Book Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

She was no lamb. She was a lion

This is my first book written by Renée Ahdieh and I have wanted to read something by her for years. I have heard such great things about her writing and she did not disappoint. But was it worth the hype? I don’t know.

Book Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh


Title & Author: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Release date: October 8 2019
Series: The Beautiful
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books


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.

I give The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh three out of five hearts because I thought the story was a little slow. I loved the world, dark and atmospheric, The Beautiful is a good mystery and for most of the times, I was wondering what was really going on. But for a novel of which the synopsis starts with ‘a city ruled by the dead’, it takes the main character Celine surprisingly long to figure out the truth and how she gets to it was a bit of a mystery to me since she doesn’t know they exist, right?

Celine is an interesting character. You learn early on she has fled her life in Paris and why and you can see in a lot of things it is still haunting her.

The story overall was a bit slow. I felt like it was dragging and some pieces were extended past their worth, which took away from my enjoyment. But the rest still is an interesting story and a surprising twist.

Actually, now that I am thinking of it, it starts to bother me that the whole story happens because of things outside of Celine’s power. The story could have happened to anyone else, even if she had come to New Orleans, but just not met Bastien. I wish she had more influence on what happened.

Nevertheless, I did like the murder mystery and the Court. Renée Ahdieh writes beautifully and I flew through the book. Maybe a high three hearts, but probably not four hearts for me.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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