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 has the sort of premise I was convinced I’d enjoy! A girl finds out she has a family she’s never met and is now thrown into their world, one that’s the complete opposite of her own.
Poor Izzie has gone through so much. I can’t help but feel for her. She’s your average every day girl. She loves her normal life. She spends her days hanging out with her friends, flirting with the cute new boy, and swimming. Her uncle and his family lives in the ritzier part of North Carolina. They spend their time lounging by the country club pool, preparing for a political race, and doing the things the average person doesn’t do.
Because of the difference in their hometown, Mirabelle, Isabelle’s cousin, and all of her friends find Isabelle to be beneath them. Mira’s friends are nice to Isabelle’s face, but gossip about her and basically make her new life even more complicated.
Anyone who has ever been in a new situation knows how hard it can be to fit in with a new crowd, you can’t help but sympathize with Isabelle who has been uprooted from her happy little life and thrown into this more upscale neighborhood.
The boys of Belles are adorable! My favorite is Mirabelle’s brother, Hayden, who kind of relieves some of the drama and makes it obvious everyone in this town isn’t completely obnoxious.
There was a bit of characters’ name-issues that drove me crazy. It seemed as if the author loved “belle” and “yden” names, as there were a pair of each in the book – Brayden/Hayden and Mirabelle/Isabelle. It wasn’t completely annoying, but it did take some getting used to! (On that note, the “belle” one makes sense, because of the title.)
Belles is a fluffy, cute story that kept me entertained. It reminded me slightly of Spoiled or Gossip Girl, but with a bit more fluff. If you are in the mood for something light, Belles would make the perfect beach read!
I received my copy of Belles in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.