Cover Image: The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

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This was well written however just not what I was in the mood for at the moment. However I did find the characters refreshing and the plot intriguing.
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The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book Two) by Dhonielle Clayton is a great follow up to book one! It kept me on edge and intrigued. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. The characters are deep and interesting! I look forward to more!
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I apologize, but I won't be able to give a proper review as of this date. I bought the first book in the hope that I would love it and be able to read and review the sequel but unfortunately, I didn't like what I read and I knew it wouldn't be fair to force myself to read and review a book I probably won't enjoy. If I ever end up finishing The Belles and The Everlasting Rose, I will change this feedback and give a proper review.
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The Everlasting Rose was, one of my most anticipated 2019 reads, and there were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about it--but a lot of things that fell flat for me, personally.

One of my biggest issues was the lack of resolution (is there going to be a third book?) and barely a hint of the worldbuilding we saw in The Belles. Clayton crafts such a delectable and unique world, I had so many high hopes for how it would develop in this installment. Unfortunately, there just wasn't a lot of that and as a result the novel felt rushed at times. Where The Belles thrived, The Everlasting Rose finds itself stumbling a bit.
Here's what I loved about it: The Everlasting Rose is armed with Dhonielle Clayton's beautiful and at times whimsical writing. She is definitely one of those author's that could write about the most boring, unappealing topic and it'd still come out sounding like poetry. She has this almost wistful quality to how she writes Camille's POV and through each and everytime, you can't help but to feel for Camille and her sisters and this incredibly different world they live in.

Then there's the differences between this world and our own. A good storytelling can create a world that feels so unfamiliar, but carries these very serious and familiar qualities to it that come right back around to us. The Everlasting Rose has this familiarity to it that ties directly into what Clayton has created and, of course, our own world.
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I loved the Belles, but this one fell flat for me. The plot often felt directionless and then rushed. Most of our discovery of the wider world was through newspaper headlines. The introduction of the Iron Maidens and then the final standoff with Sophia at the end felt rushed. On one hand I was glad to escape some of the stress of that character, on the other so much was set up in the Belles and then we kind of hurried through those moments. Clayton's writing still keeps the story moving and is engaging, but this felt like it had a less clear idea of what it wanted to do. I will say the slavery parallels here were a really engaging way to explore that in this type of YA fantasy novel.
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I enjoyed The Belles. It was a very different type of dystopian fantasy and had a lot to say about the role that beauty plays in social contexts. I couldn't get going with this one, though. It dragged throughout the middle to the point where I really wasn't all that interested in what happened to the characters. I have purchased The Belles for our school library (gorgeous cover), but haven't been able to get much traction with it.
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❝ The world is vaster and more beautiful than she ever described. Each corner of it feels different and unique, part of a puzzle with disparate pieces that somehow fit together. ❞

If you read my review for the first book, The Belles, you know that I was really looking forward to reading The Everlasting Rose. The first book blew me away with its strong characters and intense plot. And even though I still enjoyed this book, there is something missing from this one that took it down a star for me.

Part of the thrill from The Belles was in the confrontations with Sophia, which, unfortunately, we don’t get in this book. Most of the book is spent with Camelia and her friends on the run or in hiding. In other words, Sophia is pretty much never around. Sure, we get to see her actions through decrees and her soldiers, but we don’t really get any time with her until the very end of the book.

The characters still felt strong for me in this book, and I actually really enjoyed that we got to see more of these other characters; in The Belles, the focus was entirely on Camelia for most of the book, but in the Everlasting Rose we get to know her companions a lot better. This is a big plus for me because it helps me be more invested in them while they were on the run. So even though we don’t have Sophia to worry about directly, I worried more for Remy an Edel.

I don’t want to give too much of a spoiler, so I’ll be brief here. I think the pacing of the book definitely felt more rushed than The Belles. Part of this is because the series is a duology-– which is a real shame because I would’ve loved to see the story extended (even buy just one more book). The plot of the series was so good that I think trying to manage it in two books actually did it a disservice. With how intense things were and all the high stakes it kind of felt anticlimactic to read the ending. It wasn’t bad, but I can’t help but feel that if it had had just one more book to really develop the tension and conflict this would’ve been another five-star review.

So, overall, I think the Everlasting Rose is a fair ending to the series and I will be on the lookout for this author’s next work!
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I was given a free copy of this book from #netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Sequel to The Belles and this book does not disappoint.  The beauties endeavor to find Princess Charlotte before Princess Sofia takes over running the kingdom.  Does not diappoint.
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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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