Isabelle Scott’s life may not be easy, but she loves it. She is a star swimmer and lifeguard, has great friends, and has been spending the summer with Brayden, a cute surfer—though they’re just friends. But her grandmother, with whom she’s lived since her mother died five years earlier, is declining quickly, and Izzie’s whole world is upended. She’s whisked away from the poor, rough neighborhood where she grew up to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in the exclusive Emerald Cove.
Mirabelle Monroe leads a charmed life: her father is a former baseball star about to run for the United States Senate. She’s popular and beautiful and has a super cute jock boyfriend. But when her cousin, Izzie, comes to live with her family, her well-ordered world starts to unravel. It doesn’t help that Mira’s best friend and queen bee, Savannah, hates Izzie from the start, maybe because Izzie seems to be so close to Savannah’s boyfriend, Brayden. And Mira doesn’t know whether to choose her friends and status at school or her family.
As Izzie and Mira try to navigate their new lives, family secrets are dug up and the girls learn what friends and family truly mean.
Jen Calonita certainly has the inside scoop on young Hollywood. A former senior entertainment editor at Teen People, she has interviewed everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Zac Efron. An entertainment journalist for the past 10 years, she has written for TV Guide, Glamour, and Marie Claire. She lives in New York with her husband, Mike, sons Tyler and Dylan, and their Chihuahua, Captain Jack Sparrow.
©2012 Jen Calonita (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I read and review Young Adult lit!
I cannot believe how taken I am with Belles!
This is not a genre I enjoy at all - there is nothing more painful or vapid to me then pretty rich girls going to pretty rich girl parties and wallowing in pretty rich girl drama.
So why did I buy this book? I honestly have no idea! I think it was an expiring-credits impulse-purchase and it sat in my library for well over a year before I gave it a chance.
Then why the hell did I love it so much?!?! I think that all comes down to the characters.
Calontia has crafted related characters despite the over-the-top uber-wealthy prep-school world they inhabit.
They are all character you've seen before like the rags-to-riches girl out of her depth on a red carpet, the popular girl who feels out of place in the mean girl clique and begins to fancy the artsy scholarship student over her QB BF or the rich boy who doesn't want his parents lavish lifestyle and hides his love of surfing.
But Calonita has written them with all with real heart so I actually CARED about their otherwise 'champagne problems'.
She made them sympathetic and believable so I was completely invested in the story despite knowing exactly where it was going (including the 'twist' ending) from chapter one.
I loved it so much I have immediately purchased the next two books in the series and can't wait to spend more time in the characters lives!
I highly recommend this to YA readers who like luxe worlds and character dramas as it easily the best and most relatable I've ever read.
Another one I really enjoyed, a good listen that doesn't need your full attention. I reached the end of the audiobook and was disappointed that it finished - I found myself wishing it was the beginning of a series. Julia Whelan did a great job narrating, really bring the characters alive with her narration.
Not read the print version bought audio edition as had heard narrator before, my first book by Jen Calonita.
Good story to follow and relax or 'potter' while listening.
She is a good narrator and have enjoyed all her work so far.
I decided to try this book because it was on sale & I don't regret it. Belles was enjoyable to listen to and I got caught up in the characters easily. Interested to see how the series continues.
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
Yes, I first heard her narrate "Stay" and I loved her performance. She does a great job in this book also. She definitely adds to the high school melodrama.
It was a nice book. This would be perfect as a CW show. There was definitely a lot of "mean girl" drama which worked well with the story's setting: an opulent high school in the south where the rich kids rule. This is not a complicated tale. Very easy listen.
I thought I would try this book because it was on sale. It's not a favorite of mine but it was good for what it was.
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