"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A "Nobel Beehive Award" Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

by Jen Calonita 
Release Date: April 10th, 2012
Format: Hardcover 
Publisher: Poppy (Hachette)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

(from Goodreads)

Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. 
Isabelle is taken away from everything she’s ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.


Belles just flows; it is heart warming and promising - Jen Calonita just kept on giving me more and more, charming me with wonderful memorable characters and amazing scenes! 

Isabelle Scott, aka Izzie, is trying to keep her little family together ever since her mother passed away when she was ten. She goes to school, teaches swim classes, takes care of her sick grandmother and all the household chores. She does everything and anything in order to keep her social worker happy so she doesn't have to be placed into foster care... but when Izzie's grandmother's Alzheimer's gets worse, the social worker has no choice but to do what is right and place grandma in a home and reveals that Izzie is going to go live with her long lost Uncle at a nearby town, Emerald Cove.
In one night, Izzie's life is turned upside down. She is taken away from her homely town on the boardwalk and thrust into a gated community, private school, thousand dollar dresses and 'mean girls'. 
But Izzie is so well grounded, she knows how to handle herself and does it so well. 

Izzie's cousin, Mirabelle, was a bit hard to like in the beginning. As a true southern belle, Mira put on her smile and did her best to just go through the niceties in welcoming Izzie. And of course, we all saw through that. But as the story went along, we see changes in Mira, and hope for the best.

More drama and secrets unfold - you couldn't ask for more! 

I really enjoyed how Calonita would smoothly alternate between Izzie and Mira's thoughts. I got to see and hear both sides of their stories. I also love and appreciate how Calonita ended the book. Pure perfection and I cannot wait to read Belles sequel, Winter White, being released on October 9th, 2012. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jen Calonita 

"I'm Jen Calonita, a YA author who loves what I do because it lets me connect with all of you (and no, I wasn't intending for that to rhyme!).

I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it was fourth grade when I put my "three wishes" for a genie down on paper. They were:
#1. Buy all the Cabbage Patch Kids in the world and give them away for free (because apparently that was how I rolled).
#2. I wanted a mansion, limo, lake house, pool and speed boat (still sounds quite nice).
#3. I wanted to be an author for young readers, which I am!

I love writing novels for teens (and for savvy grown ups who know that YA rocks at any age). My first series was "Secrets of My Hollywood Life" and it followed a teen star named Kaitlin Burke who struggled with the fame game. I have also written the stand-alone novels Sleepaway Girls and Reality Check.

But I'm most excited for you to read my new series Belles. It follows two polar opposite Southern girls who share the same roof and one life-changing secret. I'll be blogging more about the girls soon, but for now, you can follow the book and what inspires the details on Pinterest where I have a board dedicated to Belles."


  1. Yes! This really was a great, fun story! I really enjoyed the secrets and drama and had this feeling something more was going on!

    The alternating between the two girls was done wonderfully and I can't wait to read Winter White! I think it will be the next one I read after I have a couple reviews ready :P

  2. Great review! I think I'll have to check this one out in the next few weeks! At least before the next book comes out!

    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

  3. Awesome review!! I really have to get this book. It sounds like a book I would really enjoy!

  4. great review! I keep kicking myself for not asking for this one for review from LB, but alas, I guess I'll just have to wait until I have money to splurge on it! It sounds so good, and everybody has raved about it!

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

  5. Great review! I had heard of this book but hadn't read a review of it yet. Think I will add it to my to-read list! Thanks!


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