Recent Reviews...

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Playing Catch Up! The Belles Trilogy by Jen Calonita

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

Belles (Belles #1) by Jen Calonita 
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published:  April 10, 2012
Publisher: Poppy

Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever.

Belles is the first book in the Belles series by Jen Calonita. I thought this was going to be more of a light, fluffy read when I picked it up, and it was, at times, but there was also a lot of depth to the characters and what their going through. The story is told from Izzy and Mira's points of view. Izzy is uprooted from her life and forced to live with her Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. This is a big change for her. Mira isn't handling it well. There is a lot of adjusting to be done by all, as this is a tough situation to be thrown into. There was a definite case of Mean Girls going on.. Southern Style of course. Insulting, rejecting, degrading, and humiliating a person all with complete politeness and a smile is a skill that can only be completely perfected in the South. (I can say that, since I live in the South. *wink*) These girls have the skill down to an art. I was furious at them at times. At the same time, sometimes they made me proud at how they overcame things and handled situations. Izzy stayed strong. I don't know how she did it. Mira probably had the most growth as a person. I feel invested in their lives now. It was a journey getting there, but, that was just part of this book's charm. 

Winter White (Belles #2) by Jen Calonita 
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published:  January 1, 2012
Publisher: Poppy

Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story, and while Izzie and Mira have each put on a happy public face, someone is leaking their true feelings to the press. It seems as if the world is watching their every move, but at least the girls have each other.

With cotillion season right around the corner, however, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood. Mira has dreamed of making her debut in a gorgeous white gown forever--now if only she had an escort... Izzie, meanwhile, is still struggling to find her place in Emerald Cove, which seems ever more impossible with EC mean girls, young and old, trying to keep her down. As cotillion preparations heat up, there are dance steps to learn, manners to perfect... and secret initiations to complete?
It's time for the gowns to go on and the gloves to come off.

Winter White is the second book in the Belles series by Jen Calonita. Izzy and Mira are adapting to all the changes in their lives pretty well I think. I like the friendship and sense of sisterhood that I'm feeling between the two now. Everything seems to revolve around the Cotillion this time around, and with the hazing and other activities, it's pretty funny. Savannah still needs to get over herself, but you'll love some of the situations she gets put in through the hazing. Maybe she'll learn something. Probably not. I love these books. They're light and fun in a lot of ways, but they are also serious when it comes to loyalty and family. I'm really enjoying getting to know these characters.

The Grass is Always Greener (Belles #3) by Jen Calonita 
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published:  April 16, 2013
Publisher: Poppy

How many secrets can one family keep?

Amid preparations for Emerald Cove's extravagant Founders Day celebration and their own shared sweet sixteen, Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are longing to break free from the tight constraints that come with being the daughters of a prominent public figure. When Izzie's estranged aunt, Zoe, breezes into town, the already uneasy family dynamic is turned on its head.

Izzie's finally found her footing in Emerald Cove by leading the Social Butterflies, her school's prestigious club, and she has no interest in getting to know yet another long-lost family member. But Mira, who's on a mission to try new things and make new friends, is drawn to Izzie's artsy aunt. And when Mira meets a handsome, brooding painter, her entire perspective on life begins to shift.

As tensions mount in Emerald Cove, Zoe's laid-back attitude appeals to both girls. But when she offers Izzie the chance of a lifetime, it's time to make a tough decision. What's more important: family or freedom? 

The Grass is Always Greener is the third book in the Belle's trilogy by Jen Calonita. I love the family dynamic that is forming. It made me giddy to see how sisterly Mira and Izzy have become. Like the first two books, this one moved along quickly. I was surprised to see Mira and Kellen move on so quickly, especially since it didn't feel like there was real closure there but, I really liked Landon. He's a keeper. I know this is supposed to be a trilogy, but it felt like there was some unfinished business to still be wrapped up. There wasn't too much drama or plot this time around, but the story was simple and sweet. This was a fun little trilogy. I feel like I'm friends with these characters now, and I'm going to miss them.

It's no secret how Jen Calonita knows the inside scoop on Hollywood. A former entertainment editor at a teen magazine, Jen started out her career chronicling backstage life at concerts with Justin Timberlake and interviewing Zac Efron on film sets. It was her work in the entertainment world that inspired her first series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life. The six-book series about a teen starlet named Kaitlin Burke who grew weary of the fame game, but loved being an actress was published in nine countries. Jen's other young adult novels include Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind (since she was a camp counselor as a teen), Reality Check and Belles, which is about two polar opposite girls who share one life-altering secret. Her latest young adult book, Turn It Up, is about a girls' high school acapella group.

In her first middle grade series, Fairy Tale Reform School, readers explore a school run by Cinderella's formerly wicked stepmother. The series (Flunked, Charmed, Tricked, and Switched, which will be released March 2018) are told from spunky young former thief, Gillian Cobbler. In Jen's other middle grade series, VIP readers get a diary-eye look at life on the road with the world's biggest boy band as told by their number one fan, Mackenzie Lowell. (If you're wondering where Jen got that idea, go back and reread the first paragraph of this bio!)

To learn more about Jen Calonita and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank your for stopping by. Please comment! I'd love to hear from you!