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The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series,…

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2) (The Belles, 2) (edição: 2019)

de Dhonielle Clayton (Autor)

Séries: The Belles (2)

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1489138,884 (3.62)1
Camille, Edel, and Remy, aided by The Iron Ladies and backed by alternative newspaper The Spider's Web, race to outwit Sophia, find Princess Charlotte, and return her to Orléans.
Título:The Everlasting Rose (The Belles series, Book 2) (The Belles, 2)
Autores:Dhonielle Clayton (Autor)
Informação:Freeform (2019), 352 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:young adult

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The Everlasting Rose de Dhonielle Clayton


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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
A solid continuation of the story of [b:The Belles|23197837|The Belles (The Belles, #1)|Dhonielle Clayton|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1492784901l/23197837._SY75_.jpg|42742745]. Fast paced and full of danger. Still full of rich, detailed language that creates a wondrous and captivating world. Looks like Book 3 is in the works. There are definitely things in the world to be sorted out but this book still ends in a decent place. ( )
  Sarah220 | Jan 23, 2021 |
I don't enjoy characters that don't learn from their experiences. I was hoping this book would be one of growth for Camille, but she just kept diappointing me. Also the hourglass conceit was really grating on my nerves this time around. ( )
  Chris.Bulin | Oct 1, 2020 |
The ending was a little anticlimactic for me, and very non-intuitive, although I will say there were some great things introduced. I'm just disappointed at the ending, despite the fact that it makes sense. ( )
  m_mozeleski | Aug 22, 2020 |
Honestly I am always worried when a debut author puts their second book out. I always worry that I am comparing it too much to the first. However, since the first book by Clayton was the first book in this series, I can't help but compare it. And I have to say that the second book didn't work for me at all. I was bored and just kept waiting for something (anything to happen). This book didn't expand the world the reader had found out about in book #1. There was barely any development to any characters. And then things just kind of end with a hint that there may be more to happen with these people in the future.

So in "The Everlasting Rose" the second book in the Belles series, we have Camille racing to stop the new evil Queen (Sophia). She and her sisters Edel and Amber managed to get away along with one of the guards, Remy. The group has plans to free the other Belles and rescue the true ruler of the throne Princess Charlotte.

I honestly am surprised that Camille seemed even more clueless in this one. I just felt sick and tired of her towards the end. The series should have shown a growth from book #1 to book #2 and we didn't get it at all. I can't even call Camille a Mary Sue since at least the Mary Sue personality is to be perfect and more beautiful than all other female characters for no good reason. Camille was just bland and there. We know she wants to free her sisters and dethrone Sophia, At least there was no love triangle so we just have Camille obsessing over one person which felt like it came from nowhere.

The other characters barely have anything to do. Camille spends the most time with Remy and we have her thinking about him, wondering how it would be to kiss him, etc. Edel has more personality than Camille, though we barely have her interacting with Camille (which was weird) besides teaching her how to tap into her powers to change her outside looks and height. Edel doesn't trust Amber or anyone else and she acts like a jerk toward Remy. So Camille's personality was set to jerk, but at least she was lively. Amber was a total non-entity. And the Sophia we read about via the news sounded more scary than what we get in this book.

The writing was just okay though I found the flow terrible. There is no sense of magic to me like there was in book #1. I think that this book was too rushed. I would rather have waited another year for more world building and better plotting to be included in this one. It didn't help that each chapter was maybe 4 or 5 pages long. Considering this book was 342 pages (my hardcover) you would think that Clayton would have the main plot be about dethroning Sophia. Sadly we didn't get that until the very end.

The setting in this one just didn't work. If Clayton had stayed focused on the Belles maybe. But instead Clayton includes a resistance group known as "The Iron Ladies" who we just read/hear about for long portions of the book. And then Clayton tries to include a whole thing with the Belles being able to tap into their powers to change themselves and I never want to read about how cold a character is again. The book also started to feel repetitive after a while. Camille and friends run and hide, teacup dragons hide in her skirts, she fights with Edel and or Amber, feels angry, and feels jealous about Remy. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The ending was a bit of a letdown. I mean we get a Happily For Now ending which I honestly I was fine with because I really can't see this series continuing after this. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Literary Merit: Good
Characterization: Okay
Recommended: Maybe
Level: Middle School/High School

I am very nervous to write this review, mostly because I am well aware that it was not written for me and that my opinion holds no weight in the grand scheme of things. I will preface my review by saying that I have not read the first book, as this was a title I was required to review for ROYAL and was thus not something I'd picked up on my own, but I was intrigued by the premise of the first book when I saw it on store shelves initially. Because I have not read the first book, I was likely missing crucial pieces of information and character development that might have hit harder if I had experienced the entire story. That being said, my overall impression was that this plot felt very rushed, and the characters shallow and underdeveloped. Again, this could be because I haven't read the first book and didn't get any setup, but I simply felt this book needed to be longer to cover everything it needed to cover.

The Everlasting Rose supposedly begins where the first book left off, with Camellia and her "sisters" on the run from the evil queen Sophia. With time running out before the new queen's coronation, Camellia and her friends must race to find Sophia's ailing sister Charlotte before their world is damaged beyond repair. Along the way, Camellia uncovers hidden secrets, dangerous betrayals, and blooming feelings for her trusted friend and guard Remy. Camellia must decide how far she is willing to go in her fight for freedom, and how much she is willing to risk to save the world from the threat of evil.

First, let me talk about the things that I liked, because there were some awesome things happening in this book. The cast was wonderfully diverse, with both characters of color and characters with varying sexualities. Not only is the entire main cast described as having dark skin (ranging from caramel to deep brown), but at least three of the characters are revealed to be LGBT, including the former queen. I thought this was AWESOME, especially in fantasy, where we don't often see diverse leads. Despite my problems with this book, I will always support strong female characters of color, as I think positive representation is crucially important for everyone. I loved a lot of these characters, especially the adorable Minister of Fashion, who reminded me a lot of Cinna from The Hunger Games with his gentle nature and brilliance.

In addition to the diverse cast, this book also had a really cool premise, being set in a fantasy version of New Orleans. While I don't know a whole lot about the history of New Orleans, I recognized many dialectic cues that hinted at Mississippi Creole roots. I loved the idea of the Belles, powerful beings gifted by a goddess to bestow beauty on the world. I also liked the Iron Ladies, strong women who viewed themselves as worth more than their beauty, living like Amazonians on the outskirts of society. The idea of teacup animals like dragons and penguins has me wishing they were real, and I loved the little hints at world-building like the masks and teahouses. This book was full of familiar, nostalgic elements from other YA series, like the insane "surges" from Uglies to make one more beautiful, to the evil ruler putting a taboo on her name to track those who uttered it like in Harry Potter. There were so many good roots in this book, but sadly those roots never grew into a fully developed story for me.

Now, unfortunately, for the criticisms. This book tries to do a LOT in what, in my opinion, is not enough book to feasibly wrap everything up. This could've easily been a lot longer, or at least built up to more books in the series, but it instead felt like everything was hastily wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end. There were SO MANY characters in this that I got a little overwhelmed, and so many things that were set up that I felt never got resolved. For example, there's a moment when Camellia obtains a dangerous poison that could take away either her magic or her life, and while she sits on this information for half the book, the tension is instantly resolved when her sister Arabella drinks it (for no reason that the plot really explains) and dies suddenly. Similarly, there's a moment when the Minister of Fashion warns the protagonists that there are gossip balloons floating around and monitoring anyone who says the Queen's name, but the characters say it so many times afterwards that it felt completely unnecessary to introduce this as a plot point. As soon as something is set up, it's either resolved extremely quickly or forgotten completely, including characters.

There are many things in this book that are never addressed, from Camellia's supposedly forbidden romance with Remy (they end up together with no issues) to the betrayals of both Auguste and Amber. While these things are mentioned and touched upon, nothing is ever developed far enough to be truly resolved. With the betrayals, for example, both parties are confronted, but no closure ever truly comes from either one and we never really learn why any of the characters acted the way they did. Similarly, Remy mentions that soldiers cannot fall in love or marry anyone, but he and Camellia end up together at the end of the book as if this conversation never happened. So many characters are introduced and quickly dismissed that it's hard to get attached to anyone, and while I think part of my problem is not having the first book to build upon, I somehow don't feel like it would've helped me feel more attached to any of the characters. At one point the Minister of Fashion gets imprisoned for helping the protagonists, and we worry that he might be killed or tortured. He is then completely forgotten about, getting only one line at the end about how he and his husband were freed. There's no emotional payoff, and it feels like many of the characters (the Minister included) were treated as footnotes to the plot, making their existence in this very short narrative feel pointless and distracting.

There were characters I liked, of course (Remy, the Fashion Minister, and Camellia), but I never developed a strong connection to any of them throughout the novel because of this stop-and-go plot. Sophia seems like a mustache-twirling cartoon villain, acting more like Darla Dimple in Cats Don't Dance than an actual person with real motivations. Camellia is strong and empowering, but never quite seems two-dimensional, acting more like a generic YA heroine than someone with complicated and realistic motivations. Don't get me wrong; I liked her and some of the other characters a lot. That being said, however, none of them ever felt like real people either. Even in fantasy, I think it's important to ground the fantastical worlds with believable characters, and this book fell short of that in my opinion.

In a world where The Children of Blood and Bone exists, I think it's important that we judge diverse works on their merits, and not on how many points they earn for being diverse. While I applaud this book for sending the message that black girls are beautiful and should be proud of it, I don't think the plot was executed well at all. Again, I am fully aware that I am not the audience this book was meant for, as I grew up seeing myself represented in all sorts of media, books included, and I think this representation is crucial for young people of all races and sexual orientations. This book was meant to be empowering to black teens and pre-teens, neither of which I have ever been, so I can't say whether or not it succeeded in this regard. As fantasy, however, I felt that the world-building could have been more thorough, and that the conflicts in the book were wrapped up far too quickly to have an emotional impact. A lot of the characters felt flat and under-developed, and some of the cooler aspects of this world were never explored like I had hoped.

I honestly wonder why this series couldn't have been longer, as I think the plot development could've been slowed down and introduced slowly in order to create more tension and emotional impact. Everything feels EXTREMELY rushed the entire time, however, and I never really had time while reading to process anything that was happening before the next thing slapped me in the face. Reading this book felt a bit like trying to tread water in an angry ocean, with too much going on and no chance to truly catch my breath and get to know any of these characters. Again, I likely missed a lot of setup in the first book, but things were resolved so quickly that I don't feel like fans of the first book could've been satisfied either. I imagine any fans of characters like Amber, Arabella, and Valeria felt very disappointed to see the quick, only somewhat acknowledged deaths of these characters, and there is never really closure or explanation for any of it. I don't see how this conclusion would be satisfying unless you didn't have many expectations, as nothing was ever lingered on long enough to have an emotional impact on the reader.

Overall, while I loved some of the characters and the concepts being introduced (namely the Iron Ladies, the teacup animals, and the Belles), none of them ever felt fleshed out enough to truly hold my attention. I highly appreciate what Clayton was trying to achieve with this book and applaud the representation (I would love to see more of it in literature, YA and otherwise), it just didn't grip me the way other fantasy YA has. As I've mentioned before, if you want to see a diverse fantasy that does an amazing job of world-building and developing complex characters, I would highly recommend Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone. I would also gladly recommend this to fantasy fans looking for more diverse books, as I think there is definitely an audience for this book. I even think middle school teens would be able to read it, as there wasn't really any cursing or sexual content. Sadly, however, it just wasn't my cup of tea, but I sincerely hope that those who enjoyed the first book felt satisfied by the conclusion to this very interesting duology. ( )
  SWONroyal | Mar 10, 2020 |
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Camille, Edel, and Remy, aided by The Iron Ladies and backed by alternative newspaper The Spider's Web, race to outwit Sophia, find Princess Charlotte, and return her to Orléans.

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