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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

“And the infinite captivates us because it allows us to believe all things are possible. That true love can last beyond time.”

Vampires are back in this slow yet thrilling love/mystery story set in New Orleans. This book gave me major The Vampire Diaries and Twilight flashbacks and I loved every single one of them. I also love vampires and missed them with a passion as slowly books start discovering other magical creatures and have stopped featuring one of my favorite monsters of them all.

The Beautiful is a slow paced book, magically written, until the half part of the book. As soon as that half mark is passed, the mystery is all revolving. In the beginning one observes the danger lurking by, yet as the book nears its end one feels it in every limb and in every page read. The tantalizing the dread with what we know will end in a sacrifice made me want to weep a few times without even knowing what was happening.

The main character is tough and I loved that about her. As many many reviewers have compared it to Twilight, which it does include some incredible little reminisces of my first vampire book, the main characters are completely different. Where Bella is sometimes looked as weak, we cannot say this in regards to our Celine. Celine also has many more layers, has a darker tone to her story instead of Bella's cookie cutter persona (I still was a fan).

“She was no lamb. She was a lion.”

That quote right there made me happy. This seemed like a little easter egg in our vampire world. If one doesn't remember I'll remind you of one of my favorite scenes in Twilight where Bella and Edward discuss their love for each other:

"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb"

"What a stupid lamb"

"What a sick and masochistic lion"

I might of cried a little.

The love story is forbidden (as many are) and passionate. As they want to be kept apart they keep on getting closer. Bastien is also incredible and I loved that he wasn't immortal, just powerful because of his bloodline and who he was and who protected him but all in all he was as human as me and you.

Now, the whole story is a bit slow which is why I won't give this book the 5 stars I want to give the ending. Consequently, in some parts of the story I felt confused. The ending (SPOILER: Who is Emily !!??) left me a little dumbfounded and ready for the next one. As the villain is shown, I am yet to believe that was the end of the story and it clearly isn't. As our "villain" in my opinion was just the servant of our real master mind behind all the killings.

The mystery behind the murders and the scary sub stories really do get to you and I had no idea who our mystery killer might be. The inside chapters where we got to see a little into the villain's mind where also a delightful piece of this story.

I loved the characters and the setting. In many ways it came alive. The fashion side of Celine was also a brilliant touch to tantalizing the story even further. The whole dark squad including Odette, Nigel, Baron and all the other members of Les Cours des Lions were great sub characters that seemed to make this story come alive.

The only thing I didn't like about the story was the slow pace in the beginning and the somewhat confusing parts of the story that I didn't understand. All in all, this story is a must read for all those vampire lovers who are bloodthirsty to add another story to your repertoire of vampire books.

--- 4 stars ---