The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 May 2019

Member Reviews

There wasn't very much interest or intrigue in the first book, but whatever there was didn't get put into this book. There's information dumped on you, but it's ruined by an annoying main character, weird side characters, and a whiny villain.
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This book was a bit lackluster, but I did enjoy it more than the first book. There were a lot of loose ends, but I did enjoy the plot. My main problem with the book is that it is fairly predictable.
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I couldn't even finish this book. I was deeply disappointed because I loved the first one. This one lacked the character development that I expect in a second novel. The first one was clearly world-building, and while that world is cool, it was not enough to carry me through this book.
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Clayton continues the story of the Belles as they try to overthrow Sophia who is trying to overthrow her sister for control of the kingdom. Readers of the first book will want to see where this story goes. There's some running, hiding, subterfuge and the discovery of new powers. Review from e-galley.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I have to say I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first installment.  The main reason being I was bored with the plot.  I didn't feel like it was as well thought out and there wasn't anything that happened that I felt was particularly surprising.  All the interesting parts seemed to be in the first book.
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I thought this duology was very good, and that The Everlasting Rose was a fitting conclusion for the series. We got more character development and so many great plot moments. Although some moments dragged a bit, the book still had me intrigued from start to finish - and I though the book continued well from the first one's premise with its important commentary on beauty and worth.
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I really enjoyed reading Dhonielle Clayton’s well crafted fantasy The Belles and eagerly anticipated for the sequel especially after the explosive events left me dangling from a cliffhanger.  Given the unknown status of this series (is it a duology? trilogy?) I have mixed feelings about The Everlasting Rose though I mostly enjoyed it.

 The Everlasting Rose picks up immediately where The Belles has ended. Camille’s innocence has been stripped away and she has become awakened to the exploitation of her Belle sisters. She is driven to liberating her sisters, finding the missing Princess Charlotte, and dethroning Sophia in Orléans. Of course large obstacles stand in Camille's way as Sophia's imperial forces are hunting her,  and her handsome guard Rémy. When Camille learns Sophia is constructing a prison to enslave Belles and chain them to the ugly demands of the kingdom, the stakes spike higher than ever and reinforces Camille's determination to restore Princess Charlotte to the throne before Sophia is crowned queen. 

 The Everlasting Rose gives the reader a broader view of Orléans, a world that is a kaleidoscope of beauty, ugliness, whimsical and terrifying all at once. Under the guise of attaining beauty, the reader is exposed to the darker, underlying structures of enslaved magical labor and implicit violence, and the dehumanizing attitudes Sophia emboldens throughout the kingdom endanger Belles everywhere. Although Camille is our heroine, she too is not free from Orléans' taint as she must navigate various alliances such as the new revolutionary group called the Iron Ladies who resist all beauty treatment. 

   My main problem with The Everlasting Rose is that it feels like a middle book. The pacing is inconsistent where the action slowly builds and then everything feels rushed to the end. The Iron Ladies intrigued me and I wished they had more page time to develop in the book. With these issues in mind, I am really hoping for another book in this series as I still have many questions that remain unsolved. Overall this series poignantly uses a harrowing, fantastical tale to illuminate the very real horrors of unattainable beauty standards and the enslavement of marginalized bodies. Don't let my rating for this book deter you from picking this series up. It is well worth the read.
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The Belles was an okay read for me and I wanted to give this a try because I thought it would be better. But I just couldn’t get into it. 

Others who thought the first book was wonderful might like this more than me.
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DNF @ 47%
I have a huge feeling that I'm never going back to this.
I forgave the first one for not getting really good until half way mark since the world was still getting established but this.
Nope!
The best thing about it was Remy and he was barely in the 47% I have read.
For a book to be a revolution it was not jumping at all.
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First thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC, in exchange for an honest review.  So, let me start by saying that I would auction off my first born to be able to get my hands on anything Clayton writes, Period.  I read a short story of hers and I have been a fangirl ever since.  When you talk about authors being capable of unfolding a world before you in the most marvelous and terrifying ways, not to mention Clayton as one of the best is to do her and yourself a great disservice.  If you didn't feel like a member of Orleans society, while reading this, you must be dead inside.  If you didn't feel the heartache, frustration, desire, loyalty, and love from her characters, again, check your pulse.  Very rarely do I actually want to thank the Author for their contribution to society, but dammit, she deserves a round of applause, I was please all the way around, the filling in of the gaps, the ending packaged beautifully.  This series is just solid.  This better become a movie or a mini-series.
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I read the first book, and it was slow.  Sadly to say, I didn't even start this book.  I just couldn't drag myself back into the idea of meeting these characters again.
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This sequel picks up right where we left off at the end of The Belles, but it's easy to step back into the world of Orleans even if it's been awhile since you read the first book. Camille is fighting for her life (and that of her sisters), and she is intent on removing Sophia from power in order to secure safety for the Belles and their supporters. Although Sophia isn't as prevalent in this story as she was in the first, the horrors have not ceased: Belles are being enslaved, their supporters are being tortured, people are punished for not obeying beauty standards, and we can't tell whether rumors that Princess Charlotte has died are true. The stakes are high yet again, and Clayton doesn't pull her punches when it comes to addressing the way that unattainable beauty standards, xenophobia and manipulators in positions of power can spell disaster.
I rushed through the book so I could speak with Dhonielle Clayton at the NTTBF about it, but I think the pacing (and my excitement about an addition to the series) would have made it a quick read regardless. Beyond-the-moon happy that she confirmed that a third book will be coming to this series!

A galley of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
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I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. This is the sequel to The Belles. Camille is still trying to restore the beauty of society in Orleans. The description in this book was masterfully done and it makes going alone on the journey so much easier. They are still on the run from Princess Sophia. Camille has her guard and sister with her. I enjoyed reading this was fun and entertaining.
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I loved the first book so much, but this one was a disappointment.  

The writing was beautiful but too flowery. I felt that the MC was all over the place emotionally, a departure from the first book.  The romance was not believable.  At all.  The book dragged, and the ending felt anticlimactic, like the author sped through the ending without really planning it out.  I’m sorry I read this, I would’ve preferred to just have read book one.
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I had high hopes because the first book set up such a cool world with so much intrigue! I wanted more of that, but instead I got a lot of repetition of the world building we already had in order to cram in as much plot as possible. It felt like this book was going to be two books but then her publisher took book 3 away or something. The pacing was just too rushed. Too many big things happening back to back took away a lot of the impact.

The end was also just really abrupt because of this pacing issue. Technically all the plot points were good and made sense but it was just too rushed so finishing the book felt like something to do rather than a journey.
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2.5. 

This book was... not good. The language was beautiful and flowery and lovely. However, the first one could have been a standalone. This felt so different pacing wise compared to the first one and was almost boring at times. The charm of the first book was the plot and the themes and this just fell flat to me. I’m really disappointed and will not be continuing. The ending of this one is a neat package and should be left as a duology.
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There were a lot of good things to be said for the first book in Clayton’s series. So when this sequel came out I was incredibly glad to get an ARC of it.

The Everlasting Rose did not start off with a hook like the first book did, the plot was slow and sadly it never picked up. Camille and her friends are just waiting around and I couldn’t tell when something was actually going to happen.

On top of it I found the main character incredibly annoying. Everything that I liked about her from the first book was gone. She’s repetitive and I couldn’t believe her when she said anything about wanting to kill her enemy.

I had high hopes for this book and they were all let down. I ended up quitting the book because I was so bored. I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series either. In the end I gave this book 1 star.
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All in all this wasn’t one of my favorite stories, but this was a satisfying conclusion to the duet. Clayton weaves together a tale of the horrors befallen Orleans by the evil Queen to be Sophia and how she plans to manipulate and torture the Belles to make their society even more dependent on beauty. While the overall message is good (and the covers are gorgeous) the world building and execution fell short for me. I didn’t feel much for the characters and I felt some of the concepts difficult to conceptualize.
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Thank you to the publisher and the author for the release of this review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

If you are not aware, this is book 2 in the Belles series. Belles was released I believe in 2018. It was talked about all over the booktube community. I was a little late to the game but I finally got on board. I will have to say this book did not disappoint. 

The world building was fantastic. I think this book came out strong. It is hard to for a sequel to be as strong as the first book but this one did not fail me. I don't want to go into great depth about this book because I don't want to spoil for those that have not read book one but the author did a great job with the character building and flushing them out. It was a very easy story to follow and I highly recommend this series.
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A wonderful conclusion to the Belle's. I'm not sure if the story is ended or not, but it felt like it could be done and I was pleased with the ending. Everything wrapped up nicely and it was great to see things unfold. This story was just as unique as the first one and the world was a delightful one to read. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley for providing a copy of the book.
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