11:41 AM

The Crown by Kiera Cass | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

Bittersweet, sophisticated and totally romantic. Those are the three choice words I have for the final installment of the beloved The Selection series by Kiera Cass. After five books and one collection of short stories, the series wraps up its final chapter with The Crown; leaving readers breathless and more than a little sad to say goodbye.

As always, with Kiera Cass, loose ends are tied up and there are many moments to swoon over. If you were one of the many who didn’t find themselves that fond of The Heir, this one is the superior of the two–it’s all about growth, decisions, love and the choices we make that can be longstanding.

Refresher, time! When we left Eadlyn Schreave she was in the process of not only coming of age in the public eye but making history by being a female heir to the throne who is having her own selection. Eadlyn is a mix of both good and bad qualities between her parents, our beloved America and Maxon. For many readers, this becomes a problem–because she is a child, she is a bit spoiled and she can be aggressive in many ways.

(I have to be honest, I don’t think she’s as bad as everyone else seems to and firmly believe that if she were a male, she wouldn’t receive half as much hate from the fandom.)

While she definitely rubbed some the wrong way in The Heir, it can only go up from there. Zeroing in on some of both parent’s best traits, Eadlyn takes charge of her life and the country in this chapter and we see her grow up, mature, right before our very eyes. There is a time for action and embracing our fate and Eadlyn does so gracefully–multitasking to an extreme and trying to work out her own feelings.

America fell ill–heart problems–in The Heir, leaving us all devastated and concerned. Although the last two novels are in Eadlyn’s point of view, it’s safe to say that as an audience we will always think of America as our number one heroine. We're lucky that she's able to (spoiler!) recover by novels end (or at least, begin to recover) and it's safe to say that she still has a happy life ahead of herself.

Due to this, and thorough exhaustion in the family, Eadlyn takes the reins of ruling the country temporarily.

You’ve read that right: Eadlyn is still a child, essentially, but she is a child who gets shit done. If ever there was any doubt about her parentage, in these take-charge-moments Eadlyn reminds us that she is equal parts America and Maxon. And of course, entirely her own person.

Familiar faces do return: America’s mother, naturally, makes an appearance and it’s sweet seeing her interactions with her grandkids. We see more of Eadlyn with her siblings–including a certain twin brother who ran off to get married previously. Aspen and Lucy and Marlee and others, of course, make minor cameos. I think that Eadlyn's bond with each of them is sweet and resembles that of a parent.

Basically, America's friends are like extended family to her children and I adore it.

Overall, seeing Eadlyn run the show and embrace a softer side without diminishing who she is was a delight. I liked seeing her bond with Kile and the way she pushed him to chase his dreams. I was rooting for him from the start but I can’t say that I’m surprised or upset with the outcome.

(Would I have picked someone different for her? Yes. But I’m not Eadlyn. And neither are you.)

I liked how much wiser she seemed this time around and there was a scene–towards the end of the novel–with Marlee and America that just warmed my heart. I am trying very hard not to spoil it for readers who haven’t had the privilege of reading it just yet–but readers, you know what scene I’m talking about.

The Crown is the perfect mix of romance, family and coming of age and Kiera Cass has outdone herself once more. Happily ever after was just the beginning–and it still is. We may be saying goodbye to these characters and their world, but we should remember that it’s just begun for Eadlyn and soul mate.

Although a lot would argue that the series should have ended as a trilogy, I’ve felt incredibly lucky reading the series beyond the planned three books and it just… there’s something about the series that gives me the warm fuzzies.

It’s like… Kiera Cass just gets it, you know? She gets it all right in the heart and soul and the way she puts it all together is sweet and thoughtful. Pure fluff, pure emotion. I’m going to miss having this series release new books each year but it will always have a special place in my heart. My only complaint was with how short this installment is.

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