Blurb: 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.
Thoughts: I honestly have no clue where to start this review. Did I enjoy the book? Yes. Did I love it? No. There were parts and/or characters that drove me crazy, but I feel like a good amount of those issues were resolved my the end. Yes, I will finish the series when Cass releases the final book because I’m interested to see how she changes things up.
Let’s start out by talking about Eadlyn. In the beginning of the book, she’s and insufferable, spoiled little princess. She drove me absolutely crazy and at times I almost put the book down, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Eadlyn did go through some nice character development, but it didn’t reach the point that I wanted it to until the very end of the novel. The worst thing about Eadlyn is that she thinks that everyone loves her, when in truth, everyone but her can see her weak qualities.
“And your name will be in a history book one day, and some bored ten-year-old will memorize it for a test then forget all about you. You have a job, just like everybody else in the world. Stop acting like it makes you more or less than anyone else.”
Was that what everyone thought about me?
Yes, sweetie it is. Eadlyn consistently acted like she was the only thing that mattered and it made her unlikable. It’s very easy to see through her fake-ness from the very beginning and she keeps it up for a good two thirds of the book. During her first elimination, she goes a bit crazy and eliminates 11 boys in front of everyone, she doesn’t even do it in private with each person but seeps to a level of going up to a boy and telling them “No. Thank you.” and continuing on her way.
However, I do appreciate her character development. After several talks with both all three of her brothers and several of the Selected she starts to get her act together. Eadlyn gets to the point where she begins to appreciate what the boys bring to her and really focuses on trying to a be a good person to them. I loved when Eadlyn took time during a report to highlight some of the boy’s talents that they’ve shown her, it was very sweet and heart warming.
She also starts to love the idea of a selection and begins to see it as an opportunity instead of a chore, which was a nice change. I loved her heart-to-hearts with Kile because I think it’s when we finally get to see who Eadlyn actually is.
“If you asked me the night before everyone came, I would have said it was all a joke. But it’s not anymore, not to me.”
Quite honestly, all of the Selected boys are great. Watching the Selection happen from a flipped point of view is really quite entertaining and I’m very excited to read the final selection scene. But back to the boys, I truly loved how they all have different personalities and how that affects their interactions with Eadlyn. I have to admit, my favorites are Henri and Kile, but some of the others like Hale, Ean and Baden are great characters. Throughout the book, there’s lots of cute scenes with the boys but my favorites are the group dates like the cooking, baseball, the Selection men talent show and the gameshow Eadlyn hosted. Those scenes were adorable and they gave us a chance to see clashing personalities. Then we have Erik, who isn’t a Selection competitor, but a translator. I honestly love him so much and I kinda hope Eadlyn will chose him even though he isn’t a candidate, he’s such a sweetheart and it would put such a fun twist in the story.
They’d [the Selected] caused such an upheaval in my life… and I was so glad they did.
This book also deals a lot with the politics of the nation. The castes are officially gone, but it causes a lot of uproar throughout the country. I enjoyed seeing how the royal family deals with political issues through their eyes and not as an outsider. I hope we get more development with those issues like we did in The Elite and The One. Also, the America and Maxon, Aspen and Lucy, and Marlee and Carter snippets were fantastic, it was great seeing all of the characters from The Selection series all grown up.
Overall, I’m quite conflicted about this book. In the beginning I kind of hated it, but like the Selection grew on Eadlyn, it definitely grew on me. If you’re a fan of the Selection series, I do recommend picking this up because it was a fun, quick read and a nice addition to the series as a whole.