Title: The Beautiful
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Date of Publication: October 8th, 2019
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.
Generally, I love almost anything vampire, especially of the evil vamp kind! I was pretty excited for this one, not only because it had vamps, but because it takes place in the 1800s!
So to start with, I liked the characters but didn’t love them. Something about Celine had me not connecting with her fully. I mean, she’s a good character but I wanted something more. Bastien was great, probably my favorite, but he still felt underdeveloped at times. I think there needed to be more conversations between him and Celine before the romance developed. But I will say that their chemistry was on fire and Ahdieh knows how to write those scenes!!
The writing was gorgeous but sometimes could be distracting when I just wanted the story to move forward. Also, I wanted more of the paranormal, but I did like the character driven parts as well. But still! Overall, I think this book would work better as a movie because I’d love to see the period’s fashion and the awesome 1800s world laid out before me. I’ll also say that the cliffhanger killed me and I need to know what happens next!
What’s your favorite vampire book or movie?