Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 279 pages
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
It's been a while, but I'm back! If you follow my Youtube channel, you'll see that I have still been reviewing the Bailey's Women's Fiction prize, which has been amazing so far - and is almost ending!
However, amongst all those literary books, I craved some YA and I was ecstatic when I was approved for The Crown on Netgalley. Because, in case you missed it, The Selection series is my guilty pleasure. While I see everything that is problematic with it, and the author and agent, I still can't keep away. I don't want to focus too much on the drama, but more on the story.
First of all, if you don't like clichés, don't read this series. The Crown is the fifth, and final, instalment in the series. While books 1 to 3 focused on Prince Maxon's Bachelor journey to find his wife (and I'm sure there are some prologues and short stories books too, but I never really read those), book 4 and 5 focus on Maxon and the lucky winner's daughter Eadlyn bachelorette journey - and The Crown was the winner of the cliché competition.
In this dystopian world, the royal family likes to pawn off their own children by featuring them in a bachelor-like match making show where random citizens are chosen to participate and in the end there is a wedding that keeps the whole population quiet. The Crown focuses on Eadlyn's decision who to get married to and if she wants to marry at all.
In the Heir, book 4, I already didn't really like Eadlyn. While she laments constantly how everyone sees her as cold, mean and rude to everyone, she actually doesn't really do anything to prove people wrong. She is cold, mean and rude to her family and suitors. While in this novel, she does some growing up, mostly with her way nicer attitude to her family, she's still those things.
SPOILER PARAGRAPH: Not to ruin the ending completely, but towards the end, she decides to just pick someone to get married with because it will save her crown. Even though she doesn't love any of the guys left. And is pretty sure she never will. She almost subjects these perfectly nice guys to a life of misery. Though she sees her mistake, it takes her a remarkably long time for an intelligent woman.
And while there's a certain attempt at empowering women in this book, Eadlyn's final 'I'm going to stand for something' moment falls remarkably flat in the main scheme of things. There's also a massive threat looming throughout the book, however it is fixed in one line in a way that confused me. If it was so easy, why did it take 300 pages?
So why do I still love these books? Because they're easy. It's like that cheesy Backstreet Boys song (everyone has one; mine is I Want It That Way) that you shouldn't be singing if you're older than 15. But you do. And you probably always will. There's SO much wrong with The Crown, but the predictably of who will marry who, the easy to read style and the strategically placed plot twists, as on queue as in a soap opera, makes this irresistible to me.
If you're heading to the beach this summer, you want this book. You don't need to think; you can just gush and ship couples and enjoy the book version of a Lifetime movie. However, because of all its flaws, I can't give it five stars. Though it is enjoyable. I can't wait to read a novel that is as easy and enjoyable as The Crown series, but with way less problematic elements.