The Everlasting Rose

352p. (The Belles: Bk. 2). Freeform. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484728482. POP
Gr 8 Up–In this sequel to The Belles, Camellia Beaureguard, who worked hard to become the favorite Belle in Orléans in the first book, is still trying to restore the beauty that has been taken away from society. She is also searching for Princess Charlotte, fighting the evil Queen Sophia, and attempting to upright the city. Camellia continues to be a strong female character and enlists the help of the newly introduced Iron Ladies, who resist all beauty treatment, to find cunning ways to fight the enemies she encounters. Clayton paints a stunning world with chilling characters and a light romance that will that will absorb readers and hold teens' interest. Compared to the first volume, the action rises slowly, causing the ending to feel rushed. And while the Iron Ladies are intriguing, readers will wish that they had made more of an appearance throughout. This unique story remains a terrific metaphor for beauty and its place in society and culture.
VERDICT A must-purchase for collections where The Belles is already popular, and where fantasy flies.

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