ARC Review: The Belles // Dhonielle Clayton



The Belles
Dhonielle Clayton
Release: February 20, 2018
Page Count: 512

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for
they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton was a diverse novel with a surprising twist of betrayal, beauty combined with fun aspects of a futuristic world. I enjoyed The Belles a lot more than I thought I would, I’ll admit it.


  • Fantastic character development! I LOVED CAMELLIA! Our main character Camellia was just absolutely perfect. First of all, a black main character is always fantastic. Second of all, Camellia is just a great character, she expresses all the amazing qualities of being human (for a Belle?). Camellia was so well rounded, there wasn’t a single aspect of her that was flat.
  • Unique concepts! OH MY GOD. The concept of Belles was just so fantastic. And it wasn’t just the Belles that made me want to scream because the world they live in is just so depressing yet…interesting at the same time. I wanted to know more. I can’t delve too far into details, but the world The Belles is set in is one where everybody lacks color, everyone is grey. Except Belles. And the Belles’ job is to use their abilities to make those who can afford to pay, beautiful. Colorful.
    • A side note, as I’m writing this, within the novel, Belles are considered daughter of a goddess. We have a black girl in a position of power. God, this book is just too fabulous.
  • EDGE. God there was so much edge. I was on edge the entire time. There was never a dull moment. To add, The Belles is quite a lengthy novel, however because the plot was so well paced and quick, I burned through this pretty quick.
  • Fantastic Writing. I loved the writing, this is my first novel by Clayton and I loved it. I especially loved the detail the author delved into. I could picture every detail in my mind as I was reading some of the makeup-y parts.


  • Am I allowed to say that I’m upset I probably have to wait like another three years for the second book? Who cares, I’m saying it. This is the only thing I dislike.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton was a diverse novel with fantastical aspects and amazing characters. I apologize you have to wait so long. This novel blew my mind away it was so good. Add this book to your TBR as soon as you can, you won’t have any regrets. This book will kill you from the inside out.




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