Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis: Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon's heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn't expect her Selection to be anything like her parents' fairy-tale love story...but as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

The Heir is the fourth book of The Selection series. If you haven't read the rest of the series yet, there may be some mild spoilers for the first three books in this review, but I'll keep any spoilers from The Heir to myself!

One of my biggest book related pet peeves is when authors seemingly finish writing a series and later release extra novellas, companion novels, and prequels related to it. After I finished The One (the third book of The Selection trilogy, or so I thought), I felt like I had an adequate amount of closure to put this world aside and move on. But, of course, since The trilogy was so popular, Cass decided to add two more books that are set twenty years after the series was supposed to end. Needless to say, I was initially hesitant to pick this one up.

So why on Earth did I plow through this book in a few days?

For one thing, I had previously read a couple of beefy classics consecutively and wanted to read something a little lighter. On that front, The Heir did not disappoint. It was entertaining, had a fast, even pace, and even though it was a bit of a cliffhanger, the ending was generally well done. This book (and the series as a whole) definitely constitutes as a guilty pleasure read whenever I want to read solely for entertainment. 

That being said, there were a lot of things about this book that irked me every now and then. For one thing, Eadlyn's bad attitude and immaturity is a dominating factor throughout the book; she starts the competition with the main goal of making the boys' lives miserable simply because she doesn't want to participate in the competition. Not to mention, she's kind of a brat. For instance, take this quote from the first chapter, before she even faces any major conflict:
"I tried not to complain. After all, I knew how fortunate I was. But there were days, and sometimes months, when it felt like far too much was piled on me, too much for any one person, really." 
"...I thought as I suffered through in my bubble bath and struggled through my hand massage"

Eadlyn aside, a lot of the boys in the Selection were a bit cliché. Take Ean, for example. Ean is the quintessential "bad boy" with a mysterious side and suspiciously knows a whole lot about Eadlyn's personal life. For example, while he and Eadlyn are on a date, Eadlyn mentions that she could easily send him home immediately. He responds:
"But you won't," he assumed, that impish grin still plastered to his face. "You know I can give you the one thing you really want, and you're the only one who can give me what I want."
"Which is?" 
 "Comfort. Comfort in exchange for freedom."
See? He even has an "impish grin."

Throughout the book, Eadlyn constantly thinks about how much she only wants freedom and independence but never actually mentions this to anyone outside of her family. How does he even know that she doesn't actually want to be a wife? We'll probably find out in the next book that Ean has some ulterior motives, but honestly, he's so cheesy that I don't really care either way.

Speaking of cheesiness, can we just take a moment to appreciate this quote?
"I still wasn't quite certain what to do with my heart."
It's probably not the most generic romance novel line in history, but still...

Anyway, one of the biggest problems I had with this book was that Maxon and America didn't seem like the same individuals they were in the rest of the series. Of course, we're seeing them through the eyes of their daughter, but both of them seem weaker and lack the spark they had when they were the stars of the show, particularly America. In this book, America seemed a so quiet and passive, it was as if she was a different character altogether.

Considering all of the complaints I've hashed out, it may seem like I didn't like The Heir. Despite the flaws, I found it to be entertaining, and I'll probably end up reading the next book just because I enjoy the world of princesses and palaces so much. I would recommend this book if you enjoy reading books simply for fun and are looking for a light and fluffy YA romance for the summer!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner