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The Beautiful

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New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. In 1872, 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 New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. In 1872, 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 enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées 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 Sébastien 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 Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more 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 more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface. At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.


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New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. In 1872, 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 New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. In 1872, 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 enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées 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 Sébastien 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 Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more 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 more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface. At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

30 review for The Beautiful

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    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 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 Sébastien 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 more 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

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sabaa Tahir

    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 more, 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 course...VAMPIRES. This is a one of a kind book, by a s 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 more, 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 course...VAMPIRES. 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    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

  4. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I say this with all seriousness: please let 2019 be the year we bring back vampires in YA

  5. 5 out of 5

    Roshani Chokshi

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    chan ☆

    and i say unto you: YEE YEE BITCHES I GOT AN ARC IN HAND

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest When 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 Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest When 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 more 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

  8. 5 out of 5

    Renée Ahdieh

    IDK . . . I guess if you like vampires and stuff, you’ll probably dig it 😘

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    *Arc provided via the wonderful Jamie! She snagged a copy for me at BEA at Meltotheany's insistence and I couldn't be more grateful!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I received this book through Bookish.com It 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 more 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 g I received this book through Bookish.com It 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 more 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary S. R.

    [I did something to the synopsis for TVD/Originals fans somewhere in there] First, let's get the overused but utterly true pun out of the way: just look at The Beautiful cover 😂 Funny, right!? No. Now, let's get serious. I'm hear to warn y'all that this is a Vampire conspiracy and the bloodsucking terrors of the night are back to take over. Yes. We. Are. Doomed. It's not a coincidence that Jay Kristoff is also publishing a vampire series in 2020, nope. And guess what? I'm 99.9% sure Niklaus Mikaels [I did something to the synopsis for TVD/Originals fans somewhere in there] First, let's get the overused but utterly true pun out of the way: just look at The Beautiful cover 😂 Funny, right!? No. Now, let's get serious. I'm hear to warn y'all that this is a Vampire conspiracy and the bloodsucking terrors of the night are back to take over. Yes. We. Are. Doomed. It's not a coincidence that Jay Kristoff is also publishing a vampire series in 2020, nope. And guess what? I'm 99.9% sure Niklaus Mikaelson is behind this comeback. Uhum, the Vampire King, the Original Hybrid, the Alpha, the Big Bad Wolf, the immortal bastard Klaus the Mad... What the synopsis says: In 1872, 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. Blah blah blah. 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 Sébastien Saint Germain. What I hear: In 1872, amid the rule of the Original Family of Vampires known as the Mikaelsons in New Orleans (1700s-1919), seventeen-year-old Caroline Forbes flees her life in Mystic Falls to avoid being hunted down by the vampire hunters, coming to the vibrant city that enamours her with its music, food, soirées and—especially—its danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy supernatural underworld, after catching the eye of the hybrid king, the enigmatic Klaus Mikaelson. What the synopsis says: 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 Sébastien's guilt, blah blah blah. New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—blah blah blah; an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface. What I hear: When the body of one of the witches is found headless and drained of blood, the city shakes with the terror of a ripper on the loose...a ripper well known in the underworld, none other than the ruthless Stefan Salvatore. Caroline is determined to uncover the truth of whether her old love is behind the murders...but in the city's pursuit of the serial killer, old feuds awaken and the three factions—vampires, werewolves, and witches—tear eachother apart, turning the city of life into a city of the dead where, with the excuse of keeping the peace, any who cross the line are viciously executed by the king, the very man who has stolen her heart. And Caroline wonders if Stefan isn't a loose criminal but, in fact, under Klaus's wing and protection, here to do his bidding—a tyrant with absolute power amidst the fear which has gripped the land... Yup, that sounds better *nods* this might as well be a Klaroline+Steroline fanfiction 😋 *goes to sulk in a corner waiting for someone to redo The Originals* welcome to New Orleans, I guess *huffs*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maggie ☘ (Wonderland-Reader)

    So the cover is AWESOME! The Twilight puns had been removed from the final synopsis, which is a good thing, as I know (hope) this book will slay entirely on its own regardless! If this book will be anything at all like the Originals, I'm going to be one happy reader! Bring on the dark and murder-y vampires! ***************************** Unpopular Opinion Time: I think indirectly making fun of Twilight in the synopsis of this new vampire book is just too conventional and unprofessional from whoever So the cover is AWESOME! The Twilight puns had been removed from the final synopsis, which is a good thing, as I know (hope) this book will slay entirely on its own regardless! If this book will be anything at all like the Originals, I'm going to be one happy reader! Bring on the dark and murder-y vampires! ***************************** Unpopular Opinion Time: I think indirectly making fun of Twilight in the synopsis of this new vampire book is just too conventional and unprofessional from whoever wrote this annotation (probs not the author). And although I am not a fan of Twilight, I'm not here for it, it's been done too many times for it to be even remotely funny now. At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful. And these vampires don’t sparkle. They slay. On a side not, even though the title is kinda ??? , I'm still really interested in this book as I really enjoyed the author's Wrath and the Dawn duology, and hoping for some The Originals vibes!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    ok so vampires are making a comeback and I am nothing if not ABSOLUTELY here for it! Thirteen year old me is reliving her Twilight obsession and I'm so ready for this! Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lilith Black

    Oh... VAMPIRES! I didn't know I need them back in my life until now!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    ELLIAS (elliasreads)

    Three things: 1. My sister was almost named Celine LOL. 2. Um, we all dam know the love interest isn't going to be the serial killer. But if he is...literally kinda lame but also a plot twist we wouldn't see coming but IDK this is YA lmao. 3. V A M P I R E S??? Only reason why i click: 'want to read'. :) Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (rachandbooks)

    Renee Ahdieh is writing a vampire murder mystery/love story set in 19th century New Orleans??? SIGN. ME. UP.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karima chermiti

    A paranormal historical fiction mystery that takes place in New Orleans with Vampires? October is so far away and I can't deal with waiting, I need this book like Yesterday. I'll be going NUTS

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    NEW ORLEANS? VAMPIRES? SIGN ME THE HELL UP.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh is an upcoming fantasy novel that takes place in New Orleans in 1872, and follows Celine Rousseau- a young woman who was forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris, and is taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent. Celine quickly finds herself enchanted by the city- as well as entangled with the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour Des Lions, after her run-in with the grou 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh is an upcoming fantasy novel that takes place in New Orleans in 1872, and follows Celine Rousseau- a young woman who was forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris, and is taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent. Celine quickly finds herself enchanted by the city- as well as entangled with the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour Des Lions, after her run-in with the group's oh so charming leader Sébastien Saint Germain. Following the gruesome death of one of the girls from the convent, Celine becomes suspicious of Sébastien as she battles her growing attraction for him, and keeps her own dark secrets buried deep. This was everything I hoped it would be, and then some! I don't find myself reaching for paranormal fantasy books as often as I used to, but this served as a quick reminder of everything I love about the sub-genre. It was atmospheric, there was a touch of horror, and the "who done it" element really added to the plot! Who doesn't love a good mystery? The only downside to reading this as an ARC is that this doesn't come out until October, so I'll have to wait even longer for the sequel, but I have no doubt in my mind that it'll be absolutely worth it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Berry

    My friend just got the arc in the mail and lent to me and... love her but mistakes were made. Super yikes. The Beautiful is being sold as some killer vampire romance murder mystery, set in a rich historical New Orleans. This ain't it chief. This book has shaded Twilight in the summary and said how this is the return of violent vampires in YA but the cover is even pretty similar to Twilight? Funny how it goes through all that to just be a discount, knock-off Twilight anyway. Here is a thing that is My friend just got the arc in the mail and lent to me and... love her but mistakes were made. Super yikes. The Beautiful is being sold as some killer vampire romance murder mystery, set in a rich historical New Orleans. This ain't it chief. This book has shaded Twilight in the summary and said how this is the return of violent vampires in YA but the cover is even pretty similar to Twilight? Funny how it goes through all that to just be a discount, knock-off Twilight anyway. Here is a thing that is so offensive and badly done: (view spoiler)[So our main character Celine killed the man that was trying to rape her. The ENTIRE book just keeps going on and on about how this teenage girl is a monster, a villain, and evil. For what? Defending herself? Are you serious? Celine is a strong, independent girl who has modern thoughts and no problem calling out men for being rude. Her calling herself evil for killing a literal rapist did not fit. Maybe if she were a different kind of character but she isn't. Maybe if it were other people demonizing her for this but it was all her own thoughts about herself. Killing to defend your life from harm does not make a villain that is on the same level as a vampire killing innocents but go off I guess. (hide spoiler)] The world-building wasn't good. The only world-building we really get is from a second person POV of the villain. Just imagine some killer sitting around and explaining things to no one, it was hilarious and so out of place. The rest of the characters aren't good either. We have some queerbaiting, insta-love, and even a pointless love triangle. I really do hate to drag everything in this book but seriously, none of the writing worked very well either. The book and several characters constantly go on about how Celine is the most beautiful woman in the world (tiny waist, large chest) and it was so pointless. She of course goes on about how gorgeous Bastien is the second she meets him too. Their insta-love was all about their looks, and don't even get me started on how there was another love interest for no reason. The other guy was only there because we needed a good guy to balance out that Bastien is the classic ~bad boy~. Also this book BARELY had any vampires at all? (view spoiler)[And when we finally meet one he just came out of nowhere with dumb motivations. We also have random people with lame powers and of course, werewolves and none of this even makes any sense. (hide spoiler)] Plus halfway there was another POV added that wasn't necessary. I'm so disappointed because this had such a chance to be good but it wasn't. Maybe it was just me, maybe I just don't like this author's work but this book was really messy. I'm still waiting for the return of vampires.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I liked the New Orleans setting and the whole convent girls arrangement, but a reinvention of vampires this is not. The "horrible secret" angle is entirely overplayed in a shallow way. This book will be very entertaining to someone less picky than me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    | releases: 8 Oct 2019 | Fantasy, set in New Orleans in 1872, but featuring vampires, and a city underground, and an investigation into underground murders, and maybe some mysterious protagonist backstory, aka all the things I’m here for at all times

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    watch Renee bring back vampires in YA!!! and omg I bet there'll be QPOC vampires!!! (if not, be prepared for a riot courtesy of moi)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    1/17/2019: The cover is BEAUTIFUL.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    How I’ve missed good vampire stories - and I will not spoil the marvelous twist at the end, but WOW! Left with a killer cliffhanger and SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! This is a work of historical and preternatural beauty. Romantic, fiercely feminine, and perfect for those of us who love vampiric YA.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tash

    i can't wait for renée ahdieh to make me love vampires again because i know for a fact that she will

  27. 4 out of 5

    mith

    VAMPIRES ARE MAKING A COMEBACK AND I'VE NEVER FELT MORE ALIVE

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    “But I was intrigued, for I possessed an errant young soul of my own. From Childhood, I hid it beneath pressed garments and polished words, but it persisted in plaguing me. It called to me like a Siren, driving me to dash all pretense against the rocks and surrender to my true nature. It drove me to where I am now. But I am not ungrateful. For it brought to bear two of my deepest truths: I will always possess an errant young soul, no matter my age. And I will always be the shadowy creature in da “But I was intrigued, for I possessed an errant young soul of my own. From Childhood, I hid it beneath pressed garments and polished words, but it persisted in plaguing me. It called to me like a Siren, driving me to dash all pretense against the rocks and surrender to my true nature. It drove me to where I am now. But I am not ungrateful. For it brought to bear two of my deepest truths: I will always possess an errant young soul, no matter my age. And I will always be the shadowy creature in darkened alcoves, waiting …” Yeah, that’s kind of a long quote, but you really get the vibes for the story so I couldn’t resist. The Beautiful follows headstrong Celine Rousseau as she leaves Paris and her past behind to embark on a new journey in a new city brimming with possibility and adventure. But when murders start happening around her, Celine fears the city’s danger isn’t as glamorous as she thought and she must uncover the city’s secrets to stay alive. Things I Liked As one would expect of Renée Ahdieh’s writing, The Beautiful was superbly written. There a sly grace that perfectly reflects the setting and genre for the story and creates the most haunting seductive and mysterious atmosphere. I really loved getting chapters from the murder’s perspective - they were both chilling and alluring, a perfect combination to keep you engaged. 19th century New Orleans was the perfect setting for a dark vampire story. You get the dark magic aura of the city combined with the way the city is intrinsically alive and thriving, even in the face of such a looming threat. I thought Celine was a very strong character. I loved (and respected) her zeal for life. She wants freedom and adventure and she will not be shamed for it. I really enjoyed seeing Celine come to terms with her identity after keeping her Asian heritage secret for fear of being outcast from society - she allows herself to embrace all of her parentage and it was great. She cares deeply for the select few she counts as friends, and she will protect them at all costs, even using the darkness she sees in herself. Sebastien is one suave aristocratic criminal leader. His charisma and charm will just pull you right in. He’s the epitome of a brooding bad boy, but that’s why you love him. I loved seeing him in the middle of the Court of Lions - the glitzy New Orleans underground crime ring -and it showed his power and sway among the people of New Orleans. Michael Grimaldi is probably meant to be a bit of an antagonist. As the police chief who keeps getting in the way of Celine’s investigation, he’s not high on her list of favorite people in the city, but there was something about him that I really liked. I feel like Michael and Bastien are two sides of the same coin, so of course I love them both. Things I Didn’t Like The angsty romance stuff was a little on the nose for me. While I did like Celine and Bastien, especially in the beginning, I had a few eye rolling moments the more they interacted. And there is most definitely going to be a triangle of some sorts, or at least a one sided triangle that may cause some complications for the couple in the future. While I really enjoyed basically everything, I do think that The Beautiful suffered from book 1 syndrome, where the end of this story felt like the climax for the overall story and not really something that hold very strongly on it’s own. And there was some stuff that wasn’t addressed yet that I think is important for the overall mythology, but I am very eager to learn more about this world and the supernatural creatures that inhabit it. The Beautiful brings seductive supernatural creatures back to the forefront of YA with enchanting writing, mesmerizing characters, and a setting as deliciously wicked as the creatures that haunt it. I was hooked from the very beginning and I did not want to stop reading. Even though there were a few weak spots for me, I loved each element so much that I’m eagerly awaiting book 2. And the inclusion of more supernatural creatures! “I’ve heard many people say tragedy shapes us,” Bastien continued. “But I am not the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, nor am I the worst thing I’ve ever done. Nothing in life is that simple.” I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to cahnge.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    2 or 2 1/2 stars maybe??? Damn, I really wanted this to be the one that brought vampires back... or at least gave them a good showing. Now you might think that my history of struggling with YA means that I probably shouldn't have been reading this anyway, but.... it's vampires. I will give anything a go if cold-to-touch sexy undead people are involved. Even the sparkly ones. One of the first UF series that got me hooked was (early) Anita Blake and it cemented my love for all things dead and shifte 2 or 2 1/2 stars maybe??? Damn, I really wanted this to be the one that brought vampires back... or at least gave them a good showing. Now you might think that my history of struggling with YA means that I probably shouldn't have been reading this anyway, but.... it's vampires. I will give anything a go if cold-to-touch sexy undead people are involved. Even the sparkly ones. One of the first UF series that got me hooked was (early) Anita Blake and it cemented my love for all things dead and shiftery. That hasn't much changed, so when I got a copy of this through my door, I was thrilled. Vampires in New Orleans?? Even if it's been done before, I'm still here yelling YES please. It's 1872 and our protagonist, Celine Rousseau, arrives in New Orleans via steamer, planning to forget her past and start afresh in a convent. She's one of seven girls in the same boat (wink), all passing the time until the 'right match' can be found. Of course, Celine sees a mysterious stranger on the first day and it all escalates from there. Romance. Dead girls drained of blood. A mysterious gathering with inexplicable powers. So far, so fine. Even though there's nothing new here, it would have been decent enough if not for the writing. It just doesn't work. At all. The book is overwhelmed by repetition. Celine's schtick is that she's #differentfromothergirls, with an inner darkness that delights in danger. But damn girl, stop telling me every 5 mins. Her entire inner life is excruciating. Even accounting for the fact that she's a young girl and I am not, the obsessive depiction of herself as unusual (read: special) was a bit much. Especially since the foundation of this seems to be an act of self-preservation that has her believing herself evil. Worse than that is the interludes by the evil killer also obsessed with her. Man alive, someone needs to get a grip. Genuinely the most villainy villain I've ever encountered. It's all so clunky. Everything dramatic to the nth degree. Scenes that go on way too long and make no sense. No depth to the emotion or characters. No tension or movement. Dire conversation. Zero emotional connection. Safe to say it wasn't for me. I've been looking at reviews for other books by the author and she seems to have a love it or loath it reaction. If you've liked her stuff before, pick this up and enjoy. Otherwise, avoid. ARC via publisher

  30. 4 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    Vampire books have the great potential to really suck. I always end up picking the wrong ones. But I love this description and I love the cover so... Please let this not suck?

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