The concept was good; however, it was a very very slow build and the twists were mostly predictable.

I read this for my book club and ran out of time so went there having read about two thirds of it. My impression at that point: "I feel like something should be happening soon". Yes, the others confirmed (and I read for myself the next day), something does eventually happen - but that first two thirds seriously needs editing down; too much repetition.

So, the basic story is that the characters live in a world where everyone is ugly/grey by default and requires magical plastic surgery to make them beautiful. This costs money (and is painful). The Belles are the ones with the ability to do it. Belle is used as an adjective way too much - there's Belle tea and Belle buns and Belle everything else. I bet there's a Belle toilet somewhere!

There is, of course, an evil woman who wants to be more beautiful than everyone else. And a magic mirror. And an ending that isn't particularly satisfactory - likely because it's setting up for a sequel.

The core ideas are interesting enough that I may eventually read the sequel. Maybe.

susan_findlay's rating:
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