Monday, May 23, 2016

DNF Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass


Title: The Crown (The Selection #5)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 279
Add to Goodreads
Reviews for book 1, book 2, book 3, and book 4

When Eadlyn became the first princess of IllĂ©a 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.

Before I begin this review I want to say I was totally in love with the original Selection trilogy. Sure, it was mostly romantic fluff, but it was really enjoyable fluff. I was excited when Cass released The Heir. I bought it as soon as it was released and took it on a Caribbean cruise as reading material, but was totally and completely let down by it. I hated Eadlyn and I didn't understand the need for her story in the first place. Maybe you're wondering why I even bothered to review this book if I hated book four so much. In the past I have even discussed why I hate when people review books they don't expect to enjoy. But here's the thing: I wanted this final book to redeem the previous one. I wanted Kiera Cass to change my mind about Eadlyn and blow me away with the last bit of her story, but that did not happen here. In fact, I finally gave up at 50% of the way through.

The Crown picks up immediately after The Heir left off, with America in the hospital and Eadlyn trying to hold everything else together (for some reason). She has let go of several of the boys, directly mirroring the original trilogy, and is insistent upon choosing one of the remaining boys to marry. I will go ahead and tell you there is nothing about this book that I found redeeming (which is obviously why I decided not to continue reading it) so I'm not going to try to sugar coat this review. I actually had a long list of quotes and notes, but I accidentally deleted it, so whoops. I'm just going to wing it!

As with The Heir, there is absolutely no world building to speak of in this book. None. All of the characters remained within the castle walls at all times and honestly I didn't even feel like I could picture any of the rooms in the castle, which is really saying something. I should be able to picture every single nook and cranny of that castle if it's the only location I've seen for two books. Even worse than the lack of a proper world, though, is that these two books are really completely uneccessary. They are literally just The Selection series but with some details tweaked - right down to Eadlyn choosing an Elite to speed things along.

But my absolute biggest issue with these two books remains Eadlyn herself. I couldn't stand her. After The Heir, a lot of people wanted to talk about how Eadlyn had changed, had grown up, become selfless. I don't know what book they were reading, but I must have gotten a defective copy. My Eadlyn was a selfish bitch, at least through the 50% of the book that I made it through. And the thing about it is, I'm not the only one that hates Eadlyn - her entire country hates her too. She cannot figure out why everyone hates her. Part of the problem is that every single person surrounding her is constantly telling her how perfect and amazing and gorgeous and powerful she is. Maybe if someone would knock her down off her high horse, she might actually get a clue.

Other random things that irritated me about The Crown:

  • Why is the cover model's dress so big? She's swimming in it. Could they not afford a tailor? In a series that is known for its gorgeous covers, I was really surprised by this. 
  • Am I to believe that the QUEEN cannot recover from a heart attack (which she had at age 30-something, by the way) in her own rooms? They couldn't roll all their equipment down the hall so she could be comfortable? So the KING could be comfortable instead of sleeping in a chair? 
  • Similarly, the princess/regent doesn't have a nighttime maid who could go get her some coffee? The regent of a country has to go down to the kitchen and make her own coffee?? And I mean, I get it if she wanted to get her own coffee, but she specifically says there's no one who can get it for her because it's nighttime. Give me a freaking break. 
  • Am I the only one who thought Kiera Cass made Henri seem like a total moron? I get it. The kid is from another country and doesn't speak English. (Honestly, it's a little unbelievable that someone who was entering this kind of competition wouldn't speak English to begin with, but whatever.) I pictured him as an idiot because that's how he was written. Not speaking a foreign language doesn't make a person dumb. :/ 
  • Since when can a king just decide to stop being king and hand things over to his kid because he's tired of the job? Isn't Queen Elizabeth like, 90 or something now? Why doesn't she just retire and hand things over to Prince Charles? 
  • The ending. Yes, I asked my friend to spoil it for me and just... what? This seems like a decision that was made solely for shock value. Did Kiera Cass decide this person would win while she was writing this book? Because nothing in The Heir pointed to this. 

In case there was still any doubt in your mind, I hated this book. I hoped for redemption from the final book in this never ending series, but I didn't get it. I don't know what happened to Kiera Cass after The One was written. A friend suggested that perhaps she had been kidnapped and someone was writing in her name. That's the only thing that makes sense, really. Do I still recommend The Selection series? Yes, but stop at book three.