Title: The Beautiful
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
You know that feeling that you get when you finish a good book, in where you debate whether to re-read the whole thing again just to relive everything?
That’s what I felt with The Beautiful.
Utterly captivating and heart-aching, The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh brings to light all the things we love about YA. The teenage angst and rebellious feelings. The uncertainty of where they stand in life, the looming choice between what the heart wants vs what is best. Add in a historical setting and some Vampires and Fae…..*chef’s kiss*
Forced to flee her life in Paris, Celine Rousseau sees New Orleans as a new opportunity for her to start over. But New Orleans harbors its own secrets in the shadows.
Celine and several other girls are taken in by the Sisters of the Ursuline convent in hopes of finding a better life for themselves. While the others are preoccupied with finding matches, Celine is swept away by New Orleans’ vibrant city. The Souirees, the carnival and even the dangers that lurk in every dark alley.
But the one thing that has enraptured Celine the most is the band of young adults she finds herself crossing paths with, The Cors des Lions, and their otherworldly, rude, and enigmatic leader. Sebastien Saint Germain.
Celine cannot deny her attraction to him.
But when the body of one of the girls in the Convent is discovered in Sebastien’s own grounds, she battles with her suspicion of him and her attraction. As well as, the overwhelming guilt of her own terrible secret that she’s run from. It isn’t long before the Murderer has her in his sights, forcing Celine to take matter into her own two hands and unbeknownst to her, putting herself in the middle of a feud as old as time.
Renee is an incredibly talented writer, a true poet. The story flowed from beginning to end, even in the chapters where we get to read the Villains thoughts. The way she describes New Orleans made me feel like I was there. Her main characters were captivating and I thoroughly enjoyed piecing together the mystery.
The way she brought in Vampires and Fae was something I’ve only seen done once before in a much lesser captivating tale.
This book is a concoction of all the things I love. Vampires, Fae, Historical Fiction, and Begrudging Lovers. I was doomed as soon as I read that first chapter.
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh gets a solid 5/5 from me.