The Crown by Kiera Cass

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Honestly, I’m not sure why I finished this series. Sunk Cost Fallacy? Blind hope? Regardless, I pushed through and finally finished The Selection series 8 years after I started it. Was it worth it? Absolutely not. The first three books of the series were a fun, park-your-brain-at-the-door combination of The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games – nothing outstanding but pretty entertaining. For some inexplicable reason, the author chose to extend the series to follow the daughter of the two original leads as she goes through her own Selection. I had hoped that maybe the series would end on a high note – but The Crown set an all time low for the series – a waste of time at best and a waste of paper at worst.

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa 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 fairytale 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.

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The Heir by Kiera Cass

An unlikeable protagonist, a complete lack of stakes, and barely a trace of plot – The Heir sets a new low for series continuations. There’s been a trend lately of authors continuing series after a several year gap (Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, literally any series that Cassandra Clare has written). Sometimes, revisiting an existing series can be a fun way to expand a universe and allow the author to skip over some of the world building and dive straight into a story. The Heir turned out to be a poster child for the importance of knowing when to leave well enough alone.

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.

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

I originally read The Selection a few years ago when it first came out. Recently, I happened upon it at the library and decided to give it another shot. I remember feeling fairly ambivalent about it the first time – it was fun but nothing special. I’m a bit of a Bachelor die hard fan, so I decided to reread this. My memory of it the first time was pretty spot on. This is a very light and fluffy read, definitely lacking depth, but great if you can park your brain (and logic) and not question it too deeply.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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