• Emma

Book Review: The Beautiful

"In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface." (Synopsis taken directly from the book itself. All rights to the author, Renee Ahdieh and her publisher)

This book was amazing. So much more than I expected. I don't typically read mystery, but this one has just enough romance and paranormal thrown in to keep me going. I love how the author teases at the paranormal elements throughout the book, keeping you guessing at that as well as at who is doing the killing.

The romance was beautiful and the characters were so well done. It was refreshing to read a book like this from a perspective of a girl who wasn't completely useless. Books such as these are notorious for the damsel in distress and I loved that it wasn't the case here. Celine is a fighter.

Another great element of the book was the chapters told from the perspective of the serial killer. The book is in third person, but the serial killer chapters are told in first, which keeps their identity a secret and really puts you in their twisted mind. The reveal of who this person is floored me. Was not expecting it at all and I doubt you will either. The ending had me at the edge of my seat, all but pulling my hair out. I am truly excited for the release of book 2 and so sad that it probably won't be until at least next fall : (

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