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Bestie Book Club

If you love Descendants, you're going to heart our newest Bestie Book Club pick

Welcome back to our Bestie Book Club—
a community for book lovers from Girls' Life magazine. 

If you're new here, hello and welcome, book lovers! Here's how this works: Each month we read, discuss and obsess over a new book. So if you haven't already signed up, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagramwhere you'll be able to find Bestie Book Club updates, special contests, giveaways, event invitations and more. 

Here's a quick list of everything you'll find inside this post (and beyond). Just remember, *major spoilers* are ahead, so look for the spoiler ratings before you read!

Hello, Cruel Heart: THE BOOK CLUB AT-A-GLANCE
+ Buy the Book
+ Quick-Read Recap
+ Commentary from our Bestie Book Club
+ Details on how to participate

Spoiler level: Low

School's almost out (anyone else obsessively counting down the days to summer vacay?) and we've discovered the best way to pass the time between final projects—getting lost in a fabulous book.

Hello, Cruel Heart is Disney's latest origin story—and it's about the one and only Cruella (or is it Estella?) De Vil. Maureen Johnson's glamorous, exciting, girl-powered book is the companion to Cruella (coming out this May) and *so* reminiscent of modern Disney classics like Descendants and Maleficent. Already sold? Buy it right here.

Psst: Want to skip the spoilers and just read our (low spoiler) Bestie Book Club reviews? Click HERE.

Spoiler level: High

Estella is your average teenager: Complaining about her school uniform, dreaming of hanging with the cool kids and, uh, taking part in a petty crime ring? OK, so she's a *little* different. Along with her friends Horace and Jasper, Estella roams the streets of London in the summer of 1967, stealing tourists' wallets as she pursues her high fashion hopes.

But how can ambitious, smart and talented Estella become a famous designer when it feels like London (and, tbh, her own actions) are working against her? Discover how this stylish teen becomes Cruella—the Disney villain you love to hate—in an origin story filled with unexpected twists and turns.

What are you waiting for?! Read the book right now.

Spoiler level: Medium

Did our Bestie Book Club love Hello, Cruel Heart? Read on!
We chatted about Hello, Cruel Heart with fellow besties who are just as obsessed as we are. Get to know #bookstagrammers Ellarose, Joy, Kira, Kylee, Lily and Paizleyand their fave parts of this fearless, fashionable, adventure-packed origin story.

Ellarose @ellarosekaylor


Fashion fan: I loved this book so much: It was such a great story and it felt so alive. My favorite moments *had* to be the fashion. It's a perfect read for any style lover.
Style star: If we're talking everyday clothes, I love to be comfy—think beach chic. But when it comes to going out, I go for skirts and jumpsuits—a lot more fashion-forward. I love the idea of faux fur vests for cool nights, too!
World wanderer: I love to travel. Right now I'm dreaming of Paris (it just seems so magical!) or Australia—there's a koala rescue I've been wanting so badly to see.

Joy @joytuckofficial


Go-to fashion trend: After this year? My favorite fashion trend is sweats! I love to be comfy, and they were basically *the* uniform. I'm not ready to let them go!
Disney essentials: My favorite Disney flick of. all. time. is Raya and the Last Dragon. So I’d love to see more insight into Raya’s origin story now that I've read allll about Cruella.
Summer bucket list: I have sooo many things I can't wait to do this summer. I love going camping with my family—if I had it my way, we'd go every weekend!

Kira @cali.kira


Just like Descendants: I’m *obsessed* with the Descendants movie trilogy because I love revisiting my fave stories from the villain’s point of view. Hello, Cruel Heart reminded me of everything I heart about Descendants. These villain stories hook me right away. 
Trendy times: If I could travel to any place and time, it would be New York City in the 1980s. I live for the bright and vibrant fashion—and I’d love to explore the city with my besties.
Film fan: I’m so looking forward to seeing Cruella. Now that I've devoured the book, I'm already hooked on this story! 

Kylee @cheerps.lauren_k


Summer goals: Like Estella in the book, I love clothes. Summer outfits are so much more fun to put together. I can't wait to take style risks and play around with my look.
Ultimate origin story: That’s a hard one. Now that I've read all about Cruella, I'd love to read about Maleficent—her character is so dark and complex in the movies. 
World traveler:  I'm half-Korean, so I want to go to Korea with my family. My mom is adopted, so I'd really love to learn more about the culture (and try all the yummy food, of course).

Lily @lilybrooksobriant


Throwback trendsetter: If I could study fashion like Estella, I'd be headed back to the early 2000s. I'm *so* obsessed with Y2K lately.
Next origin story: I want to learn about The Little Mermaid's Ursula next. It's so fun to read about Cruella, and now I *need* to know what made Ursula the way she is.
Faraway fantasy: This book just reminded me how much I want to visit London someday. The high-end style moments, the energy of the city, the stunning sights...I want to experience it all.​​​​​​

Paizley @paizley_steven


Spectacular scene: I'm absolutely hooked on the glam parties and fabulous fashion in this book! London in 1967 seems so fun, so I loved getting to be a part of it with Estella.
Summer style: I love anything sweet and sparkly, but my warm-weather looks are about to get a major glow-up. I was inspired by Estella's bold and colorful choioes. 
Villain vibes: It's been so fun to see all of these stories from Disney villains to see how they got to where they are. It gives context to the original classics...and gives you new characters to love.

So you've read the book and you're ready to talk all things Hello, Cruel Heart? Wondering *exactly* how the Bestie Book Club works and what it means to be a member? There are so many ways you can get involved—whether it's solo, on social media or with your whole squad. Here's a quick list...
+ SOLO. Take your personal reading game to the next level using the themes of fashion, adventure and what it means to be a villain as a guide for your own journaling and personal reflection. If you love to read, it could be fun to start a special book diary where you keep track of all your favorite novels—and the personal musings they inspired.
+ ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Share your thoughts on Hello, Cruel Heart using the hashtag #glbestiebookclub on Twitter and Instagram. (Just remember: You have to have a public account for us to be able to see and respond to your posts!)
+ WITH YOUR SQUAD. Host an IRL (or Zoom) book club party. And be sure to tag us in your snaps so we can share them.

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by GL | 4/15/2021
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