The Belles

Book review by Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Belles Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Richly imagined dark fantasy explores the price of beauty.

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 3 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for .

Community Reviews

age 13+

Wonderfully weird, and surprisingly addicting!

This was wonderfully weird, and surprisingly addicting. The story is so unique that I was a little unsure whether I liked it at first because it’s so different than anything I’ve read before. But I really grew into it! Clayton has a really beautiful writing style, she's very descriptive! In fact I'm blaming her for my over-snacking lately because those desserts she kept mentioning had my stomach growling. LOL There’s some amazing world building in this but at the same time – I needed more! She gave us just enough to be really intriguing but not enough to have a clear picture of where exactly we are. We have kind of an old world mixed with technology vibe – but not in a steampunk kind of way? I’m not 100% sure honestly LOL but it’s got some wonderful other-wordly elements that I loved. (Shout-out to post balloons and teacup elephants - I wish they were real!) I had this image in my mind that was constantly warping and shifting as I read which was great! I love it when authors play with the reader’s imagination a little bit, it was a lot of fun. I do have questions though and I hope to get some of them answered in the book(s) to come. I liked our protagonist Camellia a lot! I often get annoyed by female MC’s and she was great! She’s very relatable, strong and sincere. Since Camellia is somewhat isolated for much of the book we don’t get a lot of character development. However despite that I did feel a connection to several of the side characters and felt they had some depth to them. I love how much I hated our antagonist; you know a villain is good when you’re yelling at them while reading. The plot was mysterious, clever and just a little dark. There’s a wolf hiding behind this dolled up, floral cover (and I think we’ve all met him before). There’s a great, hidden darkness to the story, without the book feeling too heavy. I did see some of the “twists” coming (view spoiler) but overall I thought they very well executed. The last 100 pages are the strongest. I am really excited about the direction the story is going and can’t wait for the next one. It’s a story that’s going to stick around with me for a while. Trigger Warnings: Attempted Sexual Assault (mild)

This title has:

Great messages

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon magic wand on orange background
    Magic and Fantasy
    See all
  • Cartoon princess crown
    Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate