Oh man, it’s been forever since I’ve written a post, and I have a sort of, kind of good reason…….moving across country has made me suffer a serious book slump. I have not picked up and read a book since we left back in March. I’ve tried, and I just couldn’t, so while I do have my problems with this book, I’m thankful that it helped me get back into my reading groove. I am very behind in my reading challenge; 7 books behind to be exact. It’s ok though, the same thing happened last year when I moved twice, and I was behind like 12 or 13 books. I still caught up!
So yea, anyway, this we be very spoilery so I’m gonna start of with non-spoilers. Did I like this book? Yes, I don’t know why I did, but yes I’m glad I bought and read this book. I gave it a rating of 3 stars on goodreads, mostly because they do not have the half star option. To me, it’s actually more like a 2.5 star book.
The main character was VERY unlikable, which I’ll get into later. I will say that I liked American Singer (her mom from The Selection) more than I like her, and I didn’t even like her that much. Actually, you know what, I’ll say it; I like King Joffrey and Queen Cersei MORE than I like this character. That is saying something. She actually reminded me a lot of King Joffrey, except not killing people, but it felt like she would if this wasn’t a fluff book. It actually makes me wonder if Kiera Casss knows how to write female characters, because so far her main female characters are just awful. Really, except for the adults, the only young females in this book are irritating, and do not like each other.
This book should have actually been written in third person. In The Selection, you at least got to know the contestants through America. In The Heir, they just pop up at random and you’re like who’s this again, which on was he again, because the main characters basically wants nothing to do with them. I had to keep going back through the chapters to remind myself who these guys were, and I read this book over the course of 2 days.
I will say that I like how this book feels like an actual selection. With The Selection, you already knew America would win, and who she would choose, because it was through her point of view. This is though the selectors point of view, and she is confused as to who she would want, mostly because she has been distant with them, so you have no idea who she will choose. I like that element to it, and I wish that we had had that in The Selection.
Anyway, on to spoilers….
So my biggest question with this book was ‘why are they doing a selection if they got rid of the castes?” Well, that’s answered pretty early, but it seems really stupid. This book takes place 20 years after The Selection, and in that time, King Maxon has worked to be rid of the castes, and now it is finally done. However, even though there is much more freedom, prejudice against those who were one a lower caste still exists. People are being denied jobs because others won’t hire them because they use to be a 6 or whatever. This creates a lot of tension, and riots begin to break out.
Having exhausted all their options, the King and Queen decide that it might be a good idea for their daughter, Princess Eadlyn, future queen of Illea, to hold her own selection to distract the nation. Understandably, she doesn’t take it well and convinces her father that if within three months, she hasn’t found anyone, she would be left alone. He agrees, as long as she promises to try. Of course, she plans to drive all the boys away by being harsh, distant, and all around terrible, contradicting her promise of trying to her father, in hopes that the boys will leave of their own accord.
The 35 boys are selected, including a childhood friend of hers from the palace that she hates. They end up having a small parade, and Eadlyn ends up being pelted with food from some of the people. During their first dinner, the papers report on how tense and uncomfortable it was, labeling her as distant and not really interested. Even though it’s true, she realized that she has to fix it to appease her people and makes a decision. The next day, she barges in unannounced to the Men’s Parlor, and randomly sends boys home, loudly naming all their faults while the media is present. Believing she has made her public happy, reality comes crashing down when her twin brother reveals that not only did she make some of the boys cry, the media is labeling her as a black widow, and some are even wondering if she prefers women. No one is happy with her.
I was still riding my post-elimination buzz, so pleased to be making steps to help Dad. It dwindled quickly though as Ahren walked toward me with a warning glare in his eyes.
“What in the world did you do to them? he asked accusingly.
“Nothing,” I vowed. “I held an elimination. I wanted to show everyone that this was important to me. Like Dad.”
Ahren pressed his palm into his forehead. “Have you had your nose buried in reports all day?”
“Of course I have,” I replied. “You might not have noticed, but that’s kind of my job.”
Ahren leaned in. “The clips on the news have painted you to be a black widow. Your face was smug as you kicked them out. And you got rid of a third of them, Eadlyn. That doesn’t make the candidates look important. It makes them look disposable.” I could feel the blook draining from my face as Ahren continued in a whisper. “Two of them have asked in the most circumspect and quiet ways possible if there was a chance that you prefer women.”
In order to help her image, she makes a deal with her childhood friend, Kile, that if he kisses her for the camera, she would help convince his mother to let him leave the palace and travel. He agrees, and the share a kiss, leading Eadlyn to believe that maybe he isn’t so bad.
She has a few more dates with the other guys, and a couple that turned out really bad. One guy even demands to leave because of her lack of effort to get to know them. He goes to the press, and reveals that a lot of the selection is staged and that the Princess is a terrible person.
She soon starts to have her favorites in Kile, Henri (a boy from a different country that doesn’t speak english and is a cook), Hale (a boy who is interested in fashion like she is), Fox (a boy she previously had no interest in until she learned about his family and their needs), Erik (Henri’s translator who isn’t really a part of the selection), and Ean (not really a big option, but offers her a deal that she is really tempted about; a marriage with freedom for her, and comfort for him).
The guys start to grow on her to the point that she starts to hate the idea of them leaving. Before all she wanted was to be alone in freedom, now she doesn’t like the idea of never seeing the guys again.
Soon, her twin brothers girlfriend, Princess Camille of France comes to visit. She tries to convince her brother to stop seeing Camille, but in the end he and Camille marry in secret and leave to France, not saying anything to his family. He leaves Eadlyn a note letting her know that the reason she hates Camille is because she would take him away to France, and he is not willing to give up his happiness. In the note he also lets her know that the main reason for a lot of the uprising, and the call from the people to end the monarchy is because of one person: her, but he isn’t sure why.
Your words hit me so hard, Eadlyn. Because I wanted to believe you. I wanted to hear you out and consider your suggestions. I knew that if I did, one day you’d convince me to give up everything for you. Maybe even put your crown on my head. And heaven knows, I would have done it. I would do anything for you.
So before you could ask for my life, I gave it to Camille.
When she tries to go tell her parents, she ends up in their empty room, seeing how much in love they were and understanding why her brother would leave just to try and have a fraction of that. She is then told her mother had a heart attack after hearing the news and is holding on for dear life. It’s then that Eadlyn decides to take the selection seriously.
I do not usually mark books a lot, but for this one I felt I really should. This is just the ones that stood out to me the most. Yellow is when Eadlyn or another character was terrible, and green was when Eadlyn or another character was great. As you can see, there is a lot of yellow and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the author really tried to make Eadlyn a strong, independent young woman. I can respect that, but instead what the author did was go to far, and she missed the turn into strong, independent, likable character town and kept going stopping in unlikable, bitchy, spoiled boulevard. Basically she tried too hard.
If his book had been written in third person, I think it would have been a lot better. A lot of moments happen where you go “what the hell?!” because you are not able to get to know the characters. For example, there is a moment in the book where Eadlyn has been told by her twin that there are more uprisings to get rid of the monarcy, and her younger brother asks what’s happening. She tells him it’s grown up stuff, and she snaps at her. I do think it was something she needed to hear, but it was just so random. You didn’t really hear much from this character, and when you did he was all nice and sweet, then all of a sudden, BAM, he get bitchy.
I sighed. “It’s grown-up stuff. You wouldn’t understand.”
He rolled his eyes. “Don’t talk to me like that, Eadlyn. I’m fourteen, not four. I read all the papers, and I pay attention at the Reports. I speak more languages than you, and I’m learning all the things you have without anyone making me do it. Don’t act like you’re better than me. I’m a prince.”
I sighed. “Yes, but I will be queen,” I corrected, sipping my coffee. I really didn’t need this right now.
“And your name will be in a history book one day, and some bored ten-year-old will memorize it for a test and then forget all about you. You have a job, just like everybody in the world. Stop acting like it makes you more or less than anyone else.”
This is why third person would have been better. It just seems like no one likes her, so why would I (the reader) like her?
I couldn’t take it anymore. I barged past them, not slowing down. “You’re too young for him, and he has a girlfriend, Josie. Let it go.”
I rounded up the stairs to go to the office. I knew I’d feel better once I did something manageable, something I could check off a list.
“See,” Josie said, not bothering to lower her voice. “I told you she was awful.”
Josie is a fourteen or fifteen year old girl, who has a little crush on the prince. We only see her through Eadlyn’s eyes, so because she doesn’t like her, that hate is trying to be forced on us. Honestly, I liked Josie a lot more than Eadlyn. Josie also hangs out with girls from her school, you know people who live in the country. Eadlyn doesn’t bother meeting any people and just believes they adore her. Her mother and twin brother even comment that she doesn’t really care about her subjects, especially if it comes before her comfort.
BUT I do think that that is an issue for everyone in the monarchy. Instead of having all these parties, why not use that money to help housing in areas where jobs are booming and there’s no where to live? I think that would make you guys a lot more likable to the public, since people are homeless and complaining about jobs. They even say late in the book that the job booms are in areas where there is no housing…I don’t know, maybe I’m just crazy.
Also, another problem was that Eadlyn kept contradicting herself, for the sake of the story of her hating the selection. When she is on a date with one of the guys, Ean, he’s making his deal and she tells him that he wouldn’t be a king, he’d be a prince consort because no one could hold a title higher than hers. A few pages later, she says that the idea of a guy fixing her work or doing it for her was unacceptable. Um, you just said no one would have more power than you so your word would be final….
Lastly, my biggest problem was her sudden romance with her friend, who she had hated her whole life. 18 years she hated him, and suddenly because he showed her his drawings, and kissed her for the paper she starts to question those 18 years of hate. Seriously, the become ‘kiss buddies’ because she wants to forget her problems with kisses. If this had been for older people, they would have been sex buddies, because she just wants that escape, not romance with him. That’s not a bad thing at all, but I really hope she does not end up with him because it makes no sense. They both hated each other, but a kiss magically changed that. I hope that he gets to leave and travel, just as he always wanted to do.
She did do/say some things that I really did liked. This one, for instance, if she had just said in the beginning, I feel like she would have been much more likeable.
“…I don’t think they can handle the pressure of this position. I’m not going to handcuff myself to a weight for the sake of a distracting headline.”
Dad stood, “Eadlyn, that’s not what we want either.”
“Then please, stop pressuring me to fall for people I never wanted here in the first place…
This whole situation has been awful. I’ve had people throw food at me in public; others have judged me over a kiss. One boy touched me against my will, and another flung me to the ground. For all the effort I put in to make things right, the papers have had a field day with the constant shame….
When I said I’d help distract people, I didn’t think it would be this degrading.”
It also helped her character when she had a realization that she is not this powerful being who can’t be hurt. It made her character seem more real.
I ducked my head, thinking of how I told myself over and over that no one in the world was as powerful as me. There was truth to it, sure. But if Jack had pinned me to the ground or Burke had turned his fists on me, my crown would have done me no good until after the fact. I could punish, but I couldn’t prevent.
And after that fight, she didn’t kick all the guys out. She only kicked the instigator out and let the other guy stay, after talking to him and getting to know him. I like that a lot.
Those were really the ones that spoke A LOT to her character, and I’m thankful for that.
Anyway, as of right now Henri and Erik are my favorites. I’m actually seeing Henri as Honey-senpai from Oran High Scool Host Club right now. I haven’t seen that show in so long, but I was watching clips recently, and Henri’s constant happy attitude reminds me of him. Also helps that he’s blonde.
Fox is pretty cool too, but I just wish that Eadlyn would have been like ‘oh, I’ll have the kingdom help your dying dad. That’ll for sure help the royal image.’ Instead, shes like ‘oh you can stay then.’ Eh.
Baden was my favorite, because he interacted well with her and made her act her age. When he convinced her to skip her duties, I was sold on him, BUT he randomly turned out to be a crybaby. He did have a point that they only hung out for an hour, and never talked again, but still so damn random.
Yea, I’ll buy the next and continue the series, but I won’t be happy about it. I don’t know why I like this series; I guess it’s just a guilty pleasure. I do enjoy cute romances, which is why I like The Selection, even though it was terrible, but this one didn’t really have romance. Also, I thought it was a new series continuing from The Selection series, but it’s actually the next book in the same series.
Basically, if you’re expecting this to be better than The Selection, don’t…