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

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

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I think that I enjoyed this book a little bit more than the first one.  It wasn’t too long, although it almost felt too short.  About 2/3rds of the way through I started thinking that there was no way to wrap it all up, but it does.  The ending therefore was a tad rushed, but still was satisfactory.  The pacing was much better though and there were some pretty exciting scenes.

I enjoyed Camellia’s character a bit more in this book, she has had to grow up quick and get her act together enough to accomplish the impossible.  She continues to struggle with who to trust, and unfortunately she put her trust into the wrong people sometimes.  Her inner dialogue was great, especially as she is trying to expand and control her power.  

Reny is still my favorite character, and the two of them together was just adorable.  He was so tender and protective of her at the same time, but he also able to let her make the decisions and take care of things when needed.  He also trusted her to carry out part of the mission without him.  

The plot was faster paced than the first book.  Although a lot of the plot was about their hiding from the world, and running away from the people who want to hurt them. But at least this allowed us to see more of the world of Orleans.  The last 50 or so pages were pretty intense and the confrontation between Sophia and Camellia was amazing.  I love the world the author has created and that is what kept me engaged with the books.  I love the mix of magic and science, especially when it became know how the Belles come to be.  

I have to put in a special plug for the tea cup dragons.  They were all adorable, and I really want one!  They were a nice touch to the world. 

Overall this was a good sequel to the first book.  It gave us more background information on the Belles and how they work.  It ended in a satisfactory way, but I would like to see more books set in this fascinating world.  The overall message about how obsession with beauty can destroy was interesting.
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The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton picks up where The Belles left off. With Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard Rémy on the run, they're on a mission to find Princess Charlotte and put a halt to Sophia's reign of terror.

Similar to how I felt about The Belles, The Everlasting Rose was okay, but it didn't blow me away. I did find it more engaging than the first book in the series--there was more action and more excitement--which was nice. It was well-written, but I never felt sucked into the events. I read the book but never felt committed to the characters.

I still maintain that the story concept is an interesting one. While I didn't always love the execution, I can fully appreciate the story idea. I liked the addition of the Spiders and Iron Ladies in The Everlasting Rose. It was a nice contrast to the world's constant desire for beauty. I liked the Iron Ladies' message and their goals for the world, though I would have liked to know more about them. Are they good? Are they bad? I would have liked to understand the group's motives better--it seemed like there was a lot left unsaid.

The ending was a whirlwind. So much happened! So much could have gone wrong! I think the ending adequately brought the book to a full closure though, which was appreciated.

I was hoping for more character depth and development in The Everlasting Rose, but most of the characters still felt shallow and flat. Sophia continued to be my favorite character. She was bad and twisted, which made her interesting.

While I can't say I give The Everlasting Rose rave reviews, if you've already read The Belles and liked it well enough, you'll find The Everlasting Rose equally enjoyable.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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4.5 I loved this sequel to The Belles even more than the first book! The rebellion storyline is fantastic and well done. I am really hoping for a book three!
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Spoiler-Free Review (To Be Updated After Release):

I have been waiting for an eternity for this book and it still managed to exceed my expectations. Dhonielle Clayton is a master of world-building, coding, and evocative prose. Camille's journey through this finale is exciting and agonizing, leaving you wondering who, if anyone, can she trust?
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This book was a fine sequel to the first book.  I think the series is especially important because of its representational elements and strong emphasis on diverse beauty.  The main character and each of her sisters are named after flowers from different cultures and their appearances seem to link up to their names (e.g., Edel named after the edelweiss is described as very white and pale and blonde, Padma after the Indian lotus flower is described as having dark hair).  In this world obsessed with beauty, skin color is refreshingly not on any sort of hierarchy, it seems.  While we do need to think and talk about race in our society, this book is going to be a great fantasy break for teens that just want to see themselves represented as the beautiful fantasy heroine for a change. The world building is amazing too, with a fantasy world loosely based on New Orleans.       
	That being said, something about the pacing for this book just felt… off.  The first two-thirds suffers a bit from Harry Potter 7 “everlasting camping trip” syndrome, and the finale wraps up incredibly quickly.  In fact, things wrapped up so quickly that I thought there was going to be a cliff-hanger ending and a third book until about the last ten pages.
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The Everlasting Rose just about picks up from where the Belles left off. The Belles, Camille and Edel and the guard Remy are on the run as Sophia is hunting them down. Sophia begins to change the beauty laws and places more demands on the current and future Belles, ultimate goal is to make being beautiful the ultimate law, though never prettier than her.  Finding Princess Charlotte has become necessary in order to stop Sophia from becoming crowned. Camille finds friends but learns some valuable lessons on trust. 
This story followed the same intrigue as the first though this time it isn't about who is the best but who is the smartest and the fastest in order to beat Sophia. I was intrigued throughout the whole story. While the story could easily end where it did, I could see potential in another book coming out?
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More adventure and tension is woven more thickly to the pages of the sequel to The Belles. The Everlasting Rose finds Camille, Remy, and Edellwies running, hiding, and planning to exact revenge and right the wrongs that have been done to the Belles. The old lesson that just because it is how it has always been does not make it right is very apparent throughout and a favorite lesson of mine when learned. I can only hope for a third story and can imagine what it will center around, but if there isn't, I am happy with how it was left.
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I actually preferred this sequel more than the first story.  When I read The Belles a few months ago I found it slow placed and overly descriptive. It felt like all the action took place in the last 25% of the story. That problem is remedied in The Everlasting Rose which keeps a steady pace throughout the story. The Belles flowery descriptions on every scrumptious petit dessert they ate or every beauty powder quickly grew tiring. Thankfully there are less of those descriptions and more world building.  We discover more about the arcana and the powers each Belle has. Not a fan of love triangles in YA stories but this one was written differently from the norm and the outcome was unexpected. I also enjoyed the many twists Dhonielle wrote in this story. 

I received an ARC from Disney Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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As this one started out things were a little bleak for Camille.  She was on the run, hiding from the evil Queen, trying to save her sisters and Princess Charlotte.  I was pretty impressed that Camille managed to do so well on her own.  Sure she had a bit of help, but they stayed one step ahead of Sophia, learn what was going on and collect more allies along the way.  My heart broke as I read the same diary entries that Camille did.  I hated what had happened, hated more when I learned how the Belle’s changed over the years.  

The Iron Ladies were interesting.  There were times I wasn’t sure that they and Camille had the same agenda.  In the end they worked well together, which made it easy to finally get close to Sophia and expose her for what she was.  Along the way big prices were paid, but I think all the Belles are in a better place, although that could change at any time with the upcoming trials.
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I wasn't able to read this one because the file was corrupted I'm not sure what happened but I tried multiple times on my e-reader and computer and was unable to read it.  I'm still looking forward to picking up the book when it comes out though. Rating given based on expectations from book one (unable to post without a rating).
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The Belles was one of my favorite reads last year so this sequel was highly anticipated for me. And I was not disappointed! I love the world that Dhonielle Clayton has created. Her descriptions are so vivid which makes it so easy to just fall into step with her characters. The Everlasting Rose picks up exactly where book 1 left off. The action starts right away and doesn’t stop until the last page. I’m not sure if this will be the last book in this series or not. You’re left with a satisfying ending but still kept the door open for more. And if she wants to keep writing in this world then I will continue to read it.
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Thank you Disney for the free arc.  I devoured the first book so was eager to read this one.  It did not disappoint.  I really enjoyed Camille and Remy and psycho Sophia.  I felt the ending was a little rushed as it concluded rather quickly in a few pages.  When it was over, I did not want it to end.  I want more.
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I really enjoyed this book, much more than I initially thought it would. After reading the first book, I was sucked into the world of Belles and needed to know more about Camille, Sophia, Charlotte, and all of the other characters. The writing continued flawlessly from the first book and it did not take long to read the entire book. Less than 24 hours actually! 

There is room for more Belles books to be released, but also has a satisfactory ending if Dhonielle Clayton chooses to have it remain a duology. I loved that we found out more about the other side of the Belles and Sophia herself as she prepares to become queen. 

Dhonielle Clayton spins a wondrous world of beauty and the dangers of it when beauty becomes the sole purpose of living.
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What a delight to return to Clayton's world in The Everlasting Rose. I loved The Belles, so it was a pleasure to dive in what feels like conclusion of the duology. Some readers may find the pacing of this novel to be challenging, but it rushes to a finish and ties up story lines. The story is an exploration of beauty and the cost of acquisition. A must read for fans of the dystopian genre.
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First off.... I don't comment on covers all that much but this time I have to say compared to the cover on the first book, this cover is  not my favorite
Luckily that was not the same for the book, I really enjoyed this second book in the series, . I still totally love the world that Clayton has created. Still so very vibrant and enjoyable  We get to see even more of it this time around as out group splits up , that can sometime be a bad thing in a book and is not always a favorite but it really worked this time .  
I also enjoyed how much Camellia has grown and how much she believes in herself. Not just her that made a leap but everyone grew a bit in this book and since last..
Some parts were a bit slow or felt to drawn out but overall it was a very fun and enjoyable read. 
If you enjoyed the first book, you will most definitely  enjoy this one as well .
So overall I will rate it 4★ , Enjoyed a it very much except the few slow spots it had for me.
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I absolutely salivated over this book from the moment I finished the The Belles... it was worth the wait! Everything I wanted to happen, basically, HAPPENED in grand fashion. I can't wait to get this audio to really enjoy this tale, but for a quick read because I was just so excited, this was excellent. LOVE this author and this duology has been simply amazing. Have to say... August surprised me. Not sure I really bought into that, but it didn't destroy the book for me. Great read.
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It's been a while since I read The Belles, but I love sequels which make it easy to slip back into the world. Some of them immediately hit the ground running and they don't slow down, but The Everlasting Rose, even though it happens pretty closely afterwards, still allows you the time to ease back into the book. And what I was struck with almost immediately is how gorgeous Clayton's writing is.
World Building

But in The Everlasting Rose Camille and her sisters have to figure out not only how to save the kingdom, but also what it will look like afterwards. Sophia is obsessed with ultimate power and beauty. Unable to stand anyone who is more beautiful than her and aiming to exert absolute power over the beauty modifications, Sophia is a terrifying force. And so while Camille and her sisters know they have to do something, like find Charlotte, how they can really resist is difficult to figure out. Especially as Sophia's powers begin to tighten in a vise like grip.
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I wish I could enjoy this book, because I loved <i>The Belles</i>. However, this book desperately needs a prologue or something to remind the reader what happened in the last book. It has been a very long time since I read book one, and I was so lost during this book that I could not enjoy it. Please consider adding one before publication.
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Sharply polarizing with a simplistic plot compared to the series starter’s complexity and nuance, Clayton’s sequel does little more than wrap up the story line and bring a resolution.  All the villains share similar physical features, which I found disturbing (though someone may find a tiny bit of an exception, the general type is there), and I am sorely disappointed that the sequel was not better than it was, given the skill Clayton demonstrates in spinning a tale. I am torn about recommending it simply because readers will want closure, but they may not like the closure they get.
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Thank you for an early copy!

The Belles was my favorite Fantasy YA novel of 2019 so I was over the moon to get the second one! I adore Clayton's writing style and the interesting world she has crafted.. I will not give anything away since this is the second novel but just know it was amazing, intense, and well-written.
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