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The Beautiful

[A quick note: I kept hearing about this book, and after seeing it so much on bookstagram I figured Iโ€™d give it a go. I wanted to squeeze in some Halloween-type reads in October to set the mood, and the dark streets of New Orleans seemed a good fit. It was definitely a fun story to get you in the Halloween mood.]

โ€œ๐—œ ๐—ฎ๐—บ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ถ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น, ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—ฟ...๐—™๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—œ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜† ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ.โ€ โ€”Renee Ahdieh

Itโ€™s 1872 and New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead, the La Cour Des Lions. But this makes it the perfect refuge for Celine, who flees France in search of a new start. A dangerous string of murders quickly exposes her into the glitzy underworld and the enigmatic Bastien Saint Germain. But some secrets wonโ€™t stay hidden for long, especially when sheโ€™s forced to take matters into her own hands.

This story was a pleasant surprise. Mysterious characters, a morally gray protagonist, and a tantalizing but forbidden romance. Ahdiehโ€™s world building was rich and descriptive. I immediately fell in love with the version of New Orleans she created. Better still, just when I thought I had figured out who the storyโ€™s villain was, I was tricked! I love a story that catches you by surprise and keeps you guessing.

โ€œ๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐˜€ ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ. ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ.โ€

Celine was a character I admired. She found courage in spite of danger. She stood up for herself despite her struggles. And she never let social norms dictate her beliefs or decisions. For a woman of her time, she was a very modern girl. I think the setting of New Orleans encouraged this, allowed her to flourish. Especially her friend Odette. I LOVED Odette. And Pippa.

The other thing I really liked about this book was the dialogue. Dialogue can make or break a story, and I have infinite appreciation for good dialogue, the kind you read, and within the first few pages, you know itโ€™s going to be excellent! The phrases characters used swept me into the past. Ahdieh did a great job with it.

The plot itself was familiar, with a slight twist. A battle ground for ancient rivals, an age old feud between dark creatures, a forbidden love trope. These ideas were captured beautifully in a fresh way, with a slightly unexpected difference that I appreciated. I liked all the vampiric parallels woven throughout the story. It was everything I expect when reading a vampiric novel. Definitely a must read for paranormal and vampire lovers, especially those who like historical aspects in their stories. ๐— ๐—ฌ๐—ฅ๐—”๐—ง๐—œ๐—ก๐—š: ๐Ÿฐ/๐Ÿฑโญ๏ธ


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