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The Beautiful Ones Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B07DBLQRVZ
- Publication date : May 26, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 1455 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 279 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,277 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I’m not going to lie- this book suckered me in from page one! I love a messed up Cinderella story and dystopian fiction is my favorite genre, so this worked for me on every level. I had some trepidation before starting this book- I was worried it would be The Selection all over again, but beyond a false Utopia and pretty dresses, The Beautiful Ones is epically superior. I love the modern-day references with the red carpet and paparazzi, but throw in a league of female stormtroopers, terrorists and arranged marriages and I’m sold! There was never a moment I wanted to stop reading. Yep, I read it from cover to cover in mere hours! It’s that riveting, but now I wait for book two, so hurry up and write Kody because this reader is anxious for more!
THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Koby Boye is a Young Adult dystopian novel with a twist. Rather than being about a young action heroine who is struggling against the tyranny of the week, it is the story of a woman who wins a peculiar "beauty pageant" that results in her becoming one of the Beautiful Ones. They are people who have been selected for their strong genetics to be the pampered and beloved wives to a eugenicist experiment in the Glittering City. If this sounds like there's a shoe waiting to drop, you'd be half-right.
Kelendra is an entertaining but reserved character as she has been raised by her family to endure The Process. They've done her best to use their meager resources to make her spectacularly lovely in hopes of getting her accepted as one of the Beautiful Ones. It's something Kelendra never got a chance to particularly want for herself and when she is accepted, doesn't quite know what to do with herself since it separates her from the only life she's ever known.
If I had to describe this, I'd say this is something akin to a PG-13 version of the Handmaid's Tale. There's even a figure known ominously as the Commandant who develops a liking for Kelendra's best friend (and goes after her in a subdued but horrifying scene). There's also elements of the Hunger Games with the entirety of Kelendra's village being fascinated by the prospect of her becoming a Beautiful One even as they expect to never see her again.
The world-building is exceptionally well done as Kody draws on the Antebellum South and Civil War motifs to give a sense of what the world is like. It is definitely in the future but not so far in the future that the Old World is completely forgotten. Indeed, it's implied it may be only a few decades away from now with the dystopian Glittering City having been built in the aftermath of the United States' recent fall.
Do I have any issues? Well, one. The thing is that being a Beautiful One doesn't actually seem to be that bad. You're required to be in an arranged marriage but Kelendra is set up with a young man of her own age, who seems to be every bit the kind of pleasant and good person she is. It also does rescue her from poverty and near-starvation.
When dealing with a bunch of eugenics-obsessed bad guys, I kept expecting some terrible twist: that Kelendra was actually asexual or gay, her husband to be was, her husband to be was abusive, or the Beautiful Ones were meant to be harem girls for the rich and powerful of the city. Kelendra is horrified by the thought of getting married so young and having children but arranged marriages were the way things went for most of human history. At the least least, I was expecting a horrible racial undercurrent to exist to the Process but I didn't see any evidence of that either.
This is a small issue, though, as I genuinely enjoyed following Kelendra through her journey. She is a passive character but incredibly perceptive. I really did sympathize with the fact she's being taken from her loved ones for the promise of a new life she's not sure she wants for herself. There also are many hints to just how horrifying this society is with the majority of lower-class men having been conscripted into what is implied to be a WW1-esque meatgrinder. I immediately picked up and read the second book after finishing the first one and suspect you will too. I rarely comment on covers but I also feel the artist for this one should be commended--it's a really lovely work.
From the day of her departure to her time in the Spire, the Process is overwhelming and becomes life-threatening when Kelendra realizes the War is now at her front door. The society Boye has crafted contains elements similar to the Hunger Games and The Handmaiden's Tale, while retaining the author's skill in using personal drama to draw readers into his disturbing creation. The Beautiful Ones is full of ugliness lurking below the surface of all the pleasantries.
I read this novel in one sitting and I can't wait for the sequel. Kody Boye has once again created original characters that reflect the ongoing social issues in the real world, cleverly disguised as suspense and tragedy in his fictional society.
Top reviews from other countries
I was delighted with the book. It's we'll written, the characters are totally believable and the storyline makes sense. I had no idea what was going to happen next and just had to keep reading, read it all in one go and then went back and read it again. If anything I enjoyed it more the second time.
I thoroughly recommend this to anyone. I was amazed to see that it's a Y A novel. It deals with many themes some of which are complex and challenging to an adult let alone a teenager.
It's ages since I enjoyed a book that I was asked to read as much as this one. No offensive language, no sex, just a brilliantly constructed world which contains thought provoking ideas and leaves you wanting more.
First the writing style, it's not had as such but I just don't feel any connection to the characters, only way I can explain it is that I don't know how the main character feels by her words or actions, more I know how she feels because I am told she's upset or angry etc.
But the main issue I have though is the whole hypothesis that not only are the leaders only interested in preserving beauty, but that the population not only accepts this, but is complicit in it.
Kelendra spends her whole life staying out of the sun, avoiding carbs, not frowning in case she gets lines...for what? So she can at age 16 be taken away from her friends and family, her whole life to live in luxury in the Glittering City. I would understand it more if her family got some benefit from this, but as far as I can see they don't. I get that they aren't rich and the life they live is hard but really, at least she is loved and looked after.
It seems a thoroughly selfish concept that the young girls would try so hard to be beautiful just so they can be dragged away from their family to be pampered. Then when they get everything they want they seem surprised that there is a cost to pay for it.
I've read a lot of this genre of book, but generally I feel empathy for the protaganist as they are pushed into impossible situations by forces out of their control or to protect their family...in this case I must admit I kind of think it serves them right.
One other thing that has really put me off reading any more is the last few pages. The last conversation with Kelendra and Ceyonne really disturbed me, not giving any spoilers, but given this is sold as Teen and YA one thing Ceyonne said there was totally inappropriate.
Sorry but I'm not going to read any more in the series.