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Would you listen to Belles again? Why?
I would listen again. I love to listen to audio books while I work, so I need a story that is interesting, but not too complicated. This fits the bill.
What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I love Julia Whelan as a narrator. Her voice is pleasant, and she doesn't fall into a lot of the pitfalls that other narrators of fiction aimed at young women/girls tend to (i.e. too whiny, valley girl sounding, etc). I found this series because I looked her up to find out other books she has narrated after listening to several. My only complaint is some of the accents were fairly lame sounding.
Any additional comments?
This is an easy listen. If you like to listen to books that make you think, or want something profound, eloquent, etc - skip this. If you want to be entertained and enjoy superficial, fun fiction with a nice story and great narrator - download!
I cannot believe how taken I am with Belles!
This is not a genre I enjoy at all - there is nothing more painful or vapid to me then pretty rich girls going to pretty rich girl parties and wallowing in pretty rich girl drama.
So why did I buy this book? I honestly have no idea! I think it was an expiring-credits impulse-purchase and it sat in my library for well over a year before I gave it a chance.
Then why the hell did I love it so much?!?! I think that all comes down to the characters.
Calontia has crafted related characters despite the over-the-top uber-wealthy prep-school world they inhabit.
They are all character you've seen before like the rags-to-riches girl out of her depth on a red carpet, the popular girl who feels out of place in the mean girl clique and begins to fancy the artsy scholarship student over her QB BF or the rich boy who doesn't want his parents lavish lifestyle and hides his love of surfing.
But Calonita has written them with all with real heart so I actually CARED about their otherwise 'champagne problems'.
She made them sympathetic and believable so I was completely invested in the story despite knowing exactly where it was going (including the 'twist' ending) from chapter one.
I loved it so much I have immediately purchased the next two books in the series and can't wait to spend more time in the characters lives!
I highly recommend this to YA readers who like luxe worlds and character dramas as it easily the best and most relatable I've ever read.
Another one I really enjoyed, a good listen that doesn't need your full attention. I reached the end of the audiobook and was disappointed that it finished - I found myself wishing it was the beginning of a series. Julia Whelan did a great job narrating, really bring the characters alive with her narration.