Books, YA Fiction

The Heir, by Kiera Cass

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“There are some things you don’t learn about yourself until you let someone else into the most intimate places of your heart.”

Rating: 3.25

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.

The days in which I took The Selection series seriously, were gone a long time ago. I thought The Selection was a fine book back in the day, I didn’t mind it at all. The Elite made me see all the issues with the series as a whole, but it was a good book anyway. I guess I learned a whole lot about world-building, character development, and plot during the time between reading The Elite and The One, because I severely disliked the latter. Since then, I didn’t think of The Selection series as “good for nothing”, but rather made for entertainment. Which is exactly why I picked up The Heir, for entertainment. Harsh, but true.

But… I actually kind of liked this. The plot and story-telling wasn’t bad, the writing wasn’t horrible either, and I could actually stand a few of the characters. Most of my dislike for this book, stemmed from its prequel series.

The lack of world-building in the former books set it up for failure in the aspect of… well, world-building. From what I’ve seen, it hasn’t improved at all, Cass is still using her old world and not doing much with it. There could have been more explanation about the fall of the castes and how things went after that, but of course, the main focus was on the romance and drama, which I don’t mind. The former books were going in that direction, and that was the main focus of the series anyway, so it doesn’t really bother me now and it never did.

I expected to despise the characters from the moment I started reading, probably because of all the reviewers on Goodreads complaining about our problematic heroine, Eadlyn Schreave. Concerning Eadlyn, I agree and disagree with the reviewers. She is, indeed, a very bratty, insolent, and ignorant girl, and it is often painful to read the book through her voice, mostly in the beginning. I’m sure a lot of readers wanted to release a string of curses at this girl after stating that SHE WAS THE FUTURE QUEEN AND NO ONE WAS MORE POWERFUL THAN HER at least twenty freaking times.

 I can understand how this might be irritating, but I think this line is actually very important to Eadlyn and her personality. It seems as though she uses this line whenever her bratty attitude is called out, in order to hide from her own flaws and problems. One day she will be queen, everyone will bow down to her, and she will have everything she’s ever wanted. To Eadlyn, her current inner struggles don’t matter because it will all go away in the future. I, for one, found this very interesting, something I wouldn’t have expected with Cass. America from the previous books wasn’t very fascinating and there wasn’t much character development concerning her, since she was already stated to be caring, mature, and a humble person in the first place. Because of Eadlyn’s attitude, she has potential to grow and mature into a better person. So… I’ve decided to like Eadlyn Schreave. It helps that she is a witty and funny character (unlike her mother, who bored me to death back in her “Selection” days), and that fact that she isn’t set up to be perfect and “sue-like” makes it better all better.

I suppose the other characters I should speak about are “the Selected men.” I have mixed feelings about the boys. Back when “the Selected” were female, I didn’t really have many problems with them, which is quite interesting to me. The male selected were fine, they didn’t really stand out besides their cheesiness and pettiness when it comes to subjects concerning Her Highness, Eadlyn. The males’ actions just seemed silly to me, from the fights to the dates to even the things they said. I did have a good laugh though. The only standouts in the book were Kile, Ean, and Erik, probably because they were made to be. I adored Kile far more than I liked Maxon and Aspen from the prequel series. He was witty, charming, and intelligent, not a contrast to Eadlyn. Eadlyn and Kile’s bickering was too hilarious, and even though the “hate to love” relationships in YA are a bit repetitive, I can’t help but fall for it every time. Eadlyn and Kile are no exception.

I wouldn’t consider the romance insta-love, but it definitely progressed a bit quickly. I think Kile and Eadlyn were mostly just infatuated with each other, and I think it was meant to be that way since Eadlyn didn’t really admit to herself or Kile that she was actually in love with him. Out of all the problems The Heir (and the Selection series) has, I must say, I do love the friendships and “non romantic” relationships. Eadlyn’s relationship with her twin brother, Ahren, has to be one of my favorite brother-sister relationships in all of YA. Both of them advise each other, look out for one another, and simply understand each other in a real and human way. Even Eadlyn and her younger brothers have such a loving relationship, one I honestly wish I had with my sister.

Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of The Selection (obviously), and possibly fans of the newer releases similar to The Selection series overall (The Jewel by Amy Ewing…?). Since the world-building and plot will somewhat stay the same, I am looking forward to the drama, entertainment (like I do with Cass), and surprisingly the characters in the sequel.

-Haven

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