Welcome back to Sass and the Selection, in which I lovingly rip up The Crown, the final installment in the series that makes us alternate between swooning and eye-rolling at a dizzying pace! Catch up on Chapters 1-5 here, then do some vocal warmups to prep your heavy sigh, because we’re not slowing down!
Eadlyn and Kile, who previously staged a kiss for the sole purpose of having it “secretly” photographed, saunter through the gardens. Eadlyn expresses fears of being deposed, which leads me to wonder about the immensely short line of succession in Illéa. Before her, Maxon was the sole heir and only child. Are there no cousins? No distant uncles to be found? I’m sure the sparseness of the royal family was explained at one point, but having so many heirs rise to power before they’re 20 seems not only unlikely, but unsustainable. Just look at the British line of succession: according to supremely scholarly source of Wikipedia, there are currently 17 people in it, a large percentage of whom are actually of adult age and not predominately controlled by pheromones.
Anyway…to add to the drama, Eadlyn and Kile find themselves feeling something other than mutual hatred for each other. Swoon. It ain’t love, but she can no longer use him as a kissing photo buddy without setting her heart a-flutter. The struggle is super real.
Eadlyn pays a visit to her parentals. It’s all very touching and quite dull. We are once again reminded of how universally disliked Eadlyn is, and how marriage is their last and best hope to win over the people. Eh. Could be some truth to that. The United States practically fell over with excitement when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, and we don’t even do the royalty thing. Though why she is disliked seems to be wrapped up in the fact that she is a headstrong, commanding female figure that doesn’t embody the delicately graceful nature they apparently expect from a princess, which I take issue with. If I were in her position I’d probably be getting deposed too, since I definitely swing more toward the cactus rather than the lily in the garden in womanhood.
Marid sends flowers, and in a stunning show of femininity, Eadlyn keeps them on her giant desk instead of having them moved to make room for her piles of work. Which, though vaguely defined at best, we are frequently assured are growing by the second.
Grandma Singer bursts onto the scene and instantly fulfills the roll of straight-shooting and over-affectionate elder, all with more vivacity than anyone has exhibited thus far. Finally, someone whose every movement isn’t coolly calculated, recalculated, and analyzed in an ongoing drama that would put an ESPN sportscaster to shame. It’s a refreshing change. #NeedMoreGrandma
It’s Henri’s turn for a date…tomorrow. But before she can have another awkward, stilted encounter with someone who barely speaks English, she has to sleep through the night, which proves to be impossible. Deciding to burn both ends of the candle and get some work done (as if The Boys needed you any more harried and exhausted), she first sets out to get coffee from the kitchen: “It seemed it was never empty down there, and I was sure someone would help me.” I gather that some technological advancements have been lost along the way to this future society, but have they not reinvented the Keurig?
But before she can fumble her way through making coffee, she runs into Erik, who is leaving a late night English lesson with Henri. The have a spontaneous heart-to-heart, which only serves to bring us another instance of the word “giggle.” BAD EADLYN. We also get a fairly in-depth description of Erik’s eyes: “Clear and blue, a stark contrast to his dark hair. Maybe that was why they stood out so brilliantly in the moment.”
Page 67, and we have most definitely confirmed the Erik-is-more-than-a-supporting-character ship. Let’s be real, he’s the only reason Henri is still around, because no matter how sweet and adoring a suitor might be, the idea of her actually picking The Boy who has the English language skills of a toddler is even more unbelievable than the premise of this series. But wait, you say, Erik is not one of The Boys! To that I would say, these books are not so inclined to intricate plot twists that I would believe for one second this isn’t foreshadowing with all the subtlety of a brick to the face.
Eadlyn doesn’t actually do any work. -10 points for underwhelming political plot, but +10 points for realizing we don’t actually want to read about her working through the night.
Another rousing edition of The Report. Oh wait, we’re just prepping for The Report, which is the only part of the royals’ jobs we ever get any details on. Apparently Marid, Man of the People, has been hyping up his rekindled “friendship” with Eadlyn. Do they address it? Do they not address it? WHAT ON EARTH SHOULD SHE WEAR ON TV SO PEOPLE STOP HATING HER?!?!?! All this and more. I swear, the media runs these people’s lives. What’s the media saying? How do we present this to the media? What will we say in the next media broadcast? Forget the Selection, the entirety of life at the palace is nothing more than reality TV. I’m sure today’s broadcast juggernauts would love to get some tips on how to replicate The Report’s viewership numbers, which seems to be…well, everyone. I work in public relations, and the amount of reach this one TV show gets is complete crap.
Fashionista Hale is going to alter one of Queen America’s dresses for Eadlyn. It’ll be a statement piece. Gunner voluntarily withdraws from the Selection after his kiss with Eadlyn didn’t set off Disneyland-level pyrotechnics. While I raise an eyebrow of skepticism at using a first kiss as the litmus test for a potential marriage, it’s about time he got out of here. Plus, the fact that she said “You have two minutes” when he asked her for a kiss gives us a solid indication of how invested she is in him. Let’s get down to The Boys I can remember for more than 5 sentences.
In case we forgot just how fashionable Hale is, we get an action-packed scene of him pinning America’s old dress to fit Eadlyn. And despite the fact that she is “pressing it to [her] chest to save [her] modesty,” there isn’t even the slightest hint of romantic tension. I know we’ve sent a few Boys home for grossly objectifying her and being sleazy slimeballs, but this is so blandly platonic that there is literally nothing romantic about it. She might as well be having one of her maids do the alterations, for all the good it does to advance the Husband Quest.
A lunch date with Henri is also blandly unromantic. Eadlyn gets caught up chatting with Erik because, I don’t know, he can say something other than “good good.” Am I still reading The Crown, or did this suddenly become The Fault In Our Stars? Okay? Okay.
Eadlyn decides to have everyone take Finnish lessons, because learning how to say “where’s the bathroom?” will suddenly open up the avenue to a deep and meaningful friendship. “There were things I was curious about with Henri…But until I could ask him those things without having to ask Erik, too, there was no way I’d be able to.” Let me clue you in, Eadlyn – that time is not coming.
“The dress was red. Mom hadn’t worn it in years, which was one of the reasons I chose it.” At first I thought it might be the dress from the cover of The Elite, since it would’ve been from the same period of her life, and thus would probably fit Eadlyn and not America’s I’ve-had-four-babies-including-twins body. But then it said they “trimmed the long lace sleeves up to my elbows,” and the cover dress is sleeveless. Then I realized that I spent a solid three minutes thinking this through and felt somewhat nauseous as a result. Deep philosophical thoughts? Anyone?
Kile’s younger sister Josie appears to be the whiny brat she’s been since The Heir. Whine whine whine I want to be a princess blah blah blah. Eadlyn banishes her from the broadcast! What a fate!
The Report is as boring as ever. “‘Have you made any time for this lot over here?’ [Gavril] asked, nodding his head toward the Elite. ‘A little,'” Eadlyn replies. I think you’re being awfully generous with yourself, Eady. The amount of things you’ve done one-on-one with The Boys doesn’t even fill up one hand’s worth of fingers.
But pan to The Boys, and they have nothing but praise for her. And I mean gushing, overflowing, sickeningly sweet volumes of praise. “The princess is incredibly thoughtful…She’s been so generous with us…She is the best woman any of us could possibly attain…She’s so pretty it’s intimidating…” I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!!!! Whoever doesn’t become the prince consort definitely has a career in writing romance novels as unbelievable as this one.
I’ve give you a break to go grab a vomit bag (I almost needed one writing this), and we’ll be back for Chapters 11-15!