by Jen Calonita
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Poppy; Reprint edition (September 11, 2012)
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Raised in a run-down house on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina, Isabelle "Izzie" Scott has always loved her less-than-charmed life by the beach. But when the grandmother she lives with needs to move into a nursing home, a social worker places Izzie with a politically prominent long-lost uncle and his preppy, privileged family, taking her away from everything she's ever known.
Unfortunately, inserting Izzie into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove isn't going 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 Izzie's and Mira's lives forever.
Belles is a book that I enjoyed reading. The characters and the situation are believable and thoroughly developed. The story is a familiar one in some ways. There is one girl, in this case a 15 year old sophomore, who is the queen of the exclusive private high school and is willing to do just about anything to maintain control over her minions. Then there is our main character, Izzie Scott, who has transferred from the poor area of the region to live with a distant cousin and his family. Izzie must not only deal with the loss of her home, friends, and life, but must adjust to a new home, school and life with a family she has never even met. It might seem helpful that there is a daughter, Mirabelle, who is the same age as Izzie. However, Mira is the best friend of the most popular Savannah, who is determined to show Izzie that she doesn't belong there. This isn't a heavy, dark, teenage drama, but it is a good story, easy and enjoyable to read with a good message. I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to anyone.
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Profanity: Minor
- Other Notables: Mira's best friend, Savannah, has a bottle of vodka at a big society party.