The Heir by Kiera Cass

NOTE: Mild spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the first three books, but nothing you wouldn’t have already had spoiled by reading the synopsis.

I really enjoyed The Selection series by Kiera Cass (especially because I have an unhealthy obsession with The Bachelor and other reality dating shows). I was both pleasantly surprised and quizzically skeptical about the surprise fourth book in the series, The Heir, which is more like a spin-off since it follows the daughter of the winning couple.

22918050 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.

Let’s be real, Princess Eadlyn is not a very nice person. I was taken aback by the level of hateful ugliness within this young heroine. I suppose it will create a larger story arc for character growth. She does redeem herself by the end of the book, and she isn’t so unpleasant that she’s unlikeable. We all have a mean girl hidden inside us.

I was initially annoyed at the Eadlyn’s attempt to subvert her own selection. I understood her motives — being too young, wanting to stay independent — but she took too long to get to the point where she realized she actually liked some of the boys. Granted, The Heir is only the beginning of Eadlyn’s story, so there is a couple more books, I’m sure, where she will continually grow.

I read this book in one day, breezing through the pages with my emotions ranging through excited, annoyed, laughter and hope. The reader gets to see how some of the characters in the last book are doing, but it focuses primarly on Eadlyn and her inability to see what’s right in front of her.

This book was strange because I didn’t really have a favorite suitor by the end. There were a couple I liked, but just like Eadlyn, I didn’t know how to feel about any of them. She hadn’t really tried yet so it was hard to judge who would be the best suitor for her. I’m looking forward to seeing their relationships blossom in the next few books.

Even though this book was a random experience, I thought Cass made good creative choices to differentiate Eadlyn’s selection process from her father’s. It’s cool to see the other side of the coin, instead of America’s poor mindset; you get Eadlyn’s rich girl identity. With that said, it had a few disrupting scenes like the almost sexual assault and the one, two punch major (and perhaps unnecessary) plot twists at the end.

This book is hard to judge because I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as smooth, the point of view was all over the place and the chain of events was random instead of natural. I’ll still be reading the next book. Just like The Bachelor, I’m always up for another season.

STARS: 3.5 out of 5


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