A Reflection of Our Society and "Ideal Beauty"

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Our main character is Camille, a Belle, who can manipulate the body and personality of others. And in this world called Orléans, people are gray as a default; the Belles put give them "beauty" and changes how they look from their original self and gives them color.

This was a gorgeous and lyrical book that was enthralling and captivating. This world was scary and twisted— a reflection of our own society and the dream of the "ideal beauty."

The book starts off slow and builds the mysterious world of Orléans— but after the first hundred pages or so, the world is fast-paced and the stakes are high.

I loved so many of our three-dimensional characters and their relationships with Camellia. The bodyguard is professional but soft-hearted. Ambrosia's sister-like relationship with Camellia is loving, but it can change within a heartbeat from competition.

This book has so many important messages about beauty, feminism, and competition.

Trigger and content warnings for sexual assault, torture, animal cruelty, misgendering of a trans character, and the use of the "bury your gays" trope.