I had high hopes for The Heir because I read and loved all the books in The Selection series. How could I not love the continuing story of America and Maxon and their kids? Turns out...it's possible not to. Unfortunately.
I didn't hate this book. It's a fast, easy read, and yes, we still get interactions with those we've grown to know and love. The problems lay mostly in Eadlyn, the main character. She never loses a chance to whine or complain. Born first so she gets the crown? Complain. So much work to do? Complain. Have to have a Selection to appease the population? Complain. Complain, complain, complain. She's obviously immature and someone who should not be contemplating marriage in any shape, form, or fashion (not that she wants to). Eadlyn keeps thinking she has figured out ways to go through with the Selection without actually committing herself to anything, but every time she does, a disaster (usually of her own making) happens. Which honestly serves her right in most ways, but doesn't make her endearing on any level.
I just have so many questions...Why, with two parents who were so likable and committed, does Eadlyn not get that her actions have consequences? Why are her parents not the fiery couple we'd seen spar so often in the previous books? Why is Eadlyn left to devise her own solutions at such a young age? How is that the Selected young men weren't vetted thoroughly? Why is Marlee and her family living in the palace? (Sure they would have wanted a place to call their own!).
Some of the young men involved in the Selection are charming, but many seem either manipulative or just plain boring. I get it; Eadlyn didn't want to do this, so she didn't take much time to get to know any of them. The first elimination is a disaster and a huge opportunity was missed when her parents actually let her get away with her shenanigans. I kept wanting to like her, wanting to cheer for her...she's America's daughter! She should be behaving better. What's with all the walls she's built around herself? Surely being a part of such a loving family would have allowed her to be less reserved.
Still, there's fun and some growth, even if it's minimal. Eadlyn is best when she's not trying so hard. I'm just not sure why, twenty years on, we have a nation that is still fighting itself and a young girl who is expected to deflect major problems by dating. This book is missing a light, fun core that was so evident in the earlier books. I am hopeful that Eadlyn will find herself behaving better after the cliffhanger ending, and this second part to the series will eventually make me feel both sympathy and hope for her. I'm hopeful this book was just laying groundwork for major changes ahead. Otherwise there won't be much point in cheering for a very cheerless princess.