This is a long, ranty review and does contain some plot spoilers.
In spite of their silliness, I found myself really enjoying the Selection books. The characters drove me up the wall. By the last book I was completely hooked. So I was really excited to hear of the Next Generation new books.
Only to find The Heir was awful. America Singer might have been a mooney eyed moron and one of the biggest Mary Sues I've come across, but at least she was a likable character. The same can not be said for her daughter.
Eadlyn Schreave is possibly the most selfish, obnoxious spoiled bitch I have ever come across in YA fiction. Bratty beyond belief. To be fair though, I can see a few points on where this girl is coming from. She's the first female heir to the kingdom who is going to become Queen in a monarchy run land. I can't even begin to imagine the pressure that build. She is forever going on about it. Going to be queen, going to be queen, no one can understand me, blah blah blah. Doesn't give her the license to be an entitled little madam who seems to think the sun rises and sets on her.
When the novel starts, the cast systems have gone but not everyone in the general public are managing to cope with the new status. There's civil unrest and problems relating to this. So what do the monarch do? Let's have a Selection to take their minds off their problems! They'll be so distracted by watching the pretty princess make her choices from 35 suitors everyone will forget there are people starving and people who desperately need jobs!
Again, to be fair to Eadlyn, she was pretty pissed off about the Selection. She’s independent, she doesn’t need or want a husband at this stage in her life. She won’t be defined by finding a prince through the Selection. Of course mom and dad pressure her into it and she reluctantly agrees, thinking she can probably drive them all away. Meanwhile, she’s insanely jealous because her beloved twin brother has found love with the Princess of France. She can’t seem to get it that he’s found someone he loves more than her. (Prime example of her selfishness. This comes into play a major part towards the end of the novel).
Marlee from the first three books now lives in the palace and has two kids of her own, Kile (which was such a stupid and unpronounceable name he became Kyle when I was reading) a bookish type who seems to for no reason I can see rub our erstwhile princess the wrong way. She’s a bitch to him. And his 15 year old sister Josie. Josie is a bit bratty, you get the impression she worships Eadlyn, but cause she’s annoying and is forever playing with Eadlyn’s tiara collection, Eadlyn treats her like absolute shit.
Somehow, Kile winds up in the Selection. (You had to see that one coming from a mile away) The Selection boys aren’t such a terrible bunch. A fair number of them are fairly decent people. There’s plenty of drama while Eadlyn tries to figure out how to get rid of them, events and “dates” and more eye rolling (from me the reader).
Though again, to be fair to Eadlyn throughout the elimination process and the dates, she’s stuck more than a few times. If she dismisses the boys too quickly, she’s seen as cold and bitchy. If she kisses them, she’s seem as giving it up too easily. She’s still determined to hold onto her heart and refuses to just pick one for the sake of picking one. (One of the boys has an interesting proposal where this is concerned). Which is actually quite commendable. (Or would be if she wasn’t such a hateful bitch!).
A fair few of the Selected boys make getting through the book worthwhile. Though I was pleased to see more than a few of them, and even little Josie, call Eadlyn out on her shit and her appalling behavior.(show spoiler)
If this bit had come in the middle of the book I think I would have DNFed. Thankfully it was towards the end and I think I only had less than 80 pages or so left, so I stuck it out. In spite of boy drama, nothing is really resolved. Nothing really happens. Not until the last 30 pages and its family drama, not Selection drama.
This book was truly, truly awful. I’m really disappointed as I was so looking forward to it.