Title: The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 8, 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.
At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.
In 1872, Celine Rousseau moves to New Orleans after being forced to flee Paris. She moves into a convent with some other girls who have just arrived from Europe. When a wealthy woman asks Celine to create a dress for her, Celine gets involved in a secret society, causing death to those around her.
I loved this setting. Both the time period and location made it so mysterious and extravagant. This was also a time period with a lot of change in society. Celine is biracial, but she can pass for white. She notices that there are people of different races working in the city, which is something she hadn’t seen before. She commented on what a big change this was for society. It’s a shame that 150 years after this book takes place, there is still so much racial inequality.
This story was really exciting. I liked the mystery surrounding the deaths. The ending was surprising and left me with a lot of questions. I hope they will be answered in the next book.
I really enjoyed this story!
What to read next:
Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin
Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies #1) by Megan Shepherd
Have you read The Beautiful? What did you think of it?