The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass (2016), narrated by Brittany Pressley
The Heir, Eadlyn Shreve began her Selection to choose a husband, inviting several young men to the palace to try and win her over. When the book ended she had narrowed it down to a handful, her brother eloped with a French princess, and her mother had a heart attack. As The Crown opens, her mother is recovering and Eadlyn is forging on with the process of trying to find a husband.
I guessed/hoped early on who the lucky guy would be, but I couldn't figure out exactly how things would go to get there. A lot happened that I didn't anticipate, so I kept changing my ideas as I went along. It was super fun to keep guessing! Meanwhile a lot was going on with her family, and I also sort of assumed that she would be Queen by the end of the book so I was very worried about how that would happen. I didn't want her parents to die after I spent all that time with them in the first book. This was all very stressful for me, as you can imagine.
Eadlyn continued to mature, which was a relief after her spoiled obnoxiousness in the first book. Occasionally she'd have a flare-up, but that just kept it real. She was definitely under a lot of pressure here, what with the continued concerns about how the public perceived her, and the small matter of having to choose a guy to spend the rest of her life with. At one point she invites some regular people in for a town hall meeting, and she got a pretty strong dose of how life was for regular folks, and a bit of attitude from them as well. She was surrounded by people who respected and deferred to her that it was kind of a shock. She didn't have as much control over her Selection process as she'd like either, so she definitely had some struggles here. I really just wanted her to find happiness and success. I knew it would all end well, but I really worried about how that would happen.
I loved this series from start to finish. I was just enthralled! The Selection is a big fancy deal with its romance and fancy dresses and wooing, but the stakes are pretty high for the people involved and there were just so many characters I cared about! I listened to all of the books on audio and both narrators were very good and I ran so many miles on the treadmill while listening to this series. It made unpleasant exercise easy, and that's not something I can say about many audiobooks.
This is the end of the series, though there could totally be more books. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but I'd really like to see how things go in the future for this country and its royal family.
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