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

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

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Member Reviews

Disclaimer: I received the earc from Netgalley and the finished book from Rockstar Book Tours and Freeform. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book Series: Book Two of The Belles

Rating: 2/5

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (suicide TW, slavery imagery, violence, slight gore)

Publisher: Freeform

Pages: 352

Amazon Link

Synopsis: In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia's Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle 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 restore peace to Orleans.

Review: Okay so for the most part this book is really gorgeous. The writing, the cover, the artwork for the map. Everything is absolutely worthy of The Belles. The book also has really great imagery about slavery and equality and I can see where an English teacher like a decade from now would use this series for their English class. However, I do have some issues with this book.

The book begins and there’s no easing into the book. Usually a sequel will have some sort of in-book synopsis or explanation of the previous book’s events. So, I would definitely recommend reading this back to back with the first book. The book is really confusing otherwise and I struggled to remember all of the people and places and events that happened in the first book while reading this one. The character also had a name change I think. I thought her name was Camellia in the first book, but now it’s Camille? Or am I having a Mandella Effect? The side characters are very underdeveloped and unmentionable. I can’t connect with anyone in this book and the MC feels totally different. I’m so confused over the ending and I feel like there are a lot of plot holes in this book. This book feels like a different story overall. The first book was amazing and fantastic. I loved it and it was definitely one of my faves from 2018, but this one feels rushed and incomplete. I feel like it needed more time to develop and possibly a different course of action for the main. I also feel like the book would have benefited from being a trilogy instead where the story could have been slowed down and better thought out. Right now, the book feels like a first draft instead of a final draft.

Verdict: Read this if you need some sort of closure from the first book.
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This was a satisfying end to The Belles series - supposedly a duology, although the epilogue did suggest a continuation of the story or maybe even a spin-off. 

The action picks up right where The Belles left off, so I would say that this is not the type of book where you can pick up anywhere in the series - you would definitely need to read the first book first. I think that book 1 was actually a little stronger than The Everlasting Rose, although as I said, still a satisfying ending. 

The trademarks of The Belles remained - sharp critiques of a society obsessed with beauty, feminine power, and heart-pounding tension. Like the first book, it is incredibly readable, and is the type of book you can easily devour in an afternoon. I appreciate Clayton's approach to the YA genre - like other YA, this series is a quick read, and not too difficult to comprehend, but I find her characters to be much more bearable and mature than the typical angsty teens. There is also a romantic relationship, but it thankfully does not take over the plot like in other YA. 

If you read and enjoyed The Belles, then you will not want to miss the finale of that story. And if you enjoy diverse and unique fantasy that isn't too dense or heady, then give the series a try. I would also strongly recommend this series to female teen readers.
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This is my second Dhionelle book and I would have to say the writing is absolutely beautiful. She has a way with describing scenes in such detail.  The Everlasting Rose is a sequel to the NYT bestseller The Belles, and it picks up right where The Belles left off, which I really LOVED!! The sequel is a bit different from book one. It did take me a while to get into it…. but overall I found it was just as dark/evil as the first, and peppered with the right amount of beauty and romance! Thank you NetGalley and Disney Book Group Freeform for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.
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After reading Belles last year, I couldn't stop thinking about it and couldn't wait to pick up this sequel. While Everlasting Rose had the same magical setting and endearing characters, I thought the plot lost some of the suspense. This sci-fi fantasy story is set in a truly unique world and we learn more about the complex system of magic, especially concerning the Belles. I enjoyed diving deeper and learning more about everything from the tea cup pets to the secrets of how the Belles are really born. The characters relationships grow stronger, and the sister bonds of this story make it stand out. 

However, the ending felt rushed and the dual focus of saving the Belles and getting rid of the queen felt under realized. It made me wonder if this book was really necessary or if this simpler plot could have been added to the previous novel to make it a stand alone. It was disappointing as a sequel and series finale. I would've liked either more time spent on the ending and another book to round out the trilogy or adding this suspense to the first for a stand alone. 

If you enjoyed the first book you'll probably enjoy this one but with a hint of disappointment by the fumbled opportunity of the ending. It is still a unique addition to YA and the genre blended sci-fi fantasy genre, full of feminist empowerment and the bonds of sisterhood.
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The Everlasting Rose, like The Belles, is America's Next Top Model meets Hunger Games.
Only one week since her escape from the palace, Camille's life has changed drastically. Once an innocent bud, she has been forced to grow into a mature flower. Everlasting Rose, the highly anticipated sequel to The Belles, still contains mysterious, intriguing characters and interactions, but in an action plot. Camille is now openly on the run, rather than deceptively rebelling. 
Clayton's delicious descriptions, such as "the letters rise on the black parchment like drizzles of cream in hot chocolate," and "soft beams of moonlight sweep along the ocean as the left eye of the God of the Sky rises," have me licking my lips for more of the decadent, magical setting.
    The many lingering questions: where is Princess Charlotte, who are the Iron Ladies, drove me from page to page. The pace especially picks up 2/3rds into the book. 
    Above all, amidst the anticipation and refuge lies cleverly wrapped metaphors of society's shallowness, materialism and insatiability.
I thorougly enjoyed reading this modern YA fairytale.

Thank you so much for the ARC!
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I absolutely loved The Belles. I loved the feel of the book. I loved the story message, and I loved the characters. So, why did The Everlasting Rose feel like a completely different story?

The Belles was super unique and a little unpredictable. I enjoyed how the story tried to show that appearances aren’t everything, and I loved that the main character fought to prove that beauty isn’t just skin deep. The Everlasting Rose just didn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor. It had hints of that beloved message, and some of Camellia’s original personality that I loved and found so fierce, but it mainly just felt lost. Also, did anyone else notice that her name was Camellia in book 1, and Camille in this book?

Anyway. I wanted to know how everything ended. I wanted to see Camellia (Camille?) succeed in her mission. I was ready for a revolution. I was ready for darkness and a power struggle, but it all just seemed too easy and predictable.

I guess I just felt disappointed when I finished this. Even the ending felt a little too easy to be satisfying. I mean, I loved the writing. Both books had beautiful writing. I loved the world of The Belles. I still felt like everything was detailed and vivid, and so unique, but this book just kind of felt like a quick afterthought to wrap up the story when compared to book 1.

I finished it in one day, so, obviously the writing was enough to keep me going. I loved book 1 so much, I knew I needed to see it through to the end. I just wish I had loved The Everlasting Rose like I loved The Belles. I’d rate it 2.5-3 stars, but I’d definitely still read anything new from the author.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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After the amazing buildup of The Belles, I was hoping for more from The Everlasting Rose - and, sadly, I don’t feel like I quite got that. Possibly this might be because The Belles was set in one primary location, and it featured a lot of great worldbuilding as we were introduced to this fascinating premise. But The Everlasting Rose didn’t really expand on any of that worldbuilding - we didn’t learn much more about Orleans, and the introduction of the Iron Ladies was interesting but rather brief. 

In terms of characters, I liked Camille just fine, but it didn’t feel like she grew much over the course of this book. Her actions are all predictable, all for the greater good, and the characterizations of Edel and Remy were similarly one-dimensional. Sophie is your typical villain, spoiled and singularly awful, and we didn’t much see the repercussions of her actions. 

The plot picks up right after the cliffhanger ending of The Belles, and at first the quick pace was entertaining, but as the book went on it started to feel rushed. There is not much buildup to the climax of the story, and the main character, Camille, passes out for most of the denouement. 

I was so ready for Clayton to expand this world, draw out the action further - this story definitely feels like it wants more than a relatively short duology.
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In this conclusion to The Belles duology we explore more of the kingdom as Camilla scrambles to stay hidden from the powerful forces that want to enslave her and her sisters. With time running out she must find allies and a way to stop a tyrant from taking over Orleans. Her love for her sisters and her determination to help them was really sweet. Camillas bravery and ability to gather allies was inspiring. I enjoyed the cute slow burn romance and how it didnt take away from the main plot. We also get to spend more time with Edel who was one of my favorite sisters from the first book. Sadly her attitude in this one rubbed me the wrong way. I did love seeing her tailor again and his role in this sequel.

The pace was a little slow, but being on the run with the threat of being discovered added a nice amount of tension to the story. I missed the layer of mystery we had in the first book, but I liked knowing more about the Belles and their origin. Seeing the Belles use their powers in different ways was a lot of fun. I love the vivid and opulent world but it didnt feel as magical as the first book. Im still not sure how post balloons work, but its still a pretty cool invention. One of my favorites parts of the world besides the Belles powers was the adorable tea cup dragons. I just couldnt get enough of them. I felt like the writing wasnt as overly detailed as the first book, but it still had that enchanting quality to it.

I thought the themes of beauty were amazing but they werent mentionned as much in this sequel. We also get themes of slavery and how thinking of people as others can be super damaging. The ending wasnt as satisfying as I was hoping it would be considering how blown away I was at the end of the first book. I still love the antagonist, but I just felt like things resolved themselves too easily without any lead up to it. On the other hand I wasnt able to see it coming since it came out of nowhere. The very end is left open so there wasnt much statisfaction from that. I didnt mind it too much since I do enjoy envision my own ending for the characters. Overall I still really enjoyed it. Im a sucker for glamourous and creative world building and this had plenty of it.
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This book was 😱😱 so, sooooo good onfg. Pick this up asap and read it because you won’t be disappointed!!!
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Camille has escaped from evil Sophia's clutches, but the princess has captured her Belle sisters and is building a prison that will house a monstrous creche of slave Belles to cater to the demands for more beauty.

I think this is one of those, it's not you, it's me books.

I enjoyed the first one, with the decadence overlaid and supported by an unseen/purposefully ignored slave system of magic users and was really anticipating where this book would go. How would the system be dismantled? Where did the Belles come from? What else would be revealed.

I wasn't underwhelmed or overwhelmed by this sequel, I was just...whelmed. 

It was enjoyable and had a good ending, but I found myself skimming through it to get to the end, swishing my eyes over the macarons and teacup everything to get to the meat and potatoes—more revelations of the "secondary" Belles, more screen time, more explanation of what it meant to be Gris, more action, more explanation of Sophie and her rapid transition to authoritarian power.

But I felt like most of this book was Camille, Edel, Remy and Amber somehow managing to escape detection from the most incompetent city guard on the planet while flitting from innhouse to innhouse wearing flimsy masks, with the last 20% crammed into the final showdown.

I think that a lot of readers will enjoy this final (?) installment in the Belles duology (?), but it didn't capture my attention as much as I would have liked.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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It’s Tuesday and that means new books coming out today! I posted my new releases for March list over the weekend and this book is definitely on that list (you can visit the list to see the other titles). But last year I finally checked out the Belles on audiobook and I got hooked so fast. I listened to it so quickly and so avidly, I could not stop. I wanted to know everything about the world and Camille and her sisters. So once the book ended I naturally hit Goodreads to try to see what was next and found out there would be a sequel and soon! I was then even luckier because I received an ARC from the publisher of the second book and almost immediately had to devour it! I have been waiting for release day to share this review with you all. So let’s get to it!

SPOILERS AHEAD
This book picks right back up with Camille needing to stop Sophia and her forces and the only real way to put a stop to her is to find her sister Princess Charlotte. In the first book, Princess Charlotte was deeply ill and unable to rule or really do anything. Camille however, found out the truth but now Princess Charlotte is gone. If Camille and her sisters can find her it would stop Sophia from ruling (and that totally needs to be done because Sophia is straight up evil). If you read Belles we all remember her cruelty, it is literally stuck in my head and I would even go as far as to say Sophia is worse than Cardan from Cruel Prince.

Camille cannot stop Sophia alone, she has way to much power and influence so Camille gets help not only from her sisters but also from some new friends (the Iron Ladies). I have to say I really loved the Iron Ladies, I thought they were such an intriguing group and I would love to see more of them anytime! I do not want to spoil the ending and say weather Camille can stop Sophia or if they find Princess Charlotte. I will say I really enjoyed this follow up to the Belles and our new friends. This sequel definitely kept me riveted just like the Belles did. The only thing I would change would be I want to see more of the Belles and learn more about them and the Iron Ladies (but I feel like that is just me and my intrigue). I am giving this book five stars on Goodreads and if you have not already go try the Belles (you will not regret it).

P.S. If this ever became a movie it would be so beautiful, these covers are drop dead gorgeous.

****This is not a paid review! I just really am thankful and love this book!
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4/5 stars - just as dramatic and fast-paced as The Belles!

The Everlasting Rose was one of my most anticipated March releases, and it lived up to expectations! While I missed the specific concept of the previous book (the rivalry over being the Favorite and the beauty work at the palace), the world of Orléans and the Belles remained as captivating and filled with hidden dangers as ever. 

I would have liked to see Camille undergo more character growth, but she seemed to mature and gain resilience in this book, as well as being forced to confront her anger and need for vengeance. I’m also thrilled (and relieved) that Camille didn’t forgive Auguste despite his apology and that there was no love triangle with those two and Rémy, who was this book’s love interest.

Dhonielle Clayton's gift for setting and atmosphere shines through in The Everlasting Rose, setting Camille's emotional, high-stakes journey up for a satisfyingly bittersweet ending.

I'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed The Belles. You won't be disappointed!
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Thank you to Partner Netgalley for my advance copy of this novel. I loved The Belles and was so excited to read the sequel, The Everlasting Rose. Set in the dystopian world of Orléans , this novel reveals the way that quests for beauty and power can spiral out of control as the quest to become the most beautiful and most powerful gets in the way of compassion, equity, and all forms of understanding. 

The Belles  opens in a world where most people are born gris, meaning that their natural complexion is gray, with red eyes, straw-like hair, and gray whiskers on their faces. This condition is both unattractive and painful. The only exception to this natural state is the Belles, who are born lovely with all different complexions, shapes, and demeanors, but who are all able to use the power within their blood to help others beautify themselves. The Belles are raised to beautify others, and when they come of age, that becomes their duty. In order to avoid this natural but uncomfortable state of being gray, the citizens of Orléans must have routine beauty procedures done, which can only be performed by the Belles. They pay high prices and suffer extreme pain to endure the beauty procedures. Camille Beauregard and her sisters are coming of age at the beginning of The Belles, and they become the group of Belles able to assist all of the people of Orléans, including the royal family, with these procedures. However, as Camille gets deeper into her journey, she quickly realizes that the world is not as it seems and that her talents can be misused and can cause harm. 

The Everlasting Rose picks up where The Belles left off, and it captivates the reader immediately. I loved the main characters in the novel and found myself swept up in their riveting adventure, rooting for them to succeed, even though they were facing staggering odds. Camellia Beauregard leads us through the complex world of the royal family as Princess Sophia makes her way toward the throne. Camille discovers that she has powers she did not realize she possessed, but she also realizes that she can be forced and manipulated into doing things that are horrendous. Her unlikely companion, Rémy, and her sister Edel, are both fascinating supporting characters with their own agendas and desires. Additionally, the teacup dragons who travel with them are so precious and fun!  

I love the way Clayton demonstrates the power of suggestion, the pressure to fit in, and the role of gossip and the media in what shapes society. I also love her commentary on the way that subliminal messages and peer pressure can lead us all to feel that there is some kind of artificial beauty ideal that we should achieve-- and that the pursuit of that false ideal can destroy us or cause us to destroy others.

Camille's courage, determination, loyalty, and resolute unwillingness to back down make her the kind of woman I hope to be and hope for my daughters to be. She is ready to bring about change, and she faces the uncertain future with resilience and passion. 

​In short, I cannot wait for Book Three!
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I was a HUGE fan of Clayton's first book in the Orleans series, The Belles, and very excited to receive an ARC for the second installment. The prose did not disappoint! The overt luxuriousness of this fantasy world is mirrored in the beauty of the writing itself and I lost myself in so many descriptions, which is odd for me as settings and details are usually less interesting to me. I appreciate the fact that this beauty is juxtaposed against the harsh brutality of life and the incessant pursuit of beauty above all else. Clayton's commentary is so well-done; it's very easy for insights into our own world to be overkill in fiction but it's handled with a deft, expert hand here. 

I was overall happy with the characters and their development. I would've liked to have seen a little more development in Camille as the protagonist but I can't help but like her feisty, angry side as the world works against her. Plus, she really does lose a lot in this book so I think where she ends as a character is a good fit. I was happy to see Clayton sidestep the love triangle element; both Remy and Auguste can be interesting characters without them being juxtaposed against one another. There's also a wonderful villain in Sophia; she's quite horrifying. 

This book doesn't shy away from the darkness of violence; there's more death in this book than in The Belles but it suits the story. A revolution truly is happening and that means people will die. It would've been easier for Clayton to take the safe way and keep everyone alive for the sake of fan service but she didn't and it made the story stronger. 

It was very hard to put this book down as literally at every turn something is not working out for Camille. My only criticism is that parts of the book felt rushed. In my opinion, The Everlasting Rose could have been two books to give it room for more character development and plot depth. I won't detail it in my review to avoid spoilers but there was definitely a point in the plot that would have made a good break point between two books and I was a bit surprised that it wasn't. The timeline of the story could easily have been lengthened, giving events a more significant weight than when they are piled together. (I'm very aware that this could have been a publishing decision though and I'm inclined to think that it is personally.)

That being said, this duology is my favorite in YA fantasy right now, as it was after I finished The Belles in 2017. There's a lot to learn in this story about beauty and social constructs and I love the representation across race and orientation. There's a solid villain, a good redemption, and a satisfying end. I would LOVE to see a third installment in the future. 

Note: I received a free Kindle edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher Disney Book Group, and the author Dhonielle Clayton for the opportunity to do so.
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I loved the belles and this was even better,like so much better,and I didn't think it could been possible.

I love the characters and the world is so interesting !
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I loved the first book of the serie,the belles,and this one was even better.
I didn't think it could be possible to be better than the belles but here we am.



I LOVED this book so so much
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The eagerly awaited sequel to The Belles does not disappoint! Clayton continues to seamlessly challenge beauty standards, commercialism, and classism through a fantasy lens, while building a world that grows more intriguing by each page. Camille and Remy blossom as characters and love interests in The Everlasting Rose, and the Iron Ladies are the type of complicated resistance movement I'd like to see more of in YA. An astounding and victorious conclusion to a world I want to see more of!
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I love this series so much!! I love following the Belles and finding out what will happen next. If you haven’t read The Belles, then please do!! And then pick this one up next!
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I was such a huge fan of The Belles, and when I got approved for an ARC on Netgalley for the sequel, I was SO happy.  I was excited to get back into the world that I loved so much from book one, and find out what was next for the characters after that cliff hanger ending.  The book jumps right back in to where we left off, and it took me a minute to remember everything and readjust to the creative and specific verbiage they use.  Unfortunately, the plot of this book is a bit slower than The Belles, and even though things were happening, everything just felt less vibrant.  The action does pick up in the second half, but the characters stay pretty linear without much growth.  The chemistry between Camille and Remy was nice, but I wanted their relationship to be stronger.  It didn’t progress enough for me.  The best relationships were between Camille and her sisters, and I loved seeing the different ways they all dealt with the battle against Sophia and their way of life.  Speaking of, I wanted more of Sophia.  They talked about her a lot, but I wanted more interactions and moments with her because her craziness made the first book so engaging.  I liked where the story went, but it just felt like something was missing.  I appreciated the open ending- it was satisfying enough if there is not another book, but it definitely leaves room for the story to continue.  Overall, I was a little underwhelmed by this sequel, but there was enough for it to be enjoyable and I look forward to seeing if there is more to the story.
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A sequel to to the New York Times bestseller The Belles, The Everlasting Rose picks up where the story left off. We return to a steampunk magical fantasy version of New Orleans called "Orleans." Orleans is a society built on beauty and luxury, and is now ruled by the tyrannical  Sophia, who has actually gone mad with power. The Belles ended with Camelle’s betrayal, fall from grace with the queen, and on the run. The meek and naive young woman must become a revolutionary to save her people.

We find Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and love interest Remy as rebels racing to find Princess Charlotte and out run Sophia's Imperial forces.  They are fighting to help Princess Charlotte take her rightful place as queen. In this book we are introduced to the underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies- group who rejects beauty treatments entirely. Camille uses everything at her disposal to restore peace to Orleans.

A sequel to to the New York Times bestseller The Belles, The Everlasting Rose picks up where the story left off. We return to a steampunk magical fantasy version of New Orleans called "Orleans." Orleans is a society built on beauty and luxury, and is now ruled by the tyrannical  Sophia, who has actually gone mad with power. The Belles ended with Camelle’s betrayal, fall from grace with the queen, and on the run. The meek and naive young woman must become a revolutionary to save her people.

We find Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and love interest Remy as rebels racing to find Princess Charlotte and out run Sophia's Imperial forces.  They are fighting to help Princess Charlotte take her rightful place as queen. In this book we are introduced to the underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies- group who rejects beauty treatments entirely. Camille uses everything at her disposal to restore peace to Orleans.

I wanted to really like the book but found much to be desired.

The Good
- World building: the vibrancy of Orleans and its citizens is beautiful and imaginative. This would make a beautiful tv series based on costuming possibilities alone.
- Action: the second book is more engaging and action packed than the first book

The Underwhelming
- Character development: most of the characters remained one dimensional and over simplified. Some of the shift in some of the character narratives also left much to be desired.
- Plot: there was a great deal of build up that just seem to fizzle out at the end.

In the end the series concept was interesting but slightly misses the mark and “meh” is the word that best sums up this book.
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