So, *cough*, tiny bit of an awkward start to this, as you can previously see in my book reviews, I was a massive fan of the Selection series, which is why it pains me to tell you that I didn’t even know this book was going to come out. I honestly thought this was a trilogy and nothing else was going to happen but then BAM I was in Waterstones and all of a sudden, I saw this on the shelf. I immediately went onto amazon and ordered it because…it’s me.
I’m not saying this series is brilliant, I mean…its basically contemporary fluff (romantic fantasy novels aimed at young girls hopelessly romantic minds like me). But, I thoroughly enjoy reading every singly one of Kiera Cass’ books in this series mainly because, I love the concept and idea of the story and I also really grow attached to a lot of the characters she introduces.
This book, is one that I definitely preferred over her recent book (The One) mainly because we got a chance to see The Selection happen from another perspective. PLUS the main narrator, Eadlyn is SO MUCH MORE BEARABLE than America was.
Anyways before I go straight into a spoilerful review, if you were here to see whether you should invest in this book and you’re a fan of the Selection series then I say go for it, and if you’re not then…still go for it?
I think it’s just a light, quick read that you could immensely enjoy. BUT read the other three books beforehand if you haven’t done already, otherwise this book will not make as much sense to you as it will do to everyone else. Also, don’t expect a lot from it, it’s honestly (at least for me) just a book that I love to read to feel calm and relaxed and less stressful.
Here’s a summary so you all know the basic idea of the book:
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.
But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.
Now for this review to get started:
As usual, the main character has a first name that is difficult to constantly repeat in my head. Eadlyn. To be fair, most of the characters in this book have extremely unusual names, which I guess is typical in this series, especially with the mass selection of men suitors that appear – all needing new names.
We begin with the introduction scene where 18 years has passed since America and Maxon’s wedding. They now have 4 children (if I’m correct) 3 boys and 1 girl, who is in line to be the next heir to the throne. The castes have been torn down and now, the new riots are based upon a new issue entirely; the fact people, who are used to being of higher stature, are unable to get used to the idea of having people with family backgrounds of lower castes being put into a society together with them. This is, of course, the new difficulty of the series.
Eadlyn, is basically an America version of Maxon. She is used to living the lap of luxary but unlike her father she has no compassion to issues outside of her walled castle. BUT, though she is stubborn (wonder where that comes from) and tries rejecting tradition and her parents plans…I prefer her to America. Even though she has the fiery side to her, she also has the reasonable, less whiny side that America tended to have during the first selection series.
The introduction of America and Maxon was ADORABLE. I think it was early on in page 11 where Eadlyn says ‘when they are King and Queen’, he seems to have the power, but when they’re together in the castle he follows her around ^^. It just really represented their characters’ relationship from the previous books.
When Eadlyn’s twin Ahren was introduced, I knew he was obviously a ploy to seem more respectable and suitable for the position of the heir but then we discover he has this girl called Camilla who he was obviously in love with. As for Eadlyn and Ahren’s relationship, it at first seemed kind of cold and formal but it quickly paced up and they had a light humorous relationship throughout the book that I enjoyed.
When we had the introduction scene to Kile (another unusual name) I knew something was going to happen (mainly due to the cliche book dropping/tripping over scene that came up) and I also knew that there will soon be a sort of romantic endeavour between them of some sort that would happen in the near future (which *eep* IT DID).
I also loved the little additions from the previous series like Marlee and her two children (Josie – who was the most annoying character ever that obviously was envious of Eadlyn’s royal life, and *surprise, surprise* Kile), and May with her scandalous multiple suitors and Lucy who had the horrible misfortune of being unable to conceive a child. We also found out Kenna passed away which was sad but it wasn’t as focused upon so there wasn’t as much time to muse over it.
Now, as I said before, my favorite part of this whole book was the fact we were able to see behind the scenes of the Selection and all the preparations such as the file picking ceremony and the choosing of the meals, bedding and even the music. Another part that played heavily was the description of clothing which I admired because it made it so much easier to imagine.
Now, the different suitors that appeared really took me by surprise. There were so many different characters with so many different personalities that I felt almost as nervous as Eadlyn. The amount of twists and turns they took and the way in which you felt like you understood a character and then they immediately became something else, took me by surprise. For example, Jack, that creepy sleezeball who seriously needed to keep his hands to himself, and the guy (Brandon?) who started a fight with poor Fox over stinking asparagus *sigh*.
But then the guys that did turn up and were decent and respectable, were surprisingly fun and easy to enjoy reading about. Hale was a sweetheart with his promise a day, Henri was adorable as was Erik who (obviously) there is going to be some romantic tension with at some point, and Fox and of course KILE. Her kiss scenes especially with Henri and Kile were some of the cutest things ever and I loved the fact that we got a chance to see each suitor have their own specific talent and style that we got to know.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Eadlyn is still a whiny, self-centered, and overall annoying character to read BUT I think looking at her background and context…she has a reason to be. Being a princess and having people fawn over you day and night has got to boost your ego to the max.
I’m quite fascinated with Ean and I think I enjoy his scenes. He seems quite collect and restraint and yet, in his date with Eadlyn where he proposes to have a marriage free of restraints, I was a bit hesitant because I’m not sure how it would turn out. Maybe it would work but maybe there will be a twist somewhere along the way.
I think the most annoying part was Ahren when he decided to leave and elope with Camille and not tell anyone. Though Eadlyn selfishly tried to make him stay with her and take care of her, she also needed him at this time of confusion and pain. It also led to America’s heart attack which was quite shocking because I didn’t expect that level of intensity to happen in 2 pages at the end but the overall ending was what, I think, everyone expected. Eadlyn changed her mind and decided to take the Selection seriously which, I mean, I don’t mind at all, but I kind of hope she can gain the respect of her people again and help calm down the revolts and angry people in the land otherwise this whole series is practically pointless.
Language/Style: 7 points
Character: 8 points
Originality: 6 points (only because I kind of feel like she’s trying to stretch this series a bit further than it should have been)
Plot: 7 points
Giving this book a total of 28 points out of 40. Though just because I gave it a lower score doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, like I’ve said before multiple times I thoroughly enjoyed it…I just don’t think it can score any higher honestly ^^
Favorite Part: I’m not sure anyone knows what they’re looking for until they find it.