Winter White: A belles novel by Jen Calonita, Poppy, 2012. ISBN: 9780316091169. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
Middle books in a series are tricky. The majority of them play things a bit too conservatively in their effort to be a bridge to the concluding volume. This is a delightful exception. Picking up where Belles left off, with Izzy and her new sister Mirabelle, mad at their dad and learning how much they like each other and think the same, this segment of the saga deals with their getting ready for Cotillion. At first, Izzy can’t imagine herself getting involved in such an air-head event, but when she sees how important it is to her sister and the rest of her new family, she grits her teeth and agrees to be part of it. Enter Dylan, Brayden’s older sister, the black sheep of the family. She’s part of the initiation protocol that cotillion invitees must go through. There’s a lot about her relationship with her family that Izzy doesn’t understand and even Brayden isn’t willing to tell her what that’s all about. Add in the problem that someone seems to be leaking dirty, but mostly untrue secrets about Izzy and her family to the press in an effort to derail her father’s political campaign and you have plenty of juicy plot elements.
If you haven’t read the first book, please do so before diving into this one. What really stands out about both of them is how well the author took a lifestyle most of us would shudder at and turned it into a fully-fleshed series. All the characters are well drawn and the plot flows nicely. This book, like the first one is a great, fun read for teens and tweens who like romance, interesting plot twists and a peek at the lifestyles of the rich.