Genre: Romance, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illea to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone. Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairy-tale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you… and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible – and more important – than she ever imagined.
Review: I must admit, I am not sad to have come to the end of the Selection series. Despite the four-star review that I gave the very first book, I don’t think Cass ever managed re-elevate her series to that status. If The Crown was meant to be redemptive as far as Eadlyn’s personality is concerned, then it failed. She remains a self-centered, bratty, spoiled queen-in-training. The novel pacing is, once again, off, especially considering the point at which Eadlyn realizes she is actually in love with someone. The magnitude of her feelings (and his in return) does not match the actual interactions the two characters have had. Cass also frustrated me through the character of Marid Illea. Son of August and Georgia, we learn through Marid that Maxon and America had a falling out with their revolutionary friends. The sacrifice of that relationship (seemingly so sturdy in The One) for the sake of adding a trouble-causing character like Marid was a cheap trick. The only thing that stopped me from giving The Crown a one-star rating is that I believe the actual writing was perhaps the best in the entire series. Cass did a fairly eloquent job of conveying certain human experiences, such as love and friendship. On love:
“It was a delicious feeling, falling love. I’d had so many luxuries in my life, and I thought I’d had a taste of this before, but I realized now it was merely a cheap imitation of something not meant to be imitated in the first place.”
“Maybe it’s not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it’s the last ones.”
And on friendship:
“We would live together and weave our lives into one another’s and hold on to a sacred sisterhood that only a handful of women every experienced. And I was glad that my mom had chosen to come here, across the country, to the home of a stranger, and trusted a girl on a plane and befriended the girl who drew her baths, and that no matter if and when they parted, they would never be separated. Not really.”
So while I didn’t necessarily buy into Eadlyn’s proclamations of love, I felt like Cass did a good job of writing love in a way that was authentic.