The Crown

Another series comes to an end. I am always sad when I get to the last book but I liked them so much, I will re-read them in the future. I was surprised on how much I liked this book. A lot of reviews that I read this book was very predictable but I did not think that at all; maybe because I don’t look too deep into the story and guess, I let to story come to me. I actually intended on spacing this one and the last apart with the book I am reading now; I just couldn’t wait, I had to find out what was going to happen!

Crown_Final+(1).jpgPrincess Eadlyn’s family has seen good times and bad times. Right now, with the Queen recovering from a heart attack, the times are not so good. The citizens are on the edge of revolt as the King and Queen have named Eadlyn Queen Regent. She is having to juggle begin a ruler and the Selection. Just when she thinks she could settle down with one of the suitors, an outsider throws a wrench in the machine, making her choose between her heart and her duty.

The Heir and The Crown are definitely different from the first three Selection books but they are just as good. The first three had a lot of action while this one didn’t have action action. This one had more of the drama bombs being dropped everywhere. The one that stands out the most to me was *****SPOILER ALERT***** when Eadlyn’s coronation¬†as Queen comes around and that the love she was looking for wasn’t in the selection, he was one of the men’s translator. ***** SPOILER OVER!*****

I didn’t find the book overly predictable. Like I said above, I don’t look too deep or try to guess what will happen next. I read line for line, letting the story develop slowly in my head. I had my suspicions about the ending, though I didn’t know what course the characters would take; be loyal to the crown or be loyal to your heart.

There was a new character introduced in this book and he kind of caught me by surprise, fooling not only the characters but me as well! See, I get to into books and live page by page with the characters, not knowing what is around the corner. Marid was an interesting fellow who hid his motives very well. It wasn’t until one character was working things out that he wasn’t a friend of the crown. I believe his family is mentioned in the first 3 Selection books because the name was familiar (not because it was the country’s name).

The few twists and turns aka “drama bombs” made this book fun to read. I was enjoying it anyway but the added drama made it impossible to put down. Eadlyn has been training to be queen for a long time and it isn’t until her mother’s heart attack does she actually get a taste for the job and actually want to do her best. This I when you see some real development in her character. Before, I thought she was a typical, head-strong teenager. Now, with her new responsibly and the threat of losing the crown, she grew up really fast. I like her better as a queen; she has her priorities in order and isn’t as annoying.

She knows that she can’t do this job by herself and she fears she will end up like her dad or worse, her mom. She puts a lot of thought into the remaining men in the Selection but instead of it being a choice of the heart, it became a business decision. She realizes that and knows that the one person she actually wants to marry is out of reach because of her job and the promises she made. Don’t worry, Dad’s voice of reason comes into play during the last few pages. He tells her that just because she is expected to play by the rules, doesn’t mean she has to when it comes to certain things. He father tells her why he has this logic and that there are some instances in this world that her status shouldn’t decide for her: who she is going to love. That is a matter of the heart and should be followed no matter what. The heart doesn’t lie ūüôā

The ending wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. It seemed like it was rushed; one paragraph Eadlyn is engaged and out to start talking about marrying one person, then she isn’t engaged to him anymore because she is going to marry the one she truly loves. True, it all happened in a span of seven minutes (according to the story) so it had to be quickly paced. The part that I was bummed most about was the very last page. I could have done without the epilogue because it was just words. You don’t get a glimpse of Eadlyn and her fianc√©/husbands life after everything that had happened. You don’t see a wedding, him becoming king, stepping into their new roles. I would have like to see a little bit of their rule, life, possible children. Anything into the future would have been an amazing closer.

The Good:
Couldn’t put it down
Drama bombs made the book move fast
Eadlyn’s character development

The Not Too Bad:
The rushed ending

Overall, I enjoyed this book and the entire series so much. These are the type of books that make me love reading, the ones where you can’t wait to get home and dive back into the story. Pick up this series, you will love it.¬†

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Up Next: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

 

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The Heir

This book is what I like to call a “brain break”. After reading something so in-depth and detailed like IT, I needed something that was going to be quick and easy. Something that I didn’t need too much concentration for or have to put too much effort toward. Naturally, I turned to a few of my young adult novels and remembered that this one had been sitting on my shelf too long. A friend told me that I should put some space between this books and¬†The One¬†because they differed so much. I had given it almost three years and wanted to pick up again, wanting that same feeling I got when reading the previous books. I got exactly what I wanted.

Princess Eadlyn grew up in the palace alongside her twin brother and two younger
siblings. Being that she is the firstborn, she would inherit the title of Queen. Being 18, she didn’t have a care in the world 51UvcBjon8L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_but that all changes when her father and mother, Maxon and America, deliver the news that she is to have her own Selection. Eadlyn was told that she would never have to go through that process but as some colonies start an uprising, her family felt like this would be a good distraction until a solution could be found. ¬†The princess has a plan of her own though, to run the Selected boys out of the palace one by one. It isn’t until she is forced to spend some time with them that her heart starts to soften for them. It isn’t until a tragedy in the family that she realizes maybe she really would want find someone to stand beside her when she became a ruler.

 

I will tell you what my friend told me about spacing this book out from the rest. She read them all back to back; the first three (The Selection, The Elite and The One) focus on Maxon’s selection where America is competing to be his partner. This book and the one that follows it focuses on their oldest daughter who is set to be the next queen. My friend told me to treat this book like the beginning of a new series, which I did when I started reading it.

True. It is different from the others because of the shift in characters BUT there wasn’t really much of a difference that made me feel like this was a totally different book. A few reviews that I read said that this was a mirror image of the first three and deducted points because of that. Other people didn’t like it because it was way different from the others and is set in a totally different time. I don’t know what most of the readers wanted out of this book but it didn’t disappoint me. We get to meet new characters and see the Selection from a totally different point of view. Not only are you seeing it from the selectors side (Princess Eadlyn) but you are seeing what her father, Maxon, probably went through in the first books. In those, we saw just the competitors side and didn’t really get to see a lot of behind the scenes stuff. I really enjoyed this element of the story; it kept me reading and wanting more.

Let’s talk about our leading lady: Princess Eadlyn. In the beginning of the book, she acts like a total b*tch. I wasn’t sure how this story was going to go with her acting the way she was; what can you expect out of an 18-year-old girl who is next in line for the throne? You see her grow up so quickly through the story and mellow out. Thank God for that, I could have smacked her if she was real. The Selected boys helped a lot with that and even though she is set in her ways, they start to grow on her. They grow on the reader too; at first you don’t cheer for anyone because of what she was planning on doing to them but when she realizes she is developing feelings for some of them, you figure it is safe to pick one out and root for them.

The tone and dynamic of this book is just like the others. It has got some romance (just enough to make your little hearts flutter), it has enough humor for a giggle here and there and plenty of drama. I mean, it is an 18-year-old girls version of “The Bachelorette”. ¬†All of these writing elements keep everything moving in a smooth direction. It is easy to read and develop settings/pictures in your head that you just can’t put the darn book down. I usually try to read a chapter at work during lunch; with this book I ended up reading two or three chapters because I just had to know what was going to happen next.

Speaking of wanting to know how things are going to end, I am reading the next book in the series now. I was going to space it out with another book but after the drama bomb that ended this book, I just needed to move right along into The Crown.

Here it is:

The Good: 
The array of new characters and some returning ones
Same feeling and addictive story line and writing style
A quick, easy read

The Not Too Bad:
Eadlyn being a snot at the beginning of the book almost made me dislike her forever.

Overall, if you need something simple yet well structured, this book is a good one to pick up. The whole Selection Series are great books that should be added to your reading list. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Up Next: The Crown by Kiera Cass

IT

I am an avid reader, many of you already know this. You will also know that (as a given) I tend to read through the whole book.¬†Well, I have only done this with one other book and I am never proud of it. I gave up on reading this book. I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t quit and that I should keep going. I could not do it. It wasn’t because it was a bad book, it was just slow and not engaging enough for me. I know the story well so maybe that is why I lost interest. Also, I am not going to add this one to my reading challenge; I didn’t finish and that would be cheating.

It-International-CoverDisappearances aren’t rare in Derry; especially when it involves children. They go missing and are never found. There is a pattern and it seems to cycle every 27 years. It is summer time and the school kids know that something isn’t right in their town; a clown, a mummy, a werewolf, a leper are not normal citizens of the town and continue to terrorize the young, taking and killing who It can lure in. They fight the morphing creature and figure out it’s weakness but will that be enough when the gang returns 27 years later to finish the job?

I have to honestly say I don’t know if they finish the job as adults. I am assuming they do; I have seen the 1990 version of the film and they succeed there. I just could not finish the book. It really wasn’t because it is 1153 pages long, I can handle the length as long as it keeps my attention. This unfortunately did not do that. There were certain parts of the books that were thrilling but those sections were only a few pages long. The book is filled with back story; too much back story. If most of that was cut out, it would be much more interesting and shorter. I found myself reading the action parts and scanning quickly through most of the other stuff. Yes, you need back story to set up the characters lives and set everything up but there was just too much.

I really dislike when I don’t enjoy a book because the authors spend a lot of time and effort on them so I always feel bad when I don’t like their book or don’t finish them. This is a very popular book and that definitely has it going for it, plus the fact that it is by Stephen King. I am sorry Mr. King, you lost me through this one. Not forever though, I am still a huge fan and will continue to read your books but I think I will stick to the shorter ones like Pet Semetary and ‘Salem’s Lot. I have a few others on the shelf waiting for me, I promise I will get to them!

I didn’t hate to book even though it might sound like it. I really liked all the encounters that the kids had with the things that frightened them. Those scenes were classic King and they were frightening. Pennywise was amazing (from what I saw), the werewolf, the leper were all great. I loved seeing all the different experiences the characters had with It. Those parts of the book definitely got my heart going.

The book is broken up into two perspectives, the kids and the adults. They flip-flop often so you really have to pay attention as to when they change or you might get confused. With these perspectives side by side, you almost get too much information about the characters up front. Personally, I would have liked to have the story structured differently; the kids in part one and just the adults in part two.

I did see the newest version of It; I absolutely loved it. Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise was perfect. I really liked that we got to meet the kids before they grow up. I can’t compare it too much with the book because I didn’t finish reading but they focused more on Pennywise and only a few more of the monsters appeared. The characters built such a great friendship that is going to carry well into the next movie; they truly believe in their strengths and know together is better. I hadn’t sat through a 2 hour horror movie (I think ever) but this movie moved so well, I wasn’t bored and it was very engaging. You have probably heard other movie goers that there is some humor inserted into the movie; it is true, I laughed a lot actually. I can’t wait to see part two.

Maybe now wasn’t the right time to read this book. Maybe in a few years I will pick it up and try reading it again; hopefully I will succeed this next time. As in my other blogs, I will rate what I read:

The Good:
The array of characters
Pennywise
Classic King horror scenes

The Bad:
The slow spaces between action scenes

Overall: Even though I wasn’t a fan of this book and “quit”, I would still recommend it to anyone who is a fan of King or saw any version of the movies.¬†

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Up Next: The Heir by Kiera Cass