Readalongs

The Beautiful Readalong: Day 1

Amy

Beautiful picture by @betterwithabookinmyhand

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to dive into this readalong with you all as it is one of my most anticipated reads of this year and I can’t wait to finally have a new Vampire filled book!

Before we get started though, how is everyone? What have we all been up to? Read anything good recently? I find that taking a moment to reflect at the start of the week makes the rest of the week a wee bit easier!

Alright, now that we’re all caught up, lets get on with the readalong!

Today, we start from the beginning and we will be stopping at page 80! 🙂 Get comfy and cosy, ready for a reading session and then join me to chat about it!

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Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh pages 0-80! Read only if you’ve finished those pages!

-!SPOILERS!-

What a strong start! The narrator saying they are waiting for you really draws you in and makes you feel like part of the story already! 

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 We meet Celine and Pippa aboard the Aramis where they are heading to New Orleans, looking for new opportunities and perhaps a better life. They’re both heading to a convent where they will be housed.

The description of New Orleans is so beautiful and it is so easy to picture exactly what it looks like.

They finally arrive in New Orleans, both Celine and Pippa feeling slightly apprehensive but are soon enthralled by the crowds gathered for the beginning of festival season! I’ve always heard about the festival season in New Oreleans and it sounds amazing!

Oooo a mysterious man who seems to be able to clear a crowd without having to say a word….I’m intrigued! Do we think people are scared of him or is he just an important figure?

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Celine has murdered someone?? I love that that was just thrown in their casually. I wonder what may have forced her to murder a man? There’s definitely a story behind this which I hope we will discover soon!

Noémie is waiting on the pier for her mysterious admirer to arrive but I definitely have a bad feeling about this…aaaand her throat was ripped out. The vampires have arrived I’m so excited…but a shame she died!

The girls will be living and working at the convent until they are found suitable husbands. I very much relate to Celine as I too would never turn my back on a pain au chocolat! 

The first week at the convent doesn’t sound like it’s off to a great start! Without any desirable skills, Celine, Pippa and Anabel are left to raise money for the expansion of the parish orphanage and are not even permitted to spend their evenings at parades but instead are sent to their rooms, or cells as they are delightfully described… 

The girls, while selling handerchiefs for the convent, over-hear some people talking about the murder of Noémie, a vicious attack that left her head severed from her body! 

Anabel’s Scottish accent is making me laugh! It’s very broad and I love that she uses Scottish words!

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Celine seems to have many secrets and I really hope we learn some of them soon! She’s very mysterious!

Finally someone is interested in the handkerchiefs the girls are tying to sell but not only that, she wants Celine to design her a dress for the masquerade ball! The only catch is that Celine would have to sneak out of the convent at night to do it! Celine can’t pass up the excitement of adventure and decides she’ll do it! Would you sneak out and risk getting caught for a bit of adventure? I think the me I would like to be in books would, but real life me maybe wouldn’t ?

As a Scot, I feel betrayed by Anabel and the fact she couldn’t lie for Celine, come on gal! 

I can’t believe they got away with that though! Mother Superior gave up rather easily…

The change from 3rd person to 1st person gives it a weird sinister feeling…this is obviously the Vampire talking but we are not given a name and we don’t know who it actually is which is slightly unnerving and creepy but I love it! Anyone have any ideas yet of who it could be?

Celine and pippa are on their way to meet Odette when they come across a fight in an alley and the man she saw when she first arrived is there and is called The Ghost by the other men. We finally learn that Celine had killed a man back in Paris and I feel so sorry for her and the fact that the actions of a man forced her to flee her home 🙁

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The other man lets slip that The Ghosts name is Sébastien and oh my god do I love him already! Why are we so drawn to obvious bad guys? I love that Celine challenged him and didn’t just let him boss her about but I also love how  unfiltered Sébastien is around Celine already even though they just met! I’m so excited for more interactions between the two of them!

Okay so is the Vampire speaking in 1st person Sébastien?  What trap has he set for Celine and why her? Or someone that knows him well? Ahhh I don’t know! I also don’t know why it’s sounds so much more sinister when it’s in 1st person but it really is!

Is anyone else super hungry after hearing the descriptions of all the food? It’s all sounds amazing and the restaurant seems incredible! It does also sound like a front for something else and as they make their way further into the restaurant to meet Odette it seems even more likely that it is.

They’re in the Court of Lions!


We were introduced to so many characters today and we’ve already learned so much about the city!

What are we thinking so far? And what were your favourite bits from todays pages? Let me know in the comments and we can have a chat!

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Amy

Conversation

43 Comments

Comment

  • ricky.gene.davis

    I am going to need plenty of snacks while reading the beautifull, the food sounds so good. It seems like Celine wants to be a vampire even if she does not know it yet, they are hinting around she has some sort of evil in her even beyond her killing the man in self defense. Sounds like the ghost/Sebastian is vampire law in the quarter. I bet Celine is going to become the seamstress to the vampires.

    1
    • Amy

      Yess I think snacks will be essential with this book! Oooo that’s a good theory and that would be so fun!

  • Vanessa

    I’m already half way through the book (I started over the weekend) and I LOVE everything about it. It’s wholly addicting, enthralling, and intriguing. There is so much suspense. This is my new obsession.

    • Amy

      The suspense is killing me! Each page makes me questions everything and I love it! Glad you’re enjoying it!

  • becca (@beccainwonderland_)

    It’s off to a good start!
    I really wanna learn more about Celine and her whole story. I’m already drawn to Sebastien, he’s the type of character I can’t help but love.
    I wasn’t expecting the POV chapters from the vampire, they’re really creepy but a nice surprise!

    • Amy

      I definitely agree about Sebastien! The POV chapters are so sinister but they add something really cool to the book!

  • midnightreviewblog

    Loved the first few chapters. The descriptions of New Orleans were very atmospheric and the food sounds incredible. I don’t think the vampire in the first person is Sebastian, but I think he wants revenge for something connected to the Court of Lions. Looking forward to seeing more interactions between Celine and Sebastian – that’s going to be fun.

    Clearly all the girls on that boat are escaping something and I hope some of this is explored. Why run across the world and leave your family behind. So far we’ve only heard what’s made Celine run. And is anyone else curious about what happened to her mum?

    Can vampires come out in the day in this book because if not then Odette isn’t a vampire.

    I’m intrigued, looking forward to reading more

    • Amy

      Oooo interesting! You could be right there! Its so hard to figure out who is a vampire because we don’t know the rules for vampires in this specific book but I think that’s what is making it all so intriguing!

  • Jacky

    Completely forgot there was a readalong and already finished the book. Love Renee’s writing style. Kept me hooked the whole way through.

    1
  • Veronika

    Renée Ahdieh’s writing is so good. It sucks you right in, no pun intended. I’m loving the book so far.

  • Victoria

    Plain and simple, this book has helped me get completely out of my reading slump and I absolutely ADORE it so far!

    I love the writing style, the descriptions and all the characters!

    I can’t wait to find out more about Celine and Bastien.
    I can’t be the only one who gets Delena (Damon + Elena, from The Vampire Diaries) vibes. Right?

    Have a wonderful week, Faeries!

    2
    • Amy

      OMG definitely Delena vibes!! I’m so happy to hear this has helped with your reading slump! I hope you enjoy the rest!

      1
  • Nina Hilden

    This book is so good and so different from other vampire stories I’m familiar with which is a good thing. Can’t wait for more scenes with Celine and Sebastian.

    2
    • Amy

      I totally agree! I love how mysterious everything is and how we’re trying to figure everything out alongside them!

      1
  • Well.im.awkward

    Is it possible that Celine’s mother is/was a vampire too? I’m intrigued by how mysterious everything is about the MC.
    Also I already love the interaction between her and Sébastien, can’t wait to see how this will develop!
    Also, I see a death Flag over Pippa, but don’t know why exactly.

    • Amy

      Ooooo interesting theory! Ahhh nooo I’ll be so sad if Pippa dies, she seems so innocent!

  • Carmel

    Finished the book at the weekend. Don’t worry no spoilers. These earlier chapters I struggled a little. Personally I felt there was little too much overthinking on Celine’s part. Her constant need to shock and surprise kind of annoyed me. I also felt some of the descriptions and thought processes felt forced. I would have liked more dialogue and less rambling narrative.

    It improved for me and Celine does grow on me but that’s for a different post.

    2
  • Chronically_bookish

    I’m rather enjoying it. I’m reading it next to Garth Nix’s Angel Mage (the writing is bad so far) which I am reading for a book club so at least I can’t finish it one sitting Haha. That scene in the alley was amazing.

    1
    • WolfieKebab

      Ah! I was planning on reading Garth Nix’s Angel Mage after this book. I cannot wait to start reading it! 🙂 Are you enjoying it so far?

    • Nikki Putnam

      Me too! I am loving the beautiful but angel mage has been difficult to get threw the first few chapters I just finished today’s readin for the angel mage and that went a lot better… going to start today’s the beautiful now

      1
  • Amber

    That actually didn’t take as long to read as I thought it was. I’m so excited to learn more about The Court of Lions. And I kind of love Celine. But when I found out she loves to follow danger and she killed a man. That honestly made me love her more…that sounds bad I know. Bastien is such a such nickname and as soon as I met him, I Low key fell in love with him.

    1
    • Amy

      I definitely, low key, fell in love with Bastien too! I’m so intrigued by the court of lions and I can’t wait to find out more!

  • Lauren

    I really feel like something sinister is going on with the Mother Superior. I dunno if it’s standard 19th century sanctimonious bitchiness or if she is involved with the Killer somehow. ?

    2
    • Amy

      Ahaha yeah I feel like there’s something strange about her…also 19th century sanctimonious bitchiness is now my favourite phrase ever!

      1
  • Narra (@thenarratress)

    I was not so sure what to expect from the book when I picked it up. I never have been very interested in vampire stories (I’ve always liked werewolves and angels more) and Renée Ahdieh’s last book wasn’t really my cup of tea either. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was enjoying the first few chapters. I’m glad J picked it up. Can’t wait to read more ^___^

  • Ariana S.

    I’ve been in a major reading slump for weeks and am hoping that this will pull me out, so far it’s doing an amazing job!

    Celine is such an interesting and mysterious character and I love her sass! My favorite part was definitely her challenging Sabastien! And of course I’m attracted to him already, gotta love the bad guys ? They’re dynamic just worked so well together and I love them already.

    I also am getting extremely weird vibes from Mother Superior… almost kind of like Asylum AHS vibes where she’s keeping them there but controlling them and has bad plans or something ?

    I definitely feel like the book is hinting at Celine having a darker side in order to relate her to the vampire or possibly so that she can later become one?

    Either way, I really enjoyed todays chapters and cant wait to read more!

    2
    • Amy

      OMG yesss definitely AHS Asylum vibes!! Oooo thats a good theory! I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying it!

      1
  • Sylvia

    I’m liking it a bit so far although I’m favoring Pippa more than Celine at the moment so who knows how that may change. The language describing New Orleans is a bit over the top to me but I also may be a little bias given I’m from Louisiana and been to New Orleans numerous times. Definitely can’t wait to read more about this illustrious Sébastien.

    3
    • Mikayla

      I love Pippa so much that I immediately became afraid she was going to be evil or something crazy because I liked her ? but I think she’s just honestly such a well written and interesting character! I really want to see how their relationship develops!

  • jen90mr

    AHHHHH! Where do I begin?!!! Firstly- that food in the restaurant has my mouth watering! I’m starving now! Lol
    Secondly- Sebastien=yummmmm ?
    Thirdly- I like Celine a lot. I can really relate to her in regards of those strange feelings and wanting adventure.
    Fourthly- I love Pippa as a good friend charcater.
    Fifthly- I think that the court of lions is actually a court of vampires!!! (At least that’s what I would do it I was writing this story.) And Sebastien is the leader! Muahahahaha
    Can’t wait to read more tmrw!!!

    1
    • Amy

      Looove all your thoughts!! The food sounds incredible and so does Sebastien! Oooo thats a good theory!! So excited to read more!

  • Bry

    I absolutely loved the start of this book. It’s already worming a way into my heart as a new fave vampire story. I loved the dynamics between Celine and Sébastien even though we only got a brief glimpse at them together. And I’m all about the hints of Celine”s dark past that give you just enough that you are begging for more information.

    • Amy

      You are so right! I neeeed to know more about Celine’s past!!

      1
  • Mikayla

    This book started so strong in such an unconventional way! It was gently intriguing and has such a strange pull that doesn’t rely on action or end of chapter cliffhangers to keep the pages turning… It’s just so compelling! Celine is an incredibly interesting character and I love her relationship with Pippa… Strong female friendships in books are a major win.

    I feel like so many wonderful characters were introduced right away and it definitely adds to the allure of this book!

  • Megan

    I had this book as an eARC so have already read it. But all these comments are reminding me why I loved it so much! It keeps up the intrigue throughout and is so seductive and thrilling!

  • Lula

    I love how descriptive this book is – I could picture New Orleans perfectly. Although I must confess, my imagination is slightly coloured by Ann Rice’s New Orleans too. I love the duality of the city – bright and vibrant on one side, but dark and shadowy on the flip.

    I agree that I don’t think that the vampire POV chapters are Sebastien, I think it’s going to be a red herring and turn out to be a vampire with a vendetta against the Court of Lions.

    I love Celine – it’s so nice to see such a multi-faceted character in YA. I was starting to get a little fed-up of the generic ‘sassy, straight-talking heroine.’

    I can’t wait for more!

  • Danica

    Hi everyone
    I love Celine she is so bold but her sad past that made her leave her feather and her home I do feel sorry for her
    Oh yes when they were describing the food I was soo hungry all off a sudden hehe
    That Odette character seems interesting and so does Sebastian and I just love the dinemic between Celine and him so sassy
    Oh I am so intrigued about the vampire who is he and why is he so evil

  • Mathilde

    I agree with you, Celine being forced to flee because of a man is such a shame. I really enjoy her as a main character so far, and I hope she and Pippa makes it out of that convent *coughprisoncough*! I am sooo drawn to Sébastien, I can’t wait to learn more about him, he seems to be an important figure in New Orleans, at least in the dark underbelly of it.

  • Lucy

    I’m intrigued by Celine and I love how she reacted to Sebastien. Her being so interested in danger despite it probably not being the best for her healtth was such an interesting character trait, but I’m really liking Pippa there balancing her out. I’m loving a historical vampire novel, rather than modern day, so I can’t wait to continue!

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