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BLOG TOUR --- The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton [Review + Giveaway]

Title: The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2)
Authors(s): Dhonielle Clayton
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Edition: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook; 352 pgs
Publisher: Freeform
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - AudibleBarnes & Noble - iBooks - The Book Depository
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
3/1/2019- JrsbookreviewsReview

Week Two:
3/4/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
3/5/2019- PopthebutterflyReview
3/5/2019- YABC- Excerpt
3/6/2019- Moonlight RendezvousReview
3/7/2019- Feed Your Fiction AddictionReview
3/8/2019- What A Nerd Girl SaysReview

Week Three:
3/11/2019- A Gingerly ReviewReview
3/12/2019- Wonder StruckReview
3/13/2019- Lifestyle Of MeReview
3/14/2019- Pacific Northwest BookwormReview
3/15/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

Week Four:
3/18/2019- Life of a Literary NerdReview
3/19/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt
3/20/2019- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
3/21/2019- Ex LibrisReview
3/22/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

Week Five:
3/25/2019- Eli to the nthReview
3/26/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
3/27/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderReview
3/28/2019- YA Book NerdReview
Falling for YA

The Summary

With a price on her head, the evil Queen Sophia out for blood, and no idea who to trust, Camellia Beaureguard, the former favorite Belle, must race against time to find the ailing Princess Charlotte, who has disappeared without a trace. Sophia’s imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep Camille, her sister Edel, and her loyal guard, Rémy, from returning Charlotte to the palace 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 halt her attempt to restore peace to Orléans. But enemies lurk in the most unexpected places, forcing Camille to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice to save her people.

My Review

First things first: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE BELLESIf you have not read the first book (of course I question why you'd be reading a review of the second book) of this duology, going any further may spoil you!  Please head this warning and proceed with caution!

Okay, now that that's out of the way, WOAH pretty much sums up this book!  It was amazing, and I can't really talk about it without talking about The Belles (which is also amazing).  The book picks up right where we left off: Camille, Amber, and Rémy are still on the run from Psycho Sofia (yep, that's what I'm calling her because she is seriously messed up).  But even though that's the case, Dhonielle eases the reader back into it, so the plot is easily followed and immerses you right back into the world of Orléans.

The world building is one of the real strengths of the book, of which there are many.  We get to see even more of the kingdom than Trianon, the Imperial City.  Camille and co. escape to the Spice Islands, and meet up with Edel (surprise, she's alive and hiding out as well).  But it isn't that easy to hide in a city where the populace knows your face intimately, and all Belles and their beauty treatments are now outlawed.  The group travels to several islands, and the through their journey the reader gets to see the differences of each teahouse and "culture".  I like that each island was so different from each other.  This makes Orléans feel like a real place and not a fabrication of a country.  The asian influence that Dhonielle mentioned as inspiration is highlighted wonderfully through the travels to the different islands.

Besides the world building, the characterization of not only Camille, but her siblings, is fleshed out.  For much of the journey, the reader gets to see Amber and Edel more closely than before.  This shows another side to how each Belle handles their "gift" and the complete destruction of life as they knew it.  It brings to light the different aspects of humanity, be it the good or the bad.  Even Camille herself, our heroine, goes through a darker period while dealing with her anger at Psycho Sophia's tyranny, but also at the larger culture of Orléans, and how Belles are viewed.  Some are saying that an incident that happens towards the end of the book was unnecessary, but I think that this reflects the twisted world that Camille is trapped in and the anger, frustration, and sacrifices that she has to make, whether they are the right sacrifices or the wrong sacrifices.  Hindsight, or "reader-sight", is all well and good, but I think that the actions Camille takes are realistic based on the revelations she has, and the increasingly unhinged actions that Psycho Sophia takes.

Then there's the commentary on beauty, the monetization of beauty, and the lengths that a person, or people, will go to achieve the ultimate level of beauty.  This reflects our own culture as well; and I think it doesn't just speak to western countries, but to the world as a whole.  In each society there is a "standard of beauty", and to achieve that standard people go to high lengths.  The United States is shown as the prime example, but is not the only culprit to this ridiculous emphasis on beauty.  The society of Orléans is of course an extreme example, but pick up any magazine, watch any pop culture show, and you see examples of augmentation after augmentation being done to look a certain way.  This monetization of beauty standards also reflects the dissonance that exists between races, and how white beauty is the "ultimate".  While in Orléans, all color of skin and all style of hair is worn, the underlying perfection often reverts to a "white" perfection, at least in the case of Sophia, who is the villain of the tale, with her constant blonde hair and light skin, and how she refuses to resemble her darker skinned mother.  Definitely a pointed commentary of current beauty standards within our society.

Overall, I felt that this was a strong sequel to an amazing duology.  I believe that if Dhonielle wanted to, she could easily give us even more within this world, and I would eagerly eat it up.  The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton is beautiful and horrible all at the same time, reflecting just how beautiful and horrible reality can really be.  Don't sleep on this book, or The Belles, because these books are worth the read!

Final Rating

Other Things of Interest

Book One: The Belles

Inspiration Pinterest:

Cover Shoot:

About the Author

Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn”) 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.


3 lucky winners will win all 3 books in the DELILAH DIRK Series, US Only.

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