The Beautiful is the first book in a new series by bestselling author Renée Ahdieh. This novel was first published in 2019. The Beautiful is a YA paranormal, historical fiction novel.
In this article, you will find some frequently asked questions about this book. I have tried to answer them as best and honestly as possible.
I hope you enjoy reading these, and I hope this post answers some of the questions you may have about this book!
Since I will be answering questions about the book and its story, this article will contain spoilers.
What is The Beautiful by René Ahdieh about?
In 1872 the seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau comes to New Orleans from Paris. She arrives with a few other girls and is taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent.
Celine has fled Paris because of something horrible she has done. She hopes to find a new life in New Orleans. Soon she meets Odette who introduces her to the glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions. Sébastien Saint Germain is the boss of this ‘club’.
One of the girls from the convent is found dead in La Cour des Lions. Celine is suspicious of Sébastien. But at the same time, the police think of Celine as a suspect as well.
Then more people die, all drained from all their blood. And it seems like a serial killer is on the loose. But what people don’t know yet is that the killer seems to be a creature from the underworld, a vampire.
Celine takes matters into her own hands and is captured by this creature. She almost dies in the battle to stop the killer. But she still loses a big part of herself in the process. Above all, she realizes her feelings for Sébastien are stronger than ever.
Is the Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh a standalone, duology or series?
The Beautiful is the first book in a series. The books should be read in this order:
There are rumors that there will be a fourth book as well. This book may be released somewhere at the end of 2022.
Does The Beautiful have romance?
Yes, but not as much as in book two, The Damned. Almost the entire book Celine and Sébastien hate each other and try to deny the growing feelings they have. Only toward the end do they admit they care for each other, and we see some romantic elements.
Of course, there is a hint of attraction throughout the entire book. This still gives the story a romantic feel to it.
Is The Beautiful by René Ahdieh enemies to lovers?
Yes! The Beautiful is a classic example of a true enemies to lovers story. The first meeting between Celine and Sébastien is hostile. Celine thinks he is just a rich bully and does not want anything to do with him. Sébastien thinks she is annoying and does not want her near him. Regardless of these initial feelings, they both know there is more to the other person than they know.
Circumstances make it such that they do run into each other quite a lot. Even though they don’t like each other at first, they do feel a pull toward one another.
And the longer they are denying the feelings they have for each other, the harder it gets to the point where Sébastien and Celine finally admit to themselves what they feel for the other. And they both end up trying to save the other’s life.
Are there LGBTQ+ characters or romance in The Beautiful?
Yes. Odette confesses to Celine that she prefers women over men. Also, she likes to dress up as a man wearing pants instead of dresses. This is scandalous in the time period in which the Beautiful is set.
Odette is very much her own person and does what she wants to do. From the outside, it looks like she does not care what others think of her. But this isn’t true at all.
Is this book spicy?
The Beautiful isn’t really spicy. First, it takes place in the 19th century. But also, the story does not really call for spice yet.
There is a scene where Sébastien and Celine are about to get intimate. But this scene isn’t very explicit. So it still meets the young adult qualifications.
The Beautiful by René Ahdieh characters:
Celine is a seventeen-year-old girl originally from France where she lived with her father. In Paris, Celine worked as a dressmaker. But when one gentleman tries to assault her, she accidentally kills him. To escape the police and the shame, she takes off to New Orleans.
Celine is very beautiful. She has green eyes, thick black hair, and slightly bronzed skin. Her mother died when she was very young, or so she is told.
Sébastien Saint Germain
Sébastien is an eighteen-year-old young man living in New Orleans. He has bronze skin and symmetric features. With thick lashes and dark brows, he looks to be of Spanish or North African descent.
Both his parents are dead. Also his sister Emilie is dead. She died in a house fire, caused by Sébastien. He is then taken in by his uncle Nicodemus.
Sébastien is the last living heir of the Saint Germain family. And also, he is the only non-vampire in the family. He runs La Cour des Lions where he has taken in many creatures from the underworld.
Odette appears to be around the age of twenty. But, because she is a vampire, looks can be deceiving. She is actually much older than she looks. Nicodemus Saint Germain is the one who turns her into a vampire.
She is described as a white-skinned girl with brown hair. Odette prefers women over men. Also, she prefers more masculine fashion aesthetic, wearing pants over dresses.
Pippa is one of the girls who came to New Orleans at the same time as Celine. She is originally from London and came to New Orleans in hopes to find a suitable husband.
She soon becomes one of Celine’s closest friends and joins her for the first time in La Cour des Lions.
Although Pippa does not know that La Cour des Lions is full of vampires, she knows they are different.
Who dies in this novel?
The first victim of the killer is one of the girls from the convent. Celine knows who she is and feels responsible.
Of course, there are more victims who all die in gruesome ways. But the most important death in the story is that of one of the clan members of La Cour des Lions.
This death puts different actions in motion and ultimately creates the events at the end of the book.
Celine is taken by the killer and almost dies. Sébastien comes to save her, but ends up fatally wounded. He dies the mortal death, but returns as a vampire.
The Beautiful by René Ahdieh ending (and explanation)
When Sébastien is fatally injured, Celine begs his uncle to turn Sébastien into a vampire. This is the only way for him to survive.
His uncle, one of the oldest and most powerful vampires in New Orleans, refuses. Sébastien is his only living heir. If he turns him into a vampire, the family line will stop with him. Also, he knows Sébastien would hate him for turning him into a vampire because Sébastien does not want anything to do with that life.
Still, the decision is hard. And in the end, Celine is able to persuade his uncle to save Sébastien. She makes a bargain. He can erase her memories of Sébastien. And she will leave him alone.
The deal is made and Sébastien wakes up a vampire.
The Beautiful is the first book in a new young adult fantasy trilogy. Renée Ahdieh is able to tell of a beautiful world full of vampires, werewolves, and other creatures lurking in the dark. If you enjoyed her previous books or just love a good vampire story, this book is for you.
I hope I have answered some of the questions you may have had about this book!
And if you have more questions that I didn’t answer, feel free to let me know in the comments below!