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. (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted nor expected too. I loved the Selection trilogy (though I guess it’s not a trilogy now), and was fully expecting this to be just as good.
Most of that is Eadlyn’s fault.
Eadlyn is the princess you don’t want to be. Her first thought is always herself. Oh, a Selection might stop the riots that are getting people killed? And the Selection has brought love for my parents AND my grandparents? Guess what, no, I don’t want to do it!
Really, this quote is what told me I wouldn’t like her from the start;
Had I been born a generation earlier, it wouldn’t have mattered. Ahren was the male, so Ahren would have been the heir.
Alas, Mom and Dad couldn’t stand to watch their firstborn be stripped of a title by an unfortunate but rather lovely set of breasts. So they changed the law, and the people rejoiced, and I was trained day by day to become the next ruler of Illea.
What they didn’t understand was that their attempts to make my life fair seemed rather unfair to me.
She is self-centered, and hurts her maid’s feelings multiple times throughout the book. She seems to feel like anyone below royal status is not worthy of her attention. Take these two quotes:
“What if you said you were already in love with somebody?”
I shook my head as I poked at my food. “I insulted my three most likely candidates right in front of them.”
[…] “Perhaps a guard then? Happens to the maids often enough,” she suggested with a giggle.
I scoffed. “That’s fine for them, but I’m not that desperate.”
“Mark is a chemist. He’s studying biochemistry, specifically.”
My eyes widened. “Really? Such a range in your professions.”
She frowned. “There’s no caste system anymore, Your Highness. People can date and marry anyone they want to.”
I turned away from the mirror to look at her directly. “That’s not what I mean. It’s simply intriguing to me the dynamic you must have. You have my laundry in your arms, and he might cure a disease. Those are two incredibly different roles in the world.”
To her credit, she did apologize for both.
And finally, the way she treats Marlee’s daughter, Josie, makes me cringe. Josie idolizes Eadlyn, and tries so hard to be like her, but Eadlyn treats her like a piece of dirt. I cannot believe that this girl was the daughter of America and Maxon. Judging from what we know of the other royal kiddies, her FOURTEEN YEAR OLD LITTLE BROTHER would make a better ruler than she would.
The writing was good. The story was good. The main character? Not so much.
There is one quote that saved this book from the lowly one-star rating I wanted to give it just for Eadlyn: “I’m smart and beautiful and strong. I don’t need to be rescued.”
I don’t know if I’ll be reading the next one.
So, in other bookish news, there’s a Cinderella retelling called Ash & Bramble that’s coming out early next year that I want to read. The problem? The library hasn’t placed orders on it yet, so I can’t place it on hold. Now, as much as I love the vast selection of books the library has at any given time, it takes them forever to get in books that were published in the last year and not written by Rick Riordan or Marissa Meyer or someone of that popularity. If they’re debuting authors, it takes even longer.
I think what I’ll start doing is that whenever I get a newly published book that’s by a debuting author and not on their list, I’m going to take it into the YA librarian for her to read to see if she’ll recommend the library buy it. Because I’ve talked to more than one person about this, and they all agree with me that’s is frustrating.