Star Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Summary: Camellia is a Belle, a being created by the goddess of beauty. She is one of six who help the country of Orléans to stay beautiful. She wants to be picked at the Queen's favorite and stay at court, helping set beauty trends. She learns that life at court is not what she expected and that there are secrets that could put her in grave danger.
Review: I received a free copy of this book for review from BookishFirst.
I really loved this book. Wow this exceeded all of my expectations, it was so great. The world building is spectacular, I loved how it felt like this magical distopian eighteenth century inspired world. The whole time I just felt the whole vibe of the book made me think of eighteenth century France.
I loved that the book describes so many things as confectionary treats. Clothes, weather, people, hair, etc. it was great and really set the tone for the level of opulence in this novel. I also like that this is told from the perspective of a person in a place of privilege for a change in a distopian novel.
The fact that everyone besides the Belles are born with grey skin and red eyes makes it super interesting. Race isn't really a thing in this world, people change their skin color all the time to follow fashion trends. Sexuality is written really interestingly as well. It's not uncommon for same sex couples and it's presented as a normal thing. I liked that. The Queen is married to the king but she has a woman lover which is a known fact.
The villain in this is terrifying and I love all of the secrets within this book. The characters are great and I love the development that Camellia gets. I want to know more about this world and Belles in general. It's fascinating and I love it so much.
This is the first book of a series and I'm very excited to read the rest of the series. This was an amazing first book and how it critiques beauty standards.
Recommendation: Definitely grab this book and read it. I absolutely loved it.