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The Everlasting Rose

Review

The Everlasting Rose

Camellia Beauregard has worked hard to become the favorite Belle in the enchanting world of Orleans. But she soon discovered the corruption and danger that came with her role in the palace. When evil princess Sophia makes a bid for the crown, the ascending queen Charlotte flees. Sophia lies to gain power, announcing that Charlotte is dead and Camellia is responsible for her murder.

In THE EVERLASTING ROSE, the sequel to THE BELLES, Camellia is on the run with her guard Remy and her Belle sisters Amber and Edel. To clear her name and save the kingdom, she must find the missing princess Charlotte. It is a race against time. Charlotte must return to the palace to take her rightful place on the throne before her vicious sister Sophia takes the crown. However, Sophia will stop at nothing to ensure her power.

I like the main plot of the EVERLASTING ROSE. While it is a very traditional rebellion story, the characters are all unique and direct responses to the world of Orleans. For example, the Iron Ladies are an underground resistance group that rejects the notion of beauty and the Orleans society in general. They embrace their grey skin and thrive like theheroines they are.

"A fast-paced and creative story. I would recommend THE EVERLASTING ROSE to people who have read THE BELLES....this novel is great for those who enjoy reading about whimsical, beautiful dystopias."

In addition, the cruelty in this society is so revolting and ironic, as so much ugliness is created in a Sophia’s quest for beauty. Sophia forbids anyone to be prettier than her, forcing them to get beauty treatments to become uglier. Otherwise, she beats submission into her subjects with starvation rooms and public humiliation. Clayton makes this society so distinctive because beauty is ingrained into every aspect of the society.

The description of the relationships between the Belle sisters are very accurate and charming. Edel is protective of Camellia and her relationships. Camellia trusts Amber almost blindly, in the way only sisters can. Though the Belles fight to be the favorite of society, it never comes between their love for each other. Through thick and thin, the sisters always forgive and are there for each other. It’s a very sweet depiction of sisterly love.

While the buildup of the romance is well-written, I thought the entire relationship is completely extraneous. It seems a little forced because Camellia already fell in love with a different guy in the last novel. That being said, I love the romantic tension between Remy and Camellia. Clayton ingeniously created situations where the duo pretended to be a couple. This slow burn relationship is adorable, but I would have appreciated more time where Camellia is single. It seems as if Camellia just gets into relationships with the most convenient man in her life, like she’s insecure without a love interest. I wish she would take more time to enjoy life and be content with herself, without any love interest.

Additionally, the ending lacks details. Clayton makes Camellia absent during an important ending event, so there are a lot of questions left to be answered. I want more interaction with Amber because some important information gets revealed, but then Amber is no longer a part of the story. Amber only has a few short scenes, but their friendship needs to be explored more. Their relationship has suffered a lot, yet they don’t have scenes of reconciliation or confrontation, which I desperately craved. Camellia and Amber were best friends since they were very young; I wish we could see more of their dynamic.

In general, I was unable to invest myself emotionally because the writing was a little dry. Even the love and the guilt were hard to swallow because there wasn’t enough character-building or anecdotal scenes. However, it is a fast-paced and creative story. I would recommend THE EVERLASTING ROSE to people who have read THE BELLES. It is most definitely not a standalone book; you need the background information from THE BELLES to truly understand what is happening. That being said, this novel is great for those who enjoy reading about whimsical, beautiful dystopias.

Reviewed by Alison L., Teen Board Member on March 19, 2019

The Everlasting Rose
by Dhonielle Clayton