ARC Review: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

(Last Updated On: April 10, 2021)

Hi, The Beautiful Ones is absolute perfection: it made me feel so many feelings and I love it so much. I don’t read a lot of romance: I picked this book up solely because it’s written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia… and I think I want/need more romance in my life now???

About The Beautiful Ones

Publisher: Tor Books  |  Release Date: April 27, 2021  |  Pages: 304
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Romance, Fantasy | Format: eBook |  Source: Netgalley*

cover for The Beautiful OnesFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a sweeping romance with a dash of magic.

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.

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Content Warnings

age gap (unsure of Hector’s age but my guess is mid-late 20s), betrayal, suicidal thoughts referenced

My Review of The Beautiful Ones

eARC copy of The Beautiful Ones
eARC of The Beautiful Ones

This book ruined me and it took me almost two weeks to feel up to writing this review. The Beautiful Ones is a beautiful story of love and betrayal, of innocence and depravity, of conformity and passion, of youth and adulthood, of privilege and entitlement. Fast paced and instantly engaging, this book is told in the third perspective of three main characters who are inextricably linked and made me feel so many varying emotions while reading it.

“She existed and colored the city for him, lit it brighter than the elegant iron lampposts.”

The book may be titled The Beautiful Ones, but the story highlights how insidiously ugly a world of privilege is. The rules and regulations of the Beautiful Ones are always top-of-mind for our characters. Class, privilege, and status are all at the forefront; each character’s place within society and how the adhere to the rules are an undercurrent for all of their actions.

“In Loisail, certain things were not said out loud. Secrets were written in the movement of a fan or the gestures with a glove. Innocent words hid the sharpness of knives.”

This is primarily a romance novel; the fantasy elements are important to the characters and the way society sees them, but the magic is not the main focus or driver of the story. This is a great book for readers who are hesitant to fantasy as it’s light on the worldbuilding as it’s similar to a tangible part of history. I liked that Loisail and the world in general largely feels like our world about 100 years ago; the motorcar and camera are recent inventions and in many ways the technological advances mirrors the telekinetic abilities developed. (It makes me think of “Heroes” and how humanity could just be evolving.)

Believe me when I say that I’ve never been so fully invested in a cast of POV characters with such an array of emotions. The way my feelings changed for each of them as the book continued? That’s the mark of amazing character arcs and development. I could pen countless paragraphs about Nina, Hector, and Valérie but I think this is a book where it’s best to go in as blind as possible so I’m keeping it spoiler-free. (I might have to write a spoiler essay about this one, friends!) But I absolutely love how every action each character makes is informed by a thousand tiny bits of their personality; each character is three-dimensional and as real as you or me.

“I am glad of who I am now. You don’t know that when you begin a journey, and looking back the picture is not always pretty, but I wouldn’t take any of it back.”

One of the things I love so much about this book is it captures the unique and all-encompassing feeling of first love and shows different perspectives on it through time. How it shapes the characters and how that youthful innocence can be lost if we succumb to the pressures of society to conform. There’s sadness in it, but there’s also a lot of hope that passion can be found again once we let go of the echoes.

“Desire was not passion and passion was not love.”

I am not a well-read romance reader, but The Beautiful Ones makes me want to become one. This book captures the high society romance hijinks of regency romance (courting and escorts and debuts) and tore at my heartstrings. I screamed, I scolded, and I cried. Oh, how I cried… I spent the last 15% of the book with terrified tears leaking from my eyes and me wondering what happened to me. Not only do I highly recommend reading The Beautiful Ones, but also all of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work. Everything she writes is different yet so inherently hers; she is a master of genre and emotion, and is an insta-buy author for me.

I received a review copy from the publisher for my honest review. This does not affect neither my opinion of the book nor the content of my review. Quotations are from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon final publication.

Preorder Incentive

Preorder a paperback copy of The Beautiful Ones and submit your receipt before April 27, 2021 to receive an exclusive and specially designed postcard featuring art by Alexis Castellanos! US and Canada only, sorry friends.

No two readers experience a book in the same way; this was mine, but what about you?

💬  Have you read The Beautiful Ones yet? If so, what are your thoughts?

💬  Did I convince you to add this book to your TBR?

💬  What are your favorite romance books / novel of manners? What should I add to my TBR?

Let’s go on another adventure together!


  1. Nastassja

    April 11, 2021 at 12:24 AM

    I really enjoyed Mexican Gothic! Can’t wait for this one!

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:24 AM

      I did too, and this one is so different but equally amazing! I genuinely love how all of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books are so different from each other, but what remains constant is her prose and craft. I hope you enjoy The Beautiful Ones, and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Evelyn

    April 11, 2021 at 2:40 AM

    I already have this book preordered, but this makes me even more excited to pick it up!
    Great review!


    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:25 AM

      Glad you have it on preorder, because it’s definitely a book you’ll want to own! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  3. Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    April 11, 2021 at 5:59 AM

    Great review, thanks for sharing your thoughts

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:27 AM

      Thank you, Shelleyrae!

  4. eleennaeisloved

    April 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM

    This is such a beautiful review! I’m really excited about the book!

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:28 AM

      Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do! I’ve been SUFFERING for WEEKS waiting for people to read it so I can talk to anyone about it lmao. S O O N

  5. Lashaan Balasingam

    April 11, 2021 at 11:10 AM

    Fantastic review! I love how it changed your view on romance-centric novels. I personally always prefer it be low-key but when I do pick up a novel where romance is front and center, it better be good, which is why the only 2 I did read where 5 stars for me (Night Circus and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue) hahaha

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:30 AM

      Thank you so much for your comment, Lashaan! Like you, I’ve found my preference to be for romance as a subplot and not the main focus – but honestly, even that is a newer development for me. (Like 3 years ago.) I really need to re-read The Night Circus; I know I enjoyed it but didn’t write a review way back then and I remember nothing of the book or my feelings? So the book just taunts my brain on my bookshelf lol

  6. Shatarupa Dhar

    April 12, 2021 at 3:47 AM

    I’m definitely going to read this then. Sounds beautiful. 😍

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:37 AM

      GOOD, as you should! The book is beautiful and heartbreaking and frustrating and I swear these characters put ME THE READER through the gamut of emotions lol.

  7. Abby @ Beyond the Read

    April 12, 2021 at 7:57 PM

    Gorgeous review Kal!! 💗 You’ve single-handedly convinced me to add this to my TBR. As a lover of both romance and fantasy, I’m definitely going into this with high hopes!

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:40 AM

      Oh gosh, I am truly HONORED to be the one to get this book onto your TBR, Abby! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  8. Birdie @ Birdie's booktopia

    April 14, 2021 at 1:38 PM

    I am honestly ready for this book to ruin me at this point. Loved reading your thoughts honestly, although I’m now really craving this hahah!

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:41 AM

      “Ready for this book to ruin me” is honestly the best mentality going in, haha. Thankfully the wait will be over soon, and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

  9. Alienor

    April 16, 2021 at 3:06 AM

    Such an amazing review! This one has been on my radar for a while now but your review made me even more excited to read it! I LOVE when characters have a full, interesting arc 😍

    1. Kal

      April 17, 2021 at 10:44 AM

      Let me tell you: I have never read a book where the author has made me feel completely different about EVERY CHARACTER as the book proceeds. Simply masterful! I’m so thankful that this book changed my opinion/bias against romance books.

  10. Brigid

    April 24, 2021 at 9:18 AM

    I wanted to come check this out as I’m thinking of picking it up as soon as I get some other reading done. Ugh love romantic fantasy. This looks good.

    1. Kal

      April 27, 2021 at 10:27 AM

      I hope you love the book as much as I do, and PLEASE GIMME RECS if you have them!?!? I need more romantic fantasy in my life.

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