Published by HarperTeen on May 3, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
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.
The fifth and final book in The Selection series is here, and I made sure to reserve it at my library so I could read it as soon as possible. I was excited to discover how the series would conclude, and who, if anyone, Eadlyn would choose as her husband. Unfortunately, The Crown fell flat for me, and I’m quite disappointed with it. Let me share why with all of you.
I’ll begin this review with the things I did enjoy about this book. First, I am beyond happy that Kiera Cass finally includes some characters in this series that are not heterosexual. The lack of diversity in this series thus far was one of the biggest drawbacks for me, and I’m so glad Cass not only included some LGBTQIA+ characters, but she also gives a quick explanation of how these characters are treated in Illéa both historically and currently. It is disappointing that one of the characters is written in a stereotypical manner, but it’s great we finally got this inclusion nonetheless.
In addition, I did enjoy the overall ending of the series. Eadlyn ended up with the boy I thought she would, and I think she made a great choice. I also liked finding out more about America’s siblings, and seeing Grandma Singer. However, that’s where my enjoyment of The Crown ends.
My first critique of this novel is the writing style. The quality of writing throughout this series changes with every book, and it is at its weakest point in The Crown. Eadlyn’s first-person-perspective is more colloquial than ever, including cringeworthy sentences such as “I followed his gaze, and he was right. It was seven ’til,” (p. 264). I do think that younger readers of this series will enjoy this writing style more than I do, because The Crown reads as if a teenager is telling you the story. For me, though, it is very annoying, and not the style I like to read.
Similarly, I became quite frustrated with the construction of the novel. Keeping in mind that The Crown is a work of fiction set in a dystopian world, I found that there is a lack of logic in the events of the book. The rest of this paragraph will include mild spoilers for The Crown. Please skip to the next paragraph if you do not want to be spoiled. An example of my frustrations is when Eadlyn takes over as queen for her parents. It makes no sense whatsoever for an 18-year-old girl, whom the general populace dislikes, to suddenly take over the throne when the current king is still alive and able to serve. Illéa is in distress and needs a strong ruler. Yes, this is a fictional world, but in ‘reality’ Eadlyn would never be allowed to suddenly take the throne. The same is true of Eadlyn and Josie’s magically mended relationship. Eadlyn absolutely despises Josie, and the feeling is somewhat mutual. However, when Josie shadows Eadlyn for just one day, the girls’ entire relationship changes. They become best friends and understand each other instantaneously. Again, this would never really happen, and because it did the book lost a lot of credibility for me.
Moreover, the epilogue of The Crown felt completely unnecessary to me. It is only half a page long, and instead of wrapping up the story or showing a glimpse of Eadlyn’s future, it included a series of cliché statements. Not one character name is mentioned, nor anything new learned. I would have really loved an epilogue that served a purpose, especially after the ending of the book. Perhaps Kiera Cass will write another one in the future.
Overall, I’m very disappointed with The Crown. If you’ve read The Heir and want to find out what happens, I recommend just looking up spoilers for this book and calling it a day. I don’t think it’s necessary to read this book, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend this series. I’m very glad that I read it, because it receives so much praise that I think my thoughts provide something different from the mass opinion. If you do enjoy The Selection, I fully understand why, and I’m happy you can get fulfillment out of these books. At this time I don’t think I will be picking up any of Kiera Cass’s other books in the future.
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