Title: Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2)
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Publisher: Freeform Books
Release Date: March 5, 2019
“Beauty is blood and bone and sovereignty: a perfect smile is its greatest weapon.”
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.
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. And there were so many leeches – just nasty.
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.
I received a copy of the book from in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Dhonielle Clayton spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books.
She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.
She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.
She taught secondary school for several years – at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them.
She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent – and decidedly diverse – literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.
What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Follow the Tour
3/1/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review
3/4/2019- Lisa Loves Literature– Review
3/5/2019- Popthebutterfly– Review
3/5/2019- YABC– Excerpt
3/6/2019- Moonlight Rendezvous– Review
3/7/2019- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review
3/8/2019- What A Nerd Girl Says– Review
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