Happy Friday!!! We made it! And boy, do I have a beauty of a book to share with you today!!! I squealed when Rockstar Book Tours added me to this blog tour, because I loved every dark, delicious, decadent detail of The Belles.
Click the banner and be sure to check out their site, and the rest of their tours because, spoiler alert: they’re always the best! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!!!
“Resistance comes in many forms and alliances take many shapes.”
Quick warning, as this is the sequel, there may be spoilers for The Belles in my review or this post.
The ending of The Belles left me wanting more! I had to know the future of Camille and her fellow belles and dove right into The Everlasting Rose as soon as it was in my grabby hands!
And, boy, did this book NOT disappoint!
As in The Belles, Clayton toyed with my emotions. She has a gift for building anticipation with a proper dose of dread, all while not really giving too many hints away. The result is me, desperately turning pages trying to figure out what is really going on, because I know, there is way more than meets the eye!
This book is dark. Oh my black heart is it dark! So decadent and delicious, with plenty of moral grey as icing on this dark cake. The first book danced on the edges of how dark this world is, but in The Everlasting Rose, Clayton takes us deep into the rot of this beautiful world. Everything, Camille included, takes on a blemished edge. And I am here for it!
Queen Sophia is just as deranged as ever, power going straight to her beauty obsessed head. And I loved getting more Edel. She is the rebel sister of my heart!
I wish I loved this book completely, but there were some issues I had towards the end. Mainly, I hated how I didn’t really get the motivations of a certain sister. I wish, we could have gotten more of an understanding of why she made the choices she did. I don’t know why, but it felt incomplete to me. I also would have loved more Iron Ladies! Where were these badass babes for most of the book??? I felt like we got a ton of build up, and then everything was over and resolved in a flash. And while the build up is fantastic, I would have liked a bit more turmoil before the triumph. Personal preference on that though.
Overall though, I devoured this book. I love Clayton’s writing, and love how she isn’t afraid to really explore the darker sides of her characters. The imagination of this world blows me away! Every detail highlights how focusing on outer beauty can become an obsession, and just how toxic it really can be. I love the different aspects that this focus raises, which hopefully sparks some fantastic conversations on body image and self confidence.
I’m not sure if there is more to this series coming, but I would welcome more. There is so much to this world, and while the main story lines are wrapped up, I still have so many questions that I would love to explore. Regardless, I am excited to dig my teeth into anything Dhonielle Clayton writes, and look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!
Thank you Rockstar Book Tours and Freeform books for my review copy!
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.
Title: THE EVERLASTING ROSE (The Belles #2)
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: March 5, 2019
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.
Title: THE BELLES (The Belles #1)
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: February 6, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
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 winners will receive a finished copy of THE EVERLASTING ROSE, US Only.
Ends on April 2nd at Midnight EST!
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
3/11/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review
3/12/2019- Wonder Struck– Review
3/13/2019- Lifestyle Of Me– Review
3/14/2019- Pacific Northwest Bookworm– Review
3/15/2019- Jena Brown Writes– Review
3/18/2019- Life of a Literary Nerd– Review
3/19/2019- Novel Novice– Excerpt
3/20/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
3/21/2019- Ex Libris– Review
3/22/2019- BookHounds YA– Excerpt
3/25/2019- Eli to the nth– Review
3/26/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review
3/27/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review
3/28/2019- YA Book Nerd– Review
3/29/2019- Falling for YA– Excerpt