“Beauty is subjective. You know how sometimes what makes a person attractive is the way they make you laugh or how it seems like they can read your mind?”
Blurb (Goodreads)- 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.
Thoughts- I must admit, I’m very conflicted on what I thought about this book. First of all, let’s get out of the way how much I adore the covers of Eadlyn’s story, but that doesn’t (unfortunately) affect the content inside. While I do feel like this book was a huge improvement on The Heir, which I just could barely get through. I found this one quite tolerable, and even found myself enjoying it in the end!
Eadlyn as a character, definitely gets a huge attitude shift. While I think this was an interesting development from a complete and utter brat to a pretty tolerable and possibly likable character, I don’t think it was necessary. Part of the reason I’ve really not enjoyed the continuation of the original trio is my dislike for the protagonist. Her rapid change in character does not feel believable to me one bit. Yes, obviously someone can change their attitude but it comes slowly, you have to start changing how you think before how you act. Eadlyn’s snarky (and often quite rude) remarks almost completely evaporate in this installment and for some reason, that just doesn’t sit right with me. However, I think Cass did nail Josie’s personality shift quite well!
Despite all of that, I did enjoy Eadlyn as a character more this time around and watching her step up to responsibility. It’s extremely sweet of her to step up to the throne early so Maxon and America can have some time as a happily (and adorable) married couple, but it seemed so… easy. I’ve watched enough Reign (TV show) to know that someone can’t ascend from princess to regent to queen that quickly and smoothly. That might just be a me thing though.
I loved, loved the politics this time around. Meeting with the panel, and having the city hall meeting, along with just dealing with the dissolved caste system was actually interesting to me. I found it much more fun to read than the actual selection aspect. We all knew who she was going to end up with in the end (so glad we were all correct in our guess). The selection just started to seem ridiculous to me and not important, it didn’t feel the same as the original series because the whole thing seemed not as developed as Maxon’s selection. All of the selected boys still blur into one homogeneous blob to me.
Overall, if you want quick reads are all still entertaining, these are fun books to pick up and I’m glad to have finished the series. Yet, I don’t think these last two additions onto the series were necessary, and in my mind they weakened the overall series. If you want to read about the whole selection series, read about Maxon and America’s story.