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

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2)

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Member Reviews

When I read the Belles earlier this year I was astonished at the world building and world that the author had created. Clayton proves that with this title, lightening strikes twice. Clayton uses imagery and action to keep the reader hanging on to the pages. The characters and settings are also like able and realistic.
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As much as I wanted to love this, I believe that The Belles was world's better than The Everlasting Rose. 

There was so much more descriptions about the lush world, and there was so much more intrigue in book one. In this sequel, it was much more running around trying to evade capture and rescue the other Belles than anything actual plot wise happening. The most exciting part of the book didn't really happen until almost the end. 

I did appreciate the deeper origin story of the Belles, and how they came to be. We get more details on where the came from and how they came to be twisted to fit the beauty obsessed world of Orleans. 

One element that should have been used more was the entire underground rebellion that the tagline is all about. "The Revolution is here" made me think that there would be way more rebellion than there actually was. The Iron Ladies weren't really utilized like they should have been. There's a "big" action scene at the end where they aren't even present and then BAM! All of the sudden they burst into the room right when Camille is doing her thing. It was disappointing considering the resistance was such a focal point of the tagline and synopsis, and they were barely around. 

Character wise, Camille was not who she was in book one. Everything that happened to her really hardened her but it also made her make some rash decisions. Her sister Edel was trying to warn her about their other sister Amber, but Camille was so focused on rescuing everyone that she just brushed the warnings aside to do what she wanted. 

I did enjoy Clayton's use of beauty and how the Belles were essentially slaves to beauty since they were the only ones who could make people beautiful. Sophia wanted to manufacture Belles to be sold to the highest bidders to keep in their own homes which also alluded to the slavery theme. 

Overall, I wasn't as transfixed with this book as I was with The Belles. It was still good, but it was missing a lot of the things that made book one so amazing.
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I didn't love this as much as I loved The Belles. Perhaps I missed the world-building, which was so unlike what I usually read. This book was essentially all action, which left me yearning for something more. 

[I really didn't like the choice to bring the action to its final crescendo, then remove the main character and have her friends summarize what happens when she wakes up later. I wish the readers could experience the final resolution first hand, not just hearing about it after the fact.

If you loved the first book and really want to know what happens, this is certainly worth the time. I just can't say I enjoyed the journey as much as I did the first time.
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I received an e-arc on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I LOVED it. I enjoyed the first one, but felt that she really sharpened her writing in the second - world building was immersive, the stakes were taut from page one, and the CHARACTERS. 

Oh, my, the characters. This was absolutely a joy to read.
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The Everlasting Rose was a fantastic read, and the writing definitely lives up to its gorgeous cover. I loved The Belles when it came out last year and I'm so glad I got to read it early! It picks off right where The Belles ends and the pacing is perfect. It never drags and Clayton continued to flesh out the world of Orleans in exciting ways. I loved the edition of the resistance group, the Iron Ladies. Like The Belles, The Everlasting Rose continues its exploration of the commodification of beauty and its toxicity. It also expertly asks what the truth is and what happens when it gets manipulated - painfully relevant for today's society. I do hope Clayton revisits this world and I'm excited to see what she writes next!
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Clayton has built a remarkable world in The Belles series. I love everything about her world-building skills and I could lose myself inside of Orleans forever. Her characters are strong, fierce women, with great power and compassion and teach invaluable lessons to teens today. I love books that have strong female role models for the next generation, and this book abounds with strong females, even the villains. There was action, suspense, mystery, and tons of intrigue. This book gave a whole new meaning to the word "beauty". There are not enough good things I can say about this series.
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I really enjoyed the Belles, so I was very excited or this sequel! It was well executed and interesting and I had no trouble getting into the book and finishing.

I also appreciate this cover has a bit more "edge" to the design. We struggled to get the Belles checked out sometimes because the cover was so flowery.
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The Everlasting Rose was an exciting follow up to Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles. Camellia has escaped from sadistic Queen Sophia and is in hiding with her guard Rémy and sister Edel. While trying to topple Sophia's reign, Camellia is also learning that her arcana can be used in more ways than she had previously imagined. 

Like the first book, it takes a little long to get into the action, but I appreciated the chance to learn more about the fictionalized world of Orléans. I was glad to see Edel take a larger role. She is blunt and impetuous, which is refreshing after spending so long with all of the cautious characters in The Belles. 

I particularly enjoyed how the topic of forgiveness was dealt with in the book. Is everything forgivable? Does a sincere apology have the power to make up for all past transgressions? 

I enjoyed this book almost as much as the first. I would probably say that it was just as good, except that it seems to conclude the story and I still have so many unanswered questions. It felt like I only got a glimpse into this amazing world.
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The worldbuilding is beautiful in this series, but I felt that this book both lagged in storytelling and raced through it's key moments. Either way, there are many profound moments throughout that it is a fitting end to the series.
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The MUCH anticipated sequel to The Belles is on its way in 2019-- and it is worth waiting for! If you're unfamiliar with The Belles, it may be helpful to check out my review of Dhonielle Clayton's first book in this YA Fantasy series lush with commentary on societal beauty expectations and power. Basically, the Belles have control of arcane magic to shape the bodies and manners of human beings. Without them, people fade to gray (gris). When a twisted monarch takes the throne, however, the Belle power is under attack, as are the Belles themselves. 

Camille, former favorite of the Queen, is on the run with two Belle sisters and her former body guard, Remy. Together they must avoid capture and lead the resistance against the queen, which includes uniting with some unusual allies. Who can Camille trust? The answer is: almost no one. 

Lots more interesting world-building in this book, including more details about how Belles are "born" and mythology on where they came from. The idea of beauty is less of a focus here. The tagline "The Resistance is Here" on the cover really hits at the essence of this book. Corrupt power has to be met with resistance, both violent and nonviolent. The development and use of Belle magic in battle scenes is a real change here-- and an interesting one.

Only downside for me was a bit too much reliance on newsprint and letters to build the plot in the first quarter of the book. When a character is "reading" so much important information rather than gathering it in a more active way, it can slow down the flow a little. Otherwise, tons of great scenes, awesome character development, and a new host of teacup pets to wish were real.

Over all, a satisfying second book, with hints that a third could be possible here? No cliffhanger, exactly, but lots of details that leave the reader eager to return to Orleans.
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I love this duology. The premise was so interesting, I will be reading it again so I can pick up things the first time I read the books. I would love to have more stories tell us what else was going on with the other characters. I really enjoyed how the story looked at beauty, is it worth the price, the pain?
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When I read THE BELLES, I absolutely adored it. Dhonielle Clayton's delectable prose and rich storytelling plunged me headfirst into the extravagant world of Orleans. She turned the sickening standards of beauty on its head. It would have been a five-star read for me, if not for the treatment of her gay characters and fat characters who met very grisly ends. Instead, I rated it a 3.8 stars which I rounded up as 4 stars. When I sat down to read the sequel, THE EVERLASTING ROSE, I was absolutely pumped. However, now that I've finished this story, I regret to inform that this sequel did not enchant me like its predecessor. All of my favorite characters returned to the stage, but their performances were lackluster. 

The engrossing prose was there, but the execution of the plot left much to be desired. If EVERLASTING ROSE was the conclusion of this series, I wasn't particularly satisfied. It ended on a high note, but I was low key disappointed with the journey it took to get there. This was a solid three-star read for me.

With that being said, I would love to see what Dhonielle Clayton does next. She is fully capable of spinning a breathtaking tale, but this installment missed the mark for me.

Would I recommend this book despite my views? Most definitely! As an educator, I want my students to see characters like themselves on book covers and within books. Though I did not enjoy the quality of Camille's story, I appreciate that a character like hers exists.
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I really loved The Belles and was very excited to read The Everlasting Rose. I struggled to get into the book at the begin, even when I was so excited to continue reading the story. Near the middle, I suddenly couldn’t put the book down and was reminded of why I enjoyed this tale so much. It’s a beautiful and unique story. The message is important, especially in today’s society.
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The Belles was a unique, action-packed tale filled with vivid imagery, solid character development, and a plot replete with intrigue and suspense. This sequel exceeded all of my expectations. As Camille races against time to reunite her sisters, save the Belles, find Charlotte, and stop Sophia's twisted plans, we are once again drawn into the dynamic and captivating world of Orleans and the mysterious Iron Ladies. 

Some scenes were predictable, but most plot twists were completely unexpected. Sophia appears to always be five steps ahead of Camille and you never know when or if the tides will turn in Camille's favor. I would have loved to see a little more about the Iron Ladies but this is a solid follow-up to The Belles saga.
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I really enjoyed this sequel to The Belles. The book starts out a little slow at first, but once I got farther in, it was harder to put down. Clayton's descriptions really allow the reader to feel like they were in Orleans with the Belle sisters.
While still a great read, there was definitely not as much action and intrigue in this book as in the first book. I expected more of the gasp inducing twists that The Belles gave me. There were some loose ends so I’m thinking (hoping with fingers crossed) that there is a third book in the works.
Overall, a slight letdown from the first book, but I would definitely still recommend it to readers who loved The Belles.
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Love this series! It is original, exciting, and twisted - Clayton blends modern/ages-old issues of the corruption and power of beauty and body image with dystopian intrigue, young adult self-discovery, and adventure.
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While I enjoyed the first book in the series, this book was not nearly as good.  The plot was slow moving, the characters less believable, and the story less interesting.  I also felt the word hourglass as a unit of measure was used too much - so much so it was distracting.  Just use the word hour - as other characters did later on in the book.
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**Spoilers Ahead** As an enormous fan of "The Belles", I was eager to jump back into the vivid, lush, insane world created by Dhonielle Clayton. This journey with Camellia was still enjoyable, but for me didn't pack as hard a punch as the first book. I kept wondering at our spending so much time on the road, the predictable joining up with a band of rebels (though the Iron Ladies are fierce and awesome and I enjoyed their spider's web lair), and with the build up of the horrors of the Everlasting Rose prison throughout the book, I was surprised and let down when we as readers don't get to face the horrors of it in person with  Camille, it felt like a huge threat that never paid off somehow. In Belles we had so many secrets, mysteries, and horrors to uncover, and there were fewer in this sequel (though the shocks/twists that were in "Everlasting Rose" were gasp inducing!) 
Overall, though a bit let down, I still wholeheartedly love the Belles, love this crazy world Clayton has created, and will reread it when the final version is published. The Belles was so fantastic I will read anything Clayton publishes!
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This sequel to The Belles gave me everything I was left wanting at the end of the first book, and then some. As with The Belles, the pace of the book felt a little slow at first, but as I got into it I found it harder and harder to put down. This series would be great for use in an English lit or interdisciplinary class that explores the use of fantasy/allegory/dystopia as social commentary, or one exploring themes of intersectionality, oppressive beauty standards, or the complexities of privilege and oppression.
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Second titles in series are usually a disappointment for me, however, this would be a definite read for fans of her first book, Belles.  Camille, still strong willed and set on saving her sisters from the evil queen Sophia, comes to life in this title.  Through her adept use of language, the author puts the reader into this created world based on New Orleans.  She is skilled at descriptive writing.  Although the plot is a bit predictable, the book is hard to put down once opened.  A good choice for readers 12 and up.  For those who enjoy love triangles, this title will fit the bill.  There are many loose ends at the end, so I image a third title is in the works.  I would recommend it to readers who enjoyed Uglies, and similar titles.
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