Winter White: Belles, #2 -- Jen Calonita
Spoilers about Belles are a necessity!
After long-lost cousins Isabelle Scott (from the Wrong Side of the Tracks, basically the North Carolina version of Chino) and Mirabelle Monroe (from Emerald Cove, basically the North Carolina version of the O.C.) found out that they were ACTUALLY SISTERS, life for both of them changed YET AGAIN.
Only actually not that much. Yes, they have to do a bunch of press stuff so as to save their father's political career, but mostly it's just more of the same: dealing with mean girls at school and trying to save Izzy's beloved community center and misunderstandings and boy troubles and so on.
And never fear, O.C. fans, this installment continues to channel the show: WINTER WHITE IS (in part) ABOUT COTILLION.
The only thing missing is Tate Donovan getting punched in the face.
Be ready for some clunky exposition—Cotillion! How could Mira have forgotten about her favorite tradition in Emerald Cove? Making her formal debut into society was something she had dreamed about since she was in pre-K. She'd spent the last three years preparing for the sophomore girl tradition—taking etiquette classes, going to Saturday morning dance lessons, and doing approved Junior League charity work—and somehow she had let all this drama with her dad make her completely forget the most important event of the year!—but wait, there's more!—Cotillion pledging. Rush. Debutante initiation. Whatever you wanted to call it, Mira had forgotten about this secret tradition, too.—and then the narrator goes on to explain it all in detail, but I'm sure you get the point, so I'll spare you.
And I was disappointed that Calonita [SPOILER] apparently fed the same exact criteria into the Random Villain Generator, because JEEZ LOUISE, AN UP-AND-COMING POLITICAL FAMILY JUST CAN'T GET RELIABLE HELP THESE DAYS. [/SPOILER]
Perfect? No. Literary pyrotechnics? Double no.
But I love how Izzy and Mira have become a team—much like Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood, of course—and if you go in for this sort of thing (as I do), as long as you're prepared to overlook some rough spots, it's fun stuff. I'll be reading book three soon-ish.
Book source: ILLed through my library.