Book Review: The Beautiful Ones

Silvia Moreno Garcia

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

published: 27th April 2021
spoilers? no


They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.

But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina—and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.

Galley provided by publisher

In all honesty, I don’t think it’s possible for Silvia Moreno Garcia to write a bad book. I’ve read four of hers now, and each and every one of them has been brilliant. What gets me most is the way she’s consistently brilliant across genres, and nowhere is that clearer to me (so far at least) then The Beautiful Ones.

The book follows Hector and Nina, two individuals who have the power of telekinesis. Nina has lived in the country for her entire life, but is brought into the city, to join among the socialites, by her cousin and his wife. Hector just so happens to be the jilted lover of said wife, and he takes the opportunity of Nina’s desire to know more about her powers to get close to Valerie again.

I don’t quite know how to put into words just how much I loved this book. It’s like, historical-esque fantasy romance and basically the confluence of everything I love. And Silvia Moreno Garcia so skillfully brings this world to life. Like with all her other books, the setting is atmospheric and you might almost believe that you’re there with the characters. I think that’s what I love most about her books — no matter what genre she’s writing, the worldbuilding is going to be immaculate.

On top of that here, you had Nina and Hector and their romance. Okay, so the age gap got me a little, so I decided to pretend it didn’t exist. Other than that, I loved them so much. It just hit every right note for me, with the angst and the second chances, and Hector finally learning to live in the present and not the past. Just thinking about all of it makes me want to reread (which is basically the best sign).

If I had to be picky about anything, it’s that Valerie is a bit two-dimensional as a villain, I suppose? Not that I minded, per se, but at times I wanted to feel a bit of sympathy for her, and just couldn’t. I know, it’s a weird position to find myself in, but that’s how it was. I wanted her to maybe show a tiny crack of kindness among everything, and there just wasn’t. That being said, this really is just a picky thing. It didn’t change how much I loved the book.

So, if you’re wondering whether to try one of Silvia Moreno Garcia’s books, let this be a sign that yes, yes, you need to.

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