This book review of "The Crown," by Kiera Cass is written by Aly Hay, bookseller and barista Off the Beaten Path. This review was originally was published in Steamboat Today.

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The Crown (The Selection #5) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062392176
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - May 3rd, 2016

Kiera Cass is the incredibly talented young author of The Selection Series, a story with a cult-like following, perfect for any young girl daydreaming of finding her true love. "The Crown" is the fifth installment in Cass’ series and follows America Singer’s daughter, Edalyn, through a selection of her very own.

I recommend reading the series from the beginning to understand the full gravity of Princess Edalyn’s dilemma. As the introduction to the series, The Selection is set in a futuristic United States, referred to as the beloved country of Illeὰ, which has reverted to a traditional monarchy in an attempt to prevent the infrastructure from collapsing.

This unique setting is the perfect place to mix romance, excitement, elegance and power. Though the politics of this new society are relatively simple, the concept certainly adds drama. The way Cass has chosen to portray her ideas through the heart of a strong, young girl pulls at the reader’s heartstrings and provides a different perspective on our present lives.

In Illeὰ’s traditional monarchy, Prince Maxon is required to hold a Selection, a setup similar to ABC’s "The Bachelor." He begins with 35 beautiful, young women from across the country and ultimately selects one to be queen. Flash forward 20 years to "The Heir," and watch breathlessly as Queen America and King Maxon watch their daughter, Edalyn, hold her own selection in an attempt to calm tensions in a society pushed to the edge.

"The Crown" picks up exactly where "The Heir" (Selection Series #4) left off. Edalyn never thought she would actually find love with even one of her 35 suitors in this ridiculous circus of pomp and circumstance, and yet, she finally admits, she is in love with each of her five remaining suitors, each for a different reason.

Of course, there is also a sixth suiter, a mysterious dark-horse candidate no one sees coming.

Who will the independent and slightly rebellious young Edalyn choose? Will she find a way to blend duty with happiness and balance being a leader and figurehead with being her own person? Is this mystery man really even a contender? After all, picking him would mean the entire selection was a waste. There would be riots in the streets. In the end, is it more important for Edalyn to stay true to herself or to her duty as a princess?

Once again, Cass has created a dynamic cast of characters that are witty, charming and ready to win the affection of the reader. Fall in love again and again and imagine how it would feel to be royalty with The Selection Series. Whether you start from the beginning with America’s selection, or dive right into Edalyn’s love story, you will leave with a full heart.

Book review: Cass creates dynamic cast of characters