*I received an e-ARC copy of Rebel Rose in exchange for an honest review. A big thank you to Disney Publishing for giving me this opportunity to read it!
I grew up a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and love reading fairy tale rewrites based on the story, so when I read the description for Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault, I was quite excited. Sadly, I felt that I really had to motivate myself to read more and eventually finish it. Mid-way through I realized I was not really invested in any of the characters, or even cared about the plot.
Rebel Rose follows Belle after she breaks the curse and restored Beast to his human form, Lio. However, not everything is happily ever after following their marriage as France decends into chaos from the revolution. As she works to prevent a similar revolution in Aveyon, she must decide between her former life as a commoner, and her new life married to nobility.
Despite the book being over 300 pages, it didn’t really feel like much happened.There is a lot of waiting around and when it looks like there might finally be some action, the situation quickly diffuses into more waiting around. At first I wondered if any action in the book was kept tame in order to keep rating down (it does seem to be closely based on the Disney version of Belle), but then I would remember the man who was brutally beheaded towards the beginning of the book and had his decapitated head paraded around.
It was especially frustrating throughout the book the amount of times Belle let herself be silenced by Lio, either to preserve his feelings or because he wouldn’t let her speak. Especially since a lot the information she had could’ve ended the plot of the book much sooner and might’ve prevented any trouble in the first place.
The plot is a little too obvious and predictable and was really just not for me. That said, I’m definitely someone who prefers a lot more action, and was expecting something a little more… bloody with the French revolution being a big part of the plot. However, I think that readers who enjoy books that focus more on relationship dynamics may enjoy Rebel Rose more than I did.
Rebel Rose is out now and you can buy your copy at your local independent bookstore.