Friday, 26 April 2019

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton Book Review

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC. This is a spoiler free review.

The Everlasting Rose
Written by Dhonielle Clayton
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Freeform
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Pages: 344
Source: eARC from NetGalley and the Publisher
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camellia, 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, Camellia uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans. 

(Summary from Goodreads)


As you might recall, I requested an eARC of the first book, The Belles, when it came out last year and I really enjoyed it. I was very excited when I got approved to read an ARC of the second book and I'm glad I enjoyed it.


The covers of this series are just gorgeous and I love how they have Camille on the cover who is a woman of color! I also love how it shows the element of beauty on the cover which is a huge part of this series.


We got to see a lot more of Orleans (the world in The Belles series) in this book which I really enjoyed. In the first book, it set up the fictional world of Orleans where a small number of girls "aka Belles" are able to create beautiful/ugly looks according to the desire of the paying customer. In Orleans, everyone is born grey and color can only be given to them by the Belles. The Belles also are forbidden to associate with men beyond a professional capacity and they can't engage in consensual relationships. The world is a blend of 18th century France with futuristic like tech. I liked learning more about different places and how people who are not the Belles live their lives in Orleans.

Then there are the characters.


Camellia is our main character who was working at the palace in order to compete to become the favorite that will serve the Queen of Orleans, however everything goes terribly wrong. I love Camellia as a main character as she's passionate as well as determined. She's knows what she wants and what she needs to do and isn't afraid to make it happen. She also is very ambitious and headstrong but I really liked both of those characteristics about her. I also like how she makes her decisions based on her feelings which sometimes might seem like a flaw but I think that really makes her special.


Edel is Camellia's sister and I really liked how much more we learned about her in this book. She had many similarities and differences to Camellia. For instance, she was very sweet and kind though she didn't want to take as many risks as Camellia, however she was still a very strong female character. I liked learning more about her powers as a Belle and how much she supported her sister.


We explored Camellia's relationship with her sisters a lot more in this book and I really enjoyed that aspect because while we got some of that in the first book, we didn't get to see them outside of their Belle roles. Edel and Camellia are very sweet siblings and have a sweet sister relationship. (I don't want to say too much as I really don't want to spoil things that happen in the second book.)


The Everlasting Rose is the sequel to The Belles, which I reviewed previously and really enjoyed! The plot was a little slower in this book especially at the beginning as it took awhile for things to happen which made it a little slower to read and get into as well. We got introduced to more characters and things in this book such as the Iron Ladies who were so interesting. They are rebellion leaders who are against Belle culture and they help Camellia on her journey to get rid of Sophia. I also liked how we got to learn about Belle lore (which was super dark) through the eyes of other Belles and people who aren't part of the Belles. Overall, I liked the plot even though sometimes it lagged.


The romance was one of the things that I was a little iffy about. I think it was a little fast but not quite insta love which was good. I preferred the romance in the first book. I did, however, like how the romance still took a backseat to the plot and the world which was nice as it allowed me to enjoy the book without feeling like the romance was filling up the whole thing.


Dhonielle Clayton's writing is so beautiful and immersive and really helps me feel as if I'm actually in the book and experiencing everything with the characters. The descriptions are also very in depth and lyrical and I love how she is able to differentiate between the good and beauty with the darker undertones.


I think The Everlasting Rose was a good sequel as even though it was slow going, it picked up pace later and really immersed me back in the world. I liked learning a lot more about Orleans and Belle culture throughout the book. I really recommend this series!

Quotes from the Book:

“The world is vaster and more beautiful than she ever described. Each corner of it feels different and unique, part of a puzzle with disparate pieces that somehow fit together.” 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

Friday, 12 April 2019


Hey guys! I realized that I never talked much about what I read in 2018 which is completely unacceptable so today I am bringing to you a list of 14 of my favorites from my reading in 2018. The books on this list are not exclusive to 2018 releases as I have many books that were published in previous years. I also know that many book bloggers only put their top 10 but I couldn't narrow it down!

Let's get into it. 


1.  The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on June 27, 2017.  I had heard so much about this book so I finally decided to read it in 2018! I loved this book so much as it was hilarious, filled with sass, had a wonderful narrator and a great storyline.  I really loved Mackenzi Lee's writing so I will definitely be reading her books in the future. This was a Young Adult Historical Fiction book about Monty who was born and bred a gentleman however he doesn't want to follow the plan his father has for him. He embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend, Percy, and his younger sister, Felicity and his father expects him to take over the estate when he returns, but Monty has other plans. This book is so much fun and was a definite favorite read of 2018. 

2.  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on April 7, 2015. The movie, Love, Simon came out in 2018 and I wanted to read the book first which I did. Simon Spier doesn't want drama in his life. He has three best friends and they and everyone else in his life, don't know that he is gay. When he is blackmailed by Martin who threatens to expose his secret, his life gets complicated. I really enjoyed this book as I loved most of the characters and I thought it was super cute. 

3. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on February 28, 2017. I bought this when it released back in 2017 and only just read it in 2018 and I am so happy that I finally did. If you didn't already know, I love pirate books so I knew I would enjoy this one. Alosa is a 16-year-old pirate captain (who is also part siren!) who is sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map. She allows herself to be kidnapped by her enemies in order to search their ship. She is a strong female character who could easily defeat her enemies, and I loved the hate-to-love relationship she has with her captor, Riden, who is also the first-mate on the enemies' ship. I really liked the plot as well as the characters and how much fun it was. 

4. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell ~ 5 Crowns 

This was released on July 18, 2017.  It took me awhile to get into this book partly because it's so long but I'm glad I stuck with it as it was so interesting and unique. I love time travel and this was a great example of a time travel book. It kind of reminded me a bit of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with the magic and New York vibes. In The Last Magician, in modern-day New York, magic is for the most part, extinct. Those who have it are in hiding. The main character, Esa, is a thief who was raised to steal magical artifacts. She has the ability to manipulate time and often travels to the past to collect these artifacts. It is such a good book and I loved Esa as well as the setting.

5. The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on April 18, 2017. This is the second book in The Abyss Surrounds Us duology and this book was a magnificent sequel. Sequels are often a hit or miss for me and this was definitely a hit. I really love the two main characters: Cas and Swift and how much character development there was for them in this book. 

6. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on April 10, 2018. In 2018, I received an eARC of this book and I am so glad that I did because I loved it so much. The whole setting with casinos and gangs and stuff was so interesting and something that I haven't often seen in YA literature. Also, I like how the cast is diverse.  Ace of Shades is about a girl named Enne who travels to New Reynes in order to find her mother who has gone missing. Her one lead is Levi who is not the gentleman that she suspects and is instead a con-man and street lord. He's also very busy and has his own problems but when Enne offers compensation, he believes she's the answer to his problems. However, things go a lot differently then either of them have planned. 

7. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on February 5, 2013. I had read it before 2018 but I completely forgot most of the book so this reread was almost like I was reading it for the first time. I love the world and the characters and how original it is despite being a dystopian type story. 

8. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi ~ 4.5 Crowns

This was released on February 4, 2014. Yes, I am putting two books that are part of the same series on this list because this series is that amazing. This was the third book in the Shatter Me series and I really liked how dramatic it was and how it wrapped up a lot of the storyline. This one was originally the final book as it was a trilogy but now there is a whole new set of books that are part of the series so it's interesting to put it in perspective. 

9. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on April 24, 2018. I love how much fun this book is while showing great diverse representation. There are so many great moments that I really don't want to spoil for you. Also, I cried a lot from happiness when I read this book. I highly recommend this book and I did write a full review of it which you can find here

10. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on April 15, 2014. I read this book in preparation for the Netflix movie and I can not believe it took me so long to read it. Lara Jean is such a refreshing character. I love how she loves to bake and read and how she is biracial. I also love her sisters and of course Peter Kavinsky!! I highly, highly recommend this book and can not say it enough. I loved it a lot which is why it made it onto this list! I also did a full review of it which you can find here.

11. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ~ 4.5 Crowns

This was released on May 16, 2017. This received so much hype and it was pitched as a Mulan retelling. It is definitely a Mulan retelling but has major differences which made it that much more compelling. I listened to the audiobook version and read parts of the physical copy. I loved the narration as well as the story. The main character, Mariko, grew up privileged and was on her way to marry a prince who she hadn't met. Her caravan gets ambushed in the forest and she alone escapes alive. She disguises herself as a boy and infiltrates the Black Clan who she believes are held responsible for killing her caravan. I love how she uses her brain in order to survive because she doesn't have fighting skills. I highly recommend this book and if you can't get into it, try the audiobook!

12. Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda ~ 5 Crowns. 

This was released on February 20, 2018. I have recently been getting into science fiction/horror YA books which are so thrilling and spooky. I never thought I'd say that. Pitch Dark alternates perspectives between the two main protagonists: one is from the "past" and one is from the "future". Tuck is from the "past" and has been in cryo sleep for centuries. When he wakes up, he is greeted by a spaceship full of corpses and other monsters and monstrosities. Our other protagonist (the "future") is Laura Cruz who is a teenage Latinex girl who has archeologist parents. She is a shipraider and her family locates the John Muir (the ship that Tucker is on), and they are sure that humanity is saved. Together, Laura and Tuck have to outwit enemies, battle monsters and save humanity. It is so good and creepy and I loved it. 

13. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh ~ 5 Crowns

This was released on May 12, 2015. This is another book that I have had on my shelf for a couple of years but never got around to reading it. I decided to listen to the audiobook and I am so glad that I did. This is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. Khalid is the 18-year-old Caliph of Khorasan who is thought to be a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only for her to be dead the next morning, a silk cord wrapped around her throat. Shahrazad's best friend falls victim to Khalid, so the 16-year-old girl volunteers to be his next bride and vows vengeance. She is determined to kill him and stay alive herself. She beguiles Khalid with stories which ensure her survival, even though she is sure that each dawn could be her last. When the two unexpectedly fall in love, Shahrazad doesn't know what to do. I loved this book. Both characters are so intriguing and the narration and writing is gorgeous that I never wanted it to end. 

14. Legendary by Stephanie Garber ~  5 Crowns

This was released on May 29, 2018. This is the sequel to Caraval by Stephanie Garber which was so amazing. I listened to the audiobook for this one as well. I didn't think I'd love the second book as much as the first but I was wrong. Donatella Dragna was an amazing narrator and I loved being thrown back into the world of Caraval. I loved the new characters (say hello to some fabulous new anti-heroes/villains) and the new setting and how different this Caraval was. I don't want to spoil anything from the first book or this book but I can just say that there are so many twists and revelations that you will be questioning everything. 

Have you read any of these books? What were your favorites of 2018?