*If you haven’t read The Selection trilogy and you intend to…then this review will contain some spoilers.*
“I kept thinking that I couldn’t live my life for other people, that love was nothing but chains. And maybe it was, but so help me, I needed these chains.”
First of all, THAT COVER. How beautiful is that? If you haven’t already, you should see it in person. So beautiful.
Synopsis: The Heir by Kiera Cass picks up almost 20 years after The Selection trilogy ends. Princess Eadlyn is the heir to her father’s throne and will one day become queen. Tensions are rising due to revolts following the dissolution of the caste system and the people are in need of a distraction. King Maxon and Queen America decide that their daughter should hold a Selection, following in their footsteps, to both entertain the public and perhaps find a companion for Eadlyn. The problem is, Eadlyn has no interest in love and doesn’t want to put on a show just to pacify others. However, during just the first month of the Selection, Eadlyn learns what it means to have love and true companionship. She starts to realize that happily ever after may look different than she thought possible.
Feelings: I enjoyed this book and read it in less than a day. Was it flawless? Certainly not. Is it the next great American classic? That’s a no. But, it was entertaining and interesting, full of new characters and old, beloved ones from The Selection trilogy. I will certainly pick up the sequel when it drops next year, but I won’t be waiting in line outside the bookstore at midnight for it.
Issues: Maxon and America…people are angry with the monarchy and now they have to watch you try to marry off your daughter for sport? Why did that seem like the best idea to you? Also, why didn’t you have some kind of Office of Whatever to help transition people into post-caste system life? No wonder their daughter is so detached from her own people.
Predictability, thy name is Kiera Cass. While The Selection trilogy’s air of mystery was in whether America would ever make a freaking decision, this book has zero mystery whatsoever. Meet-cutes abound, but I have to say…there are a couple of suitors that I’m rooting for. If anything, Cass knows how to write a hunky hunk or five into literary existence.
Characters: For the majority of the book, Eadlyn is completely oblivious to her own impact. She’s unkind, heartless, and indeed a “black widow”. In a lot of reviews of this book, people talk about how annoying she is and how much they hated her POV. Yes, she’s whiny and selfish, constantly reminding herself and everyone else that she’s powerful and will be queen one day. She’s disrespectful, then criticizes everyone around her for their behaviors…she’s just immature. Grow the heck up.
Her twin brother was her saving grace. He showed us a different side of her through their interactions and he really balanced her out. I can see how her character is developing and fingers crossed, she’ll grow up a lot in the sequel.
Comparisons: Surprisingly, I prefer Eadlyn’s POV to her mother’s in The Selection books. Through all of those three novels, I wanted to shake America and force her to DECIDE ALREADY. Eadlyn, however, went through some self-discovery, a few reality checks, and learned lessons along the way. I’d take that over wishy-washy America any day. (#TeamAspen…I was also #TeamGale…I’m a sucker for the home team, apparently.)
Final thoughts: An entertaining read that should be approached with zero seriousness. I read a review yesterday where someone figuratively tore the first page of the book apart and went all feminist power on it. That’s not…just no. Go read some Sylvia Plath if that’s what you want to do, but stay away from a story that’s not meant to be taken so seriously. Also, stick it to the end. Give Eadlyn a chance. You may even like her by the last page. I’m really rooting for Eadlyn…I got hope in you, girl.
Pick this up if you liked:
The Selection trilogy (I enjoyed this book more than the first three)
The Jewel by Amy Ewing (It’s on my TBR shelf, but I’ve seen it compared to this series before)
Matched by Ally Condie (I only read the first in the series, but it had similar themes)
Goodreads rating: 3.92/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5
My rating: 4/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn