Belles by Jen Calonita


Title: Belles

Author: Jen Calonita

Format Read: Audiobook

Rating: 4 Stars


Isabelle “Izzie” Scott’s life is far from perfect. Bit it’s her life, and she loves it. She loves living in Harborside where she’s minutes away from her beloved ocean and community center. She loves living with Grams in their old house. She loves her friends, the ones who are more like family rather than friends.

But life is getting tougher and tougher each day. Money is tight. Grams is forgetting more and more. And with  forgotten memory, most of the adult responsibilities fall to Izzie.

While things aren’t great, they’re fine. That is, until Izzie finds out that Grams is going to live in a nursing home and she is going to live with some long lost uncle.

With a new family comes new challenges. Challenges Izzie can handle, it’s the newfound enemies that may destroy her. Will Izzie survive her new life?

What Didn’t Work:

There was a whole lot that I really enjoyed about Belles by Jen Calonita. But there was one very minor detail that bothered me. While I feel that author Calonita excelled at crafting this story, there were moments of predictability. There were quite a few twists that I saw coming a mile away. Even though there were predictabilities, I feel that they didn’t detract from the book.

What Did Work:

Going into this book, I was a blank canvas. I had no expectations. But I quickly found that I was immediately engaged and immediately invested in the going ons of the book.

Calonita’s well crafted story was also relatable. And her writing is rock solid. But where she really excels is in her characters and her her dialog.

What made her characters so great is that they are realistic. As are their problems. Each character has a personality all of his or her own. Some readers will easily click with, and others readers will clash with — just like you would find in the real world.

Belles is a rags to riches story. But instead of focusing on the parts where where the character thrives in his/her new environment, Belles focuses on the struggles, and the drama of it all.

I read the audiobook edition of Belles. I personally love it, and loved narrator Julia Whalen. I feel that her narration added an additional layer of personality to this story. Her tone and inflections were on point, and best of all, was her subtle Southern charm and twang.


In all honesty, I picked this up on a whim. I based my decision to read this one based on the narrator. And I am really glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So, yes! I would recommend it to you, dear readers.

Similar Books to Read After: 

  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins
  • People Like Us by Dana Mele

(Book cover image from GoodReads)