhen Bodies Are Discovered, Each Crime 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 Shocking An Age Old Feud From The Darkest Creatures Of The Underworld Reveals A Truth About Celine She Always Suspected Simmered Just Beneath The SurfaceAt Once A Sultry Romance And A Thrilling Murder Mystery, Master Storyteller Ren E Ahdieh Embarks On Her Most Potent Fantasy Series Yet The Beautiful 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 S bastien 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 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 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 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 , 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 courseVAMPIRES 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. I say this with all seriousness please let 2019 be the year we bring back vampires in YA 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. and i say unto you YEE YEE BITCHES I GOT AN ARC IN HAND Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestWhen 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 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 IDK I guess if you like vampires and stuff, you ll probably dig it I truly believe with every molecule in my body that this is going to be literally everything I ve ever wanted. I received this book through Bookish.comIt 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 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.
- 448 pages
- The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
- Renée Ahdieh
- 05 November 2018 Renée Ahdieh