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

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Everlasting Rose, the sequel to The Belles is so much different then it’s predecessor. The sequel is just as dark, if not more, and just like The Belles the darkness is hidden. In The Belles, the darkness/evil was covered up with beauty and romance, but in The Everlasting Rose it’s hidden through Camille and her friends being further away from the palace (and Sophia) and having their own worries. 

This book was interesting, and a good sequel, but to me it didn’t hit as hard as the first one did. The first one, was about how you can take beauty too far, and this book is about how to make the decision when too far is too far, and living with the consequences. 

Camille is conflicted much more in this book, which I really enjoyed. She’s conflicted on who to trust, who to forgive, how to help save everyone, and more, and I loved her for it. 

I think The Belles will always a hold a special place in my heart, but this was a very good follow-up to the series.
Was this review helpful?
Beautifully told story, I continue to love the characters we first meet in The Belles.  Gorgeous imagery, fabulous messages.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My review of The Belles was not fantastic. I said I loved the book but felt that there was too much of the world that was unexplained. That led to me getting really excited over what I thought was intentional pieces of left out information only to later find out that they weren't plot relevant, just unexplained. I'll say that The Everlasting Rose did a great job of answering most of the holes left in The Belles. It was very clear to me what was world-building and what was plot relevant. 

I loved how Camille developed as a character in this book. She's so angry and justifiably so. So many books, especially those targeted towards girls and women, teach that forgiveness is a virtue. This book really highlights that sticking to your boundaries and not compromising is a virtue too. It's okay to be angry and it's okay to decide not to forgive.
Was this review helpful?
The fact that I couldn’t get past the first chapter is awfully telling… Which is a shame, since I loved The Belles and was beyond excited for the release of The Everlasting Rose–I even pre-ordered it before I was approved to review it!

But, sometimes, the second one just isn’t as good as the first.

The saddest thing is that I had to DNF this one. I wanted so badly to get into the story. The Belles was one of my favorite reads in 2018, and I was hoping The Everlasting Rose would join the Faves Squad this year.

And I tried, y’all. I tried hard to get into it. I thought maybe it was me, that I couldn’t get into it because I was in one of those phases where I couldn’t focus on anything for long enough. But the harder I tried to get into it, the more I didn’t want to finish it.

So I took a good, hard look at why. The writing wasn’t nearly as grabbing as it had been in the first one. I was immediately hooked on the prose in The Belles, and I didn’t want to put it down. But the writing in The Everlasting Rose? It didn’t have the same cadence to it; it just felt stiff and boring. I wasn’t hooked, and the writing was turning me off the story in a bad way.

I wish I could say this book is as wonderful as its gorgeous cover, or it’s outstanding predecessor, but I just can’t.
Was this review helpful?
It hurts so much to only give The Everlasting Rose two stars. I loved The Belles. It was my favorite book released last year. But The Everlasting Rose just fell flat. If I’m being honest, I felt like I was reading a book from a completely different series. This book didn’t feel anything like The Belles did. There were so many things the characters did that just seemed so out of character. And while The Belles pulled me in, I felt detached while reading The Everlasting Rose. I never felt fully submerged in the story. Things jumped around so fast in this book, and then there was the totally unsatisfactory climax and ending.

The Everlasting Rose takes place after Camille, Rèmy, and Amber have fled the palace. They are now in hiding with Edel. Camille is angry. She’s angry about being betrayed. She is angry about being lied to. She’s angry about being used her whole life. She wants to end Sophia’s reign before it has a chance to begin. With the help of The Iron Ladies, a group of women who reject beauty treatments altogether, Camille makes a plan to find the missing Princess Charlotte and put her on the throne.

I love how Camille is driven by her anger in their book. It’s not very often that we get to see a female character who is driven by anger, and I love that this book is different in that way. However, I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of Rèmy and Camille’s relationship in this book. He was one of my favorite characters in The Belles, along with Bree, and I wish we could have gotten to know him (And Bree) better. I also wish we would have gotten to know Camille’s sisters, the other Belles, better. Also, I don’t get Camille’s attachment to Amber. She loved Amber so much, but I could not stand Amber. I didn’t like her in the first book, either. In all honesty, Amber was almost as bad as Princess Sophia. Then there’s the matter of the climax. We kept building up and up for this big explosion, and then nothing really happens. I was hoping for a big explosive event, but it didn’t quite happen the way I hoped it would. And the ending left a lot of loose ends. There were so many unanswered questions, but this was the final book in The Belles world since The Belles is a duology. Overall, I just felt really let down by this book.
Was this review helpful?
I really loved The Belles, which was an excellent start to a new exciting series. However, The Everlasting Rose was a bit of a disappointment. It cannot be the final end to the series! This book moved very slowly. Then suddenly, the ending was rushed and unsatisfying. I think I would have enjoyed it better had there been another book. However, this book really ruined the series for me.
Was this review helpful?
I received this as an ARC from Netgalley. Thank you guys so much!
In this sequel to the New York Times best selling novel, The Belles, Camellia Beaureguard, the former favorite Belle, must race against time to find the ailing Princess Charlotte, who has disappeared without a trace. The evil queen Sophia's imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep Camille, her sister Edel, and her loyal guard, Rémy, from returning Charlotte to the palace and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called the Iron Ladies--a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely--and the backing of alternative newspaper the Spider's Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections, and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and attempt to restore peace to Orléans. But enemies lurk in the most unexpected places, forcing Camille to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice to save her people.
     I have been waiting for this sequel since I read the first book. There's just nothing like the world of Orléans; it's so beautiful and magical but at the same time dark and dangerous. The Belles as a series is really just everything I want out of books. 
     First off, Dhonielle's descriptions are just wonderful. She makes everything come to life in a way that's totally unreal. I'm pretty positive she has one of my favorite writing styles in the world. 
     And I love love loved Rémy and Camille's relationship. Like, serious goals. They're so protective of each other and they take care of each other and AAAAAAAAA. 
     Can I have a boyfriend now?
      I also really liked how clean this book was. There wasn't any language or over-sexualized stuff. Besides mentions of drinking, the only element I didn't like was that there were two ladies who are mentioned to have female lovers. It's not really a major element though. 
      The characters in this book are stunning  as well. They all had such depth to them and even if I didn't like all of them, I at least understood where they were coming from. My favorite character was Rémy by far. He's just so loving and protecting and good and just everything I love. 
     I must admit, I found the ending a little unsatisfying, but that's endings for you. I really just didn't want it to end. For me, that's the mark of a truly good story. 
     The Everlasting Rose was a for sure five out of five stars for me. It really was just so fantastic, and it made me happy to be able to dive into this world again. Hopefully we'll have the chance to dive back into the world of the Belles soon! 
     "Offers are never final unless you're dead."
     -Dhonielle Clayton, The Everlasting Rose
     "Queens don't rule alone."
     -Dhonielle Clayton, The Everlasting Rose
     "Lesson number two, petit: Never do the expected."
     -Dhonielle Clayton, The Everlasting Rose
Was this review helpful?
“Beauty is blood and bone and sovereignty: a perfect smile is its greatest weapon.”

I’m so pleasantly by this book and I actually really enjoyed it. I loved the world of the Belles and the luxe history and descriptive writing, but I had problems with some of the characters and plot points. But Everlasting Rose surpassed my expectations and gave me everything I wanted for the story in this world. Set immediately after the events of The Belles, Camille is looking for her sisters and a way to stop Princess Sophia from taking over the Orleane society. Plenty of action and politics make this an engaging and rich story I couldn’t put down.

Things I Liked
The worldbuilding was one of my favorite things from book 1 and I feel like I got an even better grasp on it in book 2! I feel like I got a bigger insight into Belle history and  their powers, like what arcana is.  The setting is this seamless blend of 18th century France with this futuristic tech, and it just works. I also continue to love anything and everything related to gods and mythology. 

I really grew  to love Camille in Everlasting Rose. She is passionate, ambitious, headstrong, and determined. She doesn’t always make the smartest choice, but she’s never careless or reckless and I respect the hell out of her.

I always here for a good revolution storyline, so I loved meeting the Iron Ladies who lead the rebellion against the Belle/beautification culture. It was nice seeing a different perspective and group that doesn’t define their power in beauty.

Belle lore is so dark and fucked up. It such a contrast to the facade and practice of the Belle. It the pinnacle of not all that glitters is gold .The Belles are seen only as property not people. How they’re treated and used is truly horrifying and how Belles are created is something I never expected. 

Things I Didn’t Like
I had a problem with clunky transitions throughout the story. I felt like as soon as we got to an intense action scene the chapter would end, and the next began with an easy resolutions past the problem. It  cut a lot of the action in the story and make the reading a little choppy. 

Sophia still crazy loon, but she wasn’t as big a presence so she didn’t bother me as much. But as the ‘villain’ of the story, she was a little underwhelming.

Everlasting Rose is a mostly satisfying conclusion to what The Belles started. This series takes a deep look at the dark side of beauty and challenges the influence and expectations society ascribes to our appearance. The writing and the world are so luxe, the characters are compelling, and the food sounds delicious. This was a book I just couldn’t put down.
Was this review helpful?
There will be spoilers from book one in this review.

The Everlasting Rose started off right where The Belles ended.  Camellia, Edel, Amber, and Remy are on the run.   Sophia is telling everyone that Charlotte is dead.  She is marrying and becoming Queen.  Word reaches the girls that Sophia plans to make a lot of changes to the Belles.  And the four are all wanted with a big reward.  Edel shows Camellia that she has a power they didn't know they have.  It's a glamour that can change their appearance.  It takes a lot of strength, but it's something that is helping them hide.  Sophia is creating a prison for the Belles called The Everlasting Rose.  Arabella has been sending word to Camellia when she can, but some of them get caught or have to go back.  Camellia has been hearing about a resistance group, The Iron Ladies.  They might be the only hope she has of getting Charlotte back in time to be queen.

There is a lot that happens that I just can't talk about.  Some of the people get killed.  The writing is still very descriptive and the reader finds out more about how the Belles are created.  There are lots of teacup animals.  The dragons sounded adorable and I totally want one.  Warning though, one teacup animal dies and it broke me.  I really enjoyed that there was another power that the girls didn't know they had.  There were a lot of things they weren't told about.  I also loved the growing relationship with Camellia and Remy.

I gave The Everlasting Rose 4 stars.  Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.

Warnings for torture/beatings, death, death of an animal, and cruelty.  There may be more that I'm forgetting.
Was this review helpful?
This was a very fast paced sequel that started a few days after the ending of the belles. However the ending left me wanting more. I hope there’s a third book that wraps up all the open ends that were not wrapped up at the end of the book. 

I was sent an E-Arc of the book thanks to Net Galley
Was this review helpful?
The first book was incredible and Dhonielle Clayton did great with the second book. Sometimes the second book feels like a filler, but this was great and I devoured it!
Was this review helpful?
The Everlasting Rose picks up where The Belles left off with Camille running from Sophia’s guards while attempting to restore Princess Charlotte to the throne.  What weighs this book down is the amount of running around from Sophia.  The first half of the plot was slower than the second half (or last quarter of the book).

Just like in The Belles, we see Belles using their powers (oftentimes forced), which can go too far into a dark place.  I enjoyed seeing Camille’s growth with her abilities from the last book.

I’m surprised that there isn’t a 3rd book in the works.  This story doesn’t feel wrapped up.  Overall, the cover and writing are absolutely beautiful.  The characters fell flat and I struggled to relate to them.
Was this review helpful?
This was a solid and entertaining follow-up and conclusion to The Belles duology. I devoured the first book and was really happy to be able to dive straight into this one.

The world building and the “magic” system were spot on. The progression of it in book two was really well done. Clayton builds beautifully on what was laid down in the first and introduces new quirkiness. I especially love the little snippets of newspaper articles/titles. A few indiscriminate lines scattered throughout the story, but they reveal so much about Orleans and never failed to make me smile. It feels very unique and easy to immerse into. 

As I commented with the first book, for a plot that centres around beauty, this is impressively deeper than that. It is a premise that translates to being both wildly entertaining and disturbingly dark on several levels. Camille is a fantastic main character to helm this story, and I found it easy to get into her head and get in touch with her motives and fears. Compared to the first book, there is an awful lot of travelling and running around from island to island, and yet it was actually quite intense and thrilling. 

What lost a star for me was the ending. For a series ending it felt rushed and rather half-assed. I thought there were a lot of loose ends left and relationships that were just pushed aside and abandoned. It left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth because it just didn't feel finished. 

Tiny note: I think I'm the only one who hates that cover. The brown shades turn me off so much, especially after the fun pink that was book one.
Was this review helpful?
Imagine a world where we are all look exactly the same....gray skin tone, white, gray hair, same bone structure.  In steps the Belles, the coveted ones who can sculpt you into anything you want to be, but at a painful price.  Now step into the Belles shoes and think what it would be like to be sought out by thousands of people.  You are a Belle, the only one who can make people beautiful, desirable!  At what cost?  Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?  

To understand everything that's happened, you will need to read the first book in this series, and trust me, it will truly captivate you!  This book grabbed me because all Belles grow up understanding that they are taught nothing but to be picked up like a rose is to be plucked up in the garden.  Why?  Because they are to give beauty treatments to the rich, the ones who live in grand castles to always make them beautiful.  Only on the outside, their hearts can't truly be changed.

Jump forward to the second book and we can see how much the Belles sacrifice and sadly how some may give their lives in the process.  Who and why?  That I can't tell, you must read this book to find out!  I do hope there will be more in this series, the ending does leave you thinking this, so I can hope!

This book shows me that we truly put way too much emphasis on beauty.  We need to value our hearts, our souls.  To quit teaching our children that our skin, our makeup is what makes us beautiful.  How we truly shine is our kindness, our smiles, our souls shining out with the love inside.  That's what truly matters.
Was this review helpful?
Although I had several issues with The Belles, I was genuinely excited for The Everlasting Rose after the first book's abrupt ending. However, I was kind of disappointed by the sequel.

Worldbuilding- This book is set in a futuristic New Orleans based world featuring people who can alter other people's looks in a society that revolves around beauty. I don't know if it was just me, but this world reminded me of the Capitol from the Hunger Games with its frivolity and extravagance. While this world was fascinating and such a unique setting, it is never fully developed. We only get backstory when the plot needs it to make sense. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy the setting but it felt as if this world was lacking substance.

Characters- The characters were my least favorite part of this book. In The Belles, I wasn't fond of Camile at all. I was hoping for some development and a fleshed out character arc but alas, I absolutely despised Camile by the end of The Everlasting Rose. She's so foolish, obnoxious, and just so bland. I was surprised that she wasn't killed or captured at any point of this book because of the naive choices she makes that basically endanger everyone around her. She's also way too easy to like- she has no major internal conflict and always wants to do the right thing and in my opinion, this makes her fall flat characterwise. Additionally, I didn't like the romance between Remy and Camille- as in the first book, there is no chemistry and feels very forced.

Also, I wanted Sophia, the villain to be more developed. I was intrigued by her motives and wanted to be so much more than just an evil tyrannical ruler bent on controlling the world but alas it is what it is. I liked rooting for the villain as much as the protagonist (sometimes even more than I should) but I honestly didn't care for either of them and thus, I wasn't very invested in either of them.

Plot- The plot felt very scattered and the pacing was extremely choppy. In the first 3/4 of the books, it's so slow and mostly focuses on Camille running around and trying to overthrow Sophia. I was so bored for the first 3/4 of this book because there isn't enough conflict and suspense in this book. The sides are literally "good" vs "bad" with no moral shades of gray to make it complex and interesting. The book takes so much time building up for the ending but the ending is so rushed and left me unsatisfied. I hope there is a sequel because there is much unfinished business.

Writing Style- Despite not enjoying much of this book, I did enjoy Clayton's writing style with its lush descriptions and vivid imagery. Beautifully written and I appreciated that it wasn't as purple-prosed as The Belles.

Overall, I wasn't mindblown by this book because I wanted more conflict and character development but I wish I had enjoyed it as much as the first book. However, I'm still open to reading more from this author (please let there be a third Belles book).

*Thank you to NetGalley and its publishers for providing a free ARC*
Was this review helpful?
The Everlasting Rose is the sequel to The Belles which I really enjoyed when I read it. Mostly because I really like Rémy (he reminds me of Kaldur from Young Justice). I do feel like some parts of this book were lacking because there was so much build up to the climax of the story and not much pay off. While I enjoyed the overall journey to getting there, the climax fell short for me. Also, this includes one of my least favorite romantic tropes, so if you’re not a fan of two love interests getting split up for majority of the book, be aware of that before going in.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely loved this book! A great sequel to The Belles. Girl power at it's finest, and an unusual premise for a book. Be warned - these books make me SO hungry! The world-building, (particularly food and drink), is amazing!
Was this review helpful?
**3.5 stars**

"We can't expect one person -- or even two -- to take the entire burden of resisting on their shoulders. We all have to stand up and say no."

The evil Princess Sophia is set to rise to the throne. She claims her sister, Charlotte, is dead. She has sinister plans in mind for all the Belles and the future of beauty work throughout Orleans.

Camellia, the once favorite, is on the run. Forced to flee the kingdom, she now finds herself on the outside looking in. Pairing up with some old favorites from Book 1, including handsome savior, Remy, Camellia begins to set her sights on taking Sophia down. The task is made more difficult however since Sophia wants her found, making her the 'most wanted' person in all the land.

Discovering an underground movement of rebels also planning to revolutionize the kingdom, Camellia finds a place were she feels she can be of good use. But can she trust them?

This book picks up directly where Book 1 leaves off. There is a lot more action in the plot as the world has already been built for you. However, although their is more action, I still felt the pacing was a bit off for me.

There were times I was really enjoy it and was speeding along and other times where I had to force myself to pick it up. Clayton's writing feels lovely to me. Each word she chooses seems to add beauty to the text but at the same time, things can seem very one dimensional. 

I liked the scifi bits that were sprinkled through here. The way the Belles are 'grown' and Sophia's plans for them seemed something more out of a dystopian novel than a fantasy. I did enjoy those elements and personally, I wish there had been a bit more of them.

I know that may seem a bit of a weird little tangent but I couldn't help but wish those ideas would have been expanded upon more. The origin of the Belles. We heard the mythological tale of where they came from but how much of that was true?

I did also enjoy the commentary about standing up to old-fashioned systems that need to be changed. Systems that take advantage of, literally USE, some individuals for the sheer pleasure of the better off within the society. This was an interesting examination of the concept of beauty and the negative effects of societal emphasis on beauty.

The Everlasting Rose leaves off in a very interesting place. Is there going to be another book? I would definitely be interesting in continuing on in the this world. The events that take place at the end of this leaves a lot to be explored. I am crossing my fingers for a Book 3!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Book Group, for providing me with a copy to read and review. As always, I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to hearing other reader's thoughts on this one!
Was this review helpful?
What a sequel to a unique story! Everlasting Rose delivers on the promises set up in the first book. The only complaint I have is the storyline with Auguste seems a little out of place for where the book was heading.
Was this review helpful?
At first, I was not liking the story.  It was so slow and there were glitches in the story that almost made me not finish.  Then it happened, and I was hooked!  I love the Belles and the whole world. It is amazing how you can turn something sonknowing into something so magical!  I just with the first part of the book held the magic the second part had.
Was this review helpful?