“The Beautiful” by Renee Ahdieh

Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I for one am SO ready for the Vampire genre to rise from the dead. There’s been a lot of buzz about this book so I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into it.

Ok, ok I’ll stop.

Our heroine is Celine, a 17 year old with a dark secret who along with some other girls, is sent to live in a convent in New Orleans in the late 1800s. Was this a thing? Maybe it was….

Celine quickly finds herself mixed up with some stunningly attractive and mysterious people and….well you get the gist.

Along for the ride are the other two points of the love triangle, Bastien, an enigmatic mega-rich hunk and Michael a…policeman. For some reason I kept picturing him as Michael from Jane the Virgin. Sorry if you do now as well.

The setting was kinda wasted really. You don’t get much cooler than 19th century New Orleans but really this novel could have taken place anywhere. The characters spoke in a modern way which didn’t fit with the setting either.

My main issue with this book was with the rampant overuse of foreign language dialogue. This is such a pet peeve of mine. It serves no purpose other than to look pretentious af, ruins the immersion and if I wanted a language lesson when I was reading, i’d fire up Duolingo.

The plot also isn’t very exciting. It’s not bad, it’s just a bit generic. I was a good third of the way through the book before things started getting interesting. If I wasn’t reviewing it I’d probably have quit at 20%.

One last moan…the Scottish girl, Anabel’s dialogue was excruciating and as a bona fide Highlander I’d just like to say someone from Edinburgh is categorically not a Highlander. Petty I know but these kinds of things really rustle my jimmies.

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