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Author: Renee Ahdieh
Book Series: The Beautiful Book 1
Diversity: Bi-racial main character and lesbian scenes.
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 16+ (sexual assault TW, cussing, rape mention TW)
Publisher: Putnam Books
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Overall, I really liked this book. It was well written, there was a good mystery that kept me guessing, the vampires were not as in-your-face as they are in Twilight, and there was really good world building in this book.
The main downside of this book is that there aren’t a lot of vampirey things and the pacing is slow, BUT it’s the beginning of a series and this book did well to set the precedent for the rest of the series.
Verdict: Recommend if you love biting other people’s necks!