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review 2019-07-17 10:04
concept more than people
The Belles - Dhonielle Clayton

So it's an interesting read, it's also an interesting concept but honestly I didn't care what happened to the people.

 

This is a world where in New Orleans people are born grey and only the power of a Belle can make them beautiful.  Camellia Beauregard is one of these Belles and she wants to be the court favourite.  However she isn't at first but later she is and she starts to discover that court politics aren't fun; that things are complicated and that the life of a Belle isn't that great.

 

These young women were badly educated for their roles and the fact that it came to them as a shock is actually shocking.  Court politics are messy and that should have been a core part of their education, never mind some of the other issues.  

 

It's an interesting concept novel but I feel no need to continue with the series.  I might pick it up but I'm not hunting it down.

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review 2019-06-19 18:11
George - Alex Gino,Jamie Clayton George - Alex Gino,Jamie Clayton
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I loved this book. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. 

A wonderful book for young readers to better understand what it means for someone to be trans. One of the things I liked most about the book was the author's use of the pronoun "she" in reference to George, even before she openly told anyone she felt like she was a girl. I think it really made it clear to the reader that there was no question whether George was supposed to be a girl or not. It was a fact that she was a girl. This helped to combat the common counterarguments society often tries to make about trans youth ("you're too young to know", "you're just going through a phase", "you have boy parts so you are a boy", etc.). 

I also thought the other characters' reactions were well done. Kelly's was my favorite, because even before George told her, she was always trying to defend George and build her up, saying not to listen to the bully who called her a girl, without realizing that wasn't the support George needed. It is so easy to have good intentions, but make mistakes such as these, especially for young children. As the novel progresses, Kelly demonstrates one way of being a good ally and friend, which I loved. She doesn't get all caught up ruminating on her mistake or denying it. She just changes her way of thinking and goes on to be very supportive. 

I've seen a lot of criticism of the book in regards to its use of gender stereotypes, which is fair, but I do think because the characters are so young, it does seem realistic. Children often have rigid rules about what constitutes girl stuff and boy stuff. I don't know how many times I've heard elementary and preschool kids tell boys their favorite color can't be pink because it's a girl color or that boys can't like My Little Pony because it's a girl show. So while George does hold fairly stereotypical ideas of gender (make up, skirts), I think this is probably due to these strict rules as well as what most represents being a girl to her at that age (i.e. all the things she isn't allowed to do because of how people see her gender). 

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic read and a great starting place for introducing the idea of transgender to young readers. Great writing, wonderful story, and a good cast of characters. While it was short, it had a great message and lesson, which it presents perfectly for young readers.
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review 2019-03-25 18:32
Sophomore Slump?
The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) - Dhonielle Clayton

Honestly I am always worried when a debut author puts their second book out. I always worry that I am comparing it too much to the first. However, since the first book by Clayton was the first book in this series, I can't help but compare it. And I have to say that the second book didn't work for me at all. I was bored and just kept waiting for something (anything to happen). This book didn't expand the world the reader had found out about in book #1. There was barely any development to any characters. And then things just kind of end with a hint that there may be more to happen with these people in the future. 

 

So in "The Everlasting Rose" the second book in the Belles series, we have Camille racing to stop the new evil Queen (Sophia). She and her sisters Edel and Amber managed to get away along with one of the guards, Remy. The group has plans to free the other Belles and rescue the true ruler of the throne Princess Charlotte. 

 

I honestly am surprised that Camille seemed even more clueless in this one. I just felt sick and tired of her towards the end. The series should have shown a growth from book #1 to book #2 and we didn't get it at all. I can't even call Camille a Mary Sue since at least the Mary Sue personality is to be perfect and more beautiful than all other female characters for no good reason. Camille was just bland and there. We know she wants to free her sisters and dethrone Sophia, At least there was no love triangle so we just have Camille obsessing over one person which felt like it came from nowhere.


The other characters barely have anything to do. Camille spends the most time with Remy and we have her thinking about him, wondering how it would be to kiss him, etc. Edel has more personality than Camille, though we barely have her interacting with Camille (which was weird) besides teaching her how to tap into her powers to change her outside looks and height. Edel doesn't trust Amber or anyone else and she acts like a jerk toward Remy. So Camille's personality was set to jerk, but at least she was lively. Amber was a total non-entity. And the Sophia we read about via the news sounded more scary than what we get in this book. 


The writing was just okay though I found the flow terrible. There is no sense of magic to me like there was in book #1. I think that this book was too rushed. I would rather have waited another year for more world building and better plotting to be included in this one.  It didn't help that each chapter was maybe 4 or 5 pages long. Considering this book was 342 pages (my hardcover) you would think that Clayton would have the main plot be about dethroning Sophia. Sadly we didn't get that until the very end. 

 

The setting in this one just didn't work. If Clayton had stayed focused on the Belles maybe. But instead Clayton includes a resistance group known as "The Iron Ladies" who we just read/hear about for long portions of the book. And then Clayton tries to include a whole thing with the Belles being able to tap into their powers to change themselves and I never want to read about how cold a character is again. The book also started to feel repetitive after a while. Camille and friends run and hide, teacup dragons hide in her skirts, she fights with Edel and or Amber, feels angry, and feels jealous about Remy. Lather, rinse, repeat. 


The ending was a bit of a letdown. I mean we get a Happily For Now ending which I honestly I was fine with because I really can't see this series continuing after this. 

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review 2019-03-21 12:51
Review: The Everlasting Rose(The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton
The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) - Dhonielle Clayton

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

First off.... I don't comment on covers all that much but this time I have to say compared to the cover on the first book, this cover is  not my favorite

Luckily that was not the same for the book, I really enjoyed this second book in the series . I still totally love the world that Clayton has created. Still so very vibrant and enjoyable  We get to see even more of it this time around as out group splits up , that can sometime be a bad thing in a book and is not always a favorite but it really worked this time . 

I also enjoyed how much Camellia has grown and how much she believes in herself. Not just her that made a leap but everyone grew a bit in this book and since last..

Some parts were a bit slow or felt to drawn out but overall it was a very fun and enjoyable read.

If you enjoyed the first book, you will most definitely enjoy this one as well.

So overall I will rate it 4★, enjoyed it very much except the few slow spots it had for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will be available March 5th 2019

 

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2019/03/21/review-the-everlasting-rosethe-belles-2-by-dhonielle-clayton
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review 2019-02-03 04:41
SCREWDRIVERED BY ALICE CLAYTON
Screwdrivered - Alice Clayton

Screwdrivered was pretty much everything you'd expect from an Alice Clayton novel, reads quickly and full of sweet, funny, and sexy. Some faves from previous books make an appearance, which is always nice. This one was a real slow burn, which can be both great and maddening at the same time. I liked that it diverted at least a bit from the typical romance formula. I miss Clive cat and his escapades from the previous books though! 

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