review: the beautiful ones

I have been listlessly staring at my bookshelves (and random piles of books around the house, who am I kidding) for months now, hoping for one of those books. I was looking for a book that would necessitate a break from reading, just so I could take the time to collect myself and my emotions afterward. I wanted a story and characters that I could really delve into, snuggling into their perspectives and thoughts and dreams.

The Beautiful Ones, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, was that book. Moreno-Garcia masterfully spun this story, giving each character their own unique voice and building a world that I could not look away from. Is the world mostly involved with the interactions of high-class society, and the small details that define that world? Absolutely. The minimal focus on long-winded descriptions and subtle world building allowed the characters and their interpersonal interactions with one another to shine and gave them the prominence they deserved.

Oh, how I loved this book. I delighted with Nina as she explored her new world of the Grand Season, happily making friends with Hector and testing the limits of what Valerie would allow her to do. I wallowed with Hector in his distractions, not even very bothered by the decade-long love affair that had stretched on a little longer than might be believable for this skeptic’s mind. And, of course, Valerie–I thoroughly enjoyed the changing nuance of her emotions, both spiteful and fraught with more pleasant memories, as she revealed more and more of herself over the course of the novel.

This novel was extremely character driven and Moreno-Garcia did a fabulous job of giving each character their own voice, their own desires and motivations, wants and needs. I was invested in each one, in seeing how they’d fall apart and put themselves back together–or not, or put someone else back together, or fall apart again. Their choices shaped the consequences that they had to face and answered the question of who will save them, over and over again.

(Of course, the dramatic tension was only helped by the fact that I started this book immediately before getting corrective eye surgery, and was forced not to read for a whole week in between. Talk about torture!)

But please, if you enjoy a foray into a sumptuous, decadent world with an utterly captivating love story, please read this book. I fell in love, and hope you do, too.

The Beautiful Ones, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia will be published on October 24th, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books. Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy. 

 

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