Author: Jen Calonita
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by: Blackstone Audiobooks
Length: 9 hr., 5 min.,
Rating: 3 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Lately life has been crazy and when life gets crazy that equals me sitting in a coffee shop on weekends doing data analysis and trying to somehow get caught up. I don't know how many of you have tried working in coffee shops before, but apparently I missed the memo that they are extremely noisy. Seriously, how can people study there? So to drown out all the chatty people, I will often listen to audio books as I work. This means that the audio books have to be somewhat light and easy to catch the point of.
Belles was perfect for this. While the subject matter may not have been light, the way it was presented happened to be. I sort of felt like I was listening to a teen rom-com; it had it's sweet parts, heart-wrenching parts, and horrible backstabbing mean girls parts. Plus the surprise at the end wasn't a huge surprise, but it still worked well with the novel. I'm guessing most people will figure it after the first couple of chapters, but that didn't necessarily take anything away from the story. All-in-all Belles was cute book and really easily to get lost in.
Isabelle has lost everything and is forced to move in with an uncle she never knew she had. Saying she got an upgrade in her socioeconomic status is an understatement. Not only does she gain an insta-rich family, but also an evil stepsister. (Well not necessarily evil, but a little lost herself which leads to some poor choices.) However, the characters at times seemed a bit unbelievable. I guess this is such a stretch from my everyday life, that I have a hard time picturing the ultra-rich, ultra-popular girl getting away with everything she did. I also felt like a lot of the characters were conveyed as shallow and one dimensional. Plus what is with all the backstabbing...seriously people get over yourselves.
While this was a great audio to fit my needs at the time, it didn't have the substance I was hoping for. But if you just need a book to help you escape for a while and help you give in to that mind candy mode, Belles is the book for you.