To read the official synopsis, click here.
In this world only the belles have the ability to grant beauty. People are born grey with red eyes and little hair. Only the Belles with their abilities can bring color to them. Carmillia wants to be the best belle. She wants to win the favor of the Queen and become the favorite. No one told her to be careful of what she wished for.
This a rich dystopian, that hides its cruelty behind pretty painted faces. I have been a big fan of this author's work. I loved the ballet duology she co-wrote and was greatly anticipating this book.
What initially drew me to this book was the beautiful black girl on the cover, it was an instant cover buy. Then when I found out about the synopsis, I was really intrigued. In a world where everyone was born looking similar I wonder how colorism would play a role.
While there was a distinct sense of classism, I didn’t actually see how skin tones played a role in this world. Everyone was pushing to be the most beautiful and taking bigger risk with their bodies but that didn’t mean everyone was gravitating towards one type of skin tone or body over another.
I was also completely won over by the court drama. Camillia quickly found out that not everything the Princess and her court did was good. She had to navigate difficult situations and overly inflated egos.
This book was on its way of becoming a B+/A- book for me but then I realized how poorly the author was treating her LGBT+ characters. I am not sure if the author even realized how poor she treated her trans character. There is a minor (really minor) character that was mentioned being born a male but identifying and dressing female. Camillia kept misgendering the character and acting as if they were a novelty.
We also had two different characters who are in a different same sex relationships being abused and/or killed off (I am trying to be vague as possible to avoid spoilers). Now this world didn’t really talk about how common same sex pairings are, so I am not sure how these couples are normally treated. I just find it very irritating that creators keep killing off LGBT+ characters.
I really hope the author see all these reviews and reader’s complaints and take it to heart.
I gave this book a C.
I devour worlds with each new book. I am making up for lost time as a late bloomer of the reading world.