Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Beautiful #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Released: October 8th, 2019
The Beautiful is the first novel in a new series written by Renee Ahdieh. I knew that I had to pick this book up from the moment I saw the cover. I just go head over heels for simple and elegant designs. But then I kept hearing about The Beautiful, and I knew it was something worth following up on.
Set in 1872, New Orleans, The Beautiful follows Celine Rousseau. She’s moved to New Orleans from Paris thanks to a local convent. She may be running from her past, but that isn’t going to stop her from trying to make a new future here.
But there’s more than meets the eye happening in New Orleans. There’s a killer on the loose, and they’re targeting young and beautiful women. It’s only a matter of time before Celine finds herself in the killer’s sights.
Celine Rousseau has never been a woman to be intimidated. A serial killer being on the loose is not enough to change her plans. Or force her into hiding. That’s just the sort of person she is. She’s charming and determined all in one. And she’s going to find a way to take this serial killer down.
The Beautiful is a lovely mix of murder mystery and romance. And thus is perfect for anybody that finds themselves enjoying either genre – though ideally both. Oh, and did I mention that there are vampires involved? It is New Orleans, after all.
“We forget our dreams, but nightmares linger with us evermore.”
The Beautiful was a thrilling and fast-paced murder mystery novel. It seemed like Celine herself was determined to drive the plot forward, as she rushed headlong into danger again and again. It certainly made for a fascinating read!
Renee Ahdieh wasted no time in introducing us to this world of intrigue. Right off the bat, it’s clear that there’s something going on in Celine’s past, though the truth takes a while to be fully revealed. It is one of those secrets that grabs the reader’s attention and demands resolution.
From the description, I knew to anticipate something supernatural (aka: vampires). And I was not disappointed. I actually quite enjoyed the air of mystery placed upon them. I honestly would have loved to see more of La Cour des Lions and its inhabitants. Then again, this is the first in a series, so I’m sure my wish will be granted (with time).
I’ll be honest here: the romantic subplot did not go at all how I expected. And I’m not complaining about that fact. I actually love that it defied expectations and chose its own path (well, Ahdieh’s path).
I took a moment to check out other reviews before finishing my own, and it seems like The Beautiful was slightly hit or miss for some people. So my advice would be this: if you enjoy romance, murder mysteries, and supernatural creatures, then this is a novel worth checking out. If you don’t enjoy any one of those three elements, it might be best to just steer clear.
I for one enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the next novel in the series (which has been titled The Damned, for anybody out there who is curious). I can’t wait to learn more about it!