Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mini Review: The Prince by Kiera Cass


Review: The Prince: A Selection novella by Kiera Cass
Goodreads

The Prince (The Selection, #0.5)

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection...

Before Aspen broke America's heart...

There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life...

Don't miss this thrilling 128-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection. Also features a teaser to The Elite, Kiera Cass's hotly anticipated sequel to The Selection.


Click here to read my review of The Selection. I wrote it during the pre-gif days, before I discovered gifs were the meaning of life, but there is a good deal of snark present just the same.

The cover: Yikes. Harper Impulse, you really need to step it up with these novella covers. This one is rough. I still like the crown design, which is the same one used on the The Selection cover, but that purple... stuff just isn't working for me. (Acid rain? Sparkles? Mist? The inside of a lava lamp?)

The story: My continuation of this book series utterly baffles me. These books are just NOT the books for me. I know that other people adore The Selection, and good for them; there are others (within the book-blogging community specifically) who have very good moral reasons for staying the heck away, and good for them too. I fall into the camp of people who think the bad author/agent behavior is NO BUENO, but I liked the concept and cover of the book, so I checked it out anyway and discovered... that I didn't think it was very good. But then I got to the end and was like, "Next one, please." WHY?

I kind of have to equate my reading of this series to my unhealthy addiction to reality TV, specifically The Bachelor and America's Next Top Model (one day I will read Modelland and my brain will turn to melted wax and I will die from stupid and it will be epic). It's like... I don't actually like any of the characters on screen, or the writing, but... I want to know who wins? Pretty girls in pretty dresses? I'm not sure?

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TYRA WHAT IS THIS WHAT HAVE YOU CREATED?!

Anyway, The Prince is a novella companion to The Selection, retelling several key scenes from Prince Maxon's point of view and including a small bit of backstory. Small being the operative word there. This was really more of a short story than a novella. I was expecting something like Destroy Me. I mean, I wasn't expecting that quality of prose or intensity of feeling, but I meant length-wise. I was done with The Prince in about half an hour, which was, in the end, kind of a good thing, because the writing just wasn't working for me. It felt amateurish. Maxon was one of my favorite characters in The Selection, even if he was a little weird, but Maxon's voice is indistinguishable from America's.

There's also a point where he literally talks about the exotic slant of an Asian girl's eyes and I got uncomfortable. I asked my Korean friend if she would be offended if a guy complimented her exotically slanted eyes, and she practically screamed at me, "YOU DO NOT GET TO CALL AN ASIAN GIRL SLANTY-EYED." So... yeah. There was that.

 


I did enjoy seeing Maxon interact with the other Selected girls when America wasn't there so we could see why he felt connected to them. I did like seeing the King's personality, as he is apparently the most vivid character of the bunch and the only one who creates actual conflict (sadly, he is still named King Clarkson, which I will never not read as Kelly Clarkson). I actually liked Maxon's interactions with Daphne, even if she came out of nowhere and left just as quickly.

Sidebar: I am still not over the total cheesiness of the protagonist being named America Singer, by the way (a lovely name in real life, gag-worthy in a book) and I also feel like naming her that was almost a spoiler (I AM NOT ACTUALLY SPOILING ANYTHING, this is a total guess on my part, but I'm also pretty sure I have figured out half of what will happen in The Elite just by thinking on it for like a minute (e.g. Marlee's secret is blindingly obvious)).

Basically, I have come to the conclusion again that these books just aren't for me. Now I think I'll go read my ARC of The Elite what is wrong with me. I also definitely plan on checking out the TV show should it make it to air WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME HALP

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Note: I'm aware that I'm a pretty harsh person when it comes to expressing my views on things. I just want you to remember, these are only my views, and they are only directed towards the books themselves, not their readers nor their authors. In other words, no more angry emails, please? And yes, I have actually gotten angry emails. There's some kind of irony in receiving bitchy emails bitching about how bitchy I am while bitching.

 




17 comments:

  1. There are Asian people? I was under the impression that everyone in the Selectionverse was the whitest person to ever white. White.

    Also: Tyra Banks wrote a book? What is this? I am so repulsed yet... intrigued.

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    1. Basically, except Elise

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  2. Also also: man, I'm tempted to take up blogging if it'll mean people will write me bitchy emails. I'm sooooooo jealous. (though if I actually got them, I might change my mind about their desirability. Eh.)

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    1. Yeah, not so fun in actuality... I also lost a blog follower because of this review! BUT OH BOY DID TYRA BANKS WRITE A BOOK. Or a "book". It's a thing with words that I absolutely must read.

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    2. If you do end up reading Modelland, please consider doing one of those read-along-thingies that some other blogs do sometimes. I'm so tempted, but I know I don't have the mental fortitude to read it by myself.

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  3. I am literally shaking with laughter right now! (I'd be laughing outright if I weren't in a library...) I just about gave up reading YA forever after reading "The Selection," and wrote what was probably one of the meanest reviews ever for it on my own blog, and yet, I totally get where you're coming from with the whole "still tempted to read the rest" concept. Maybe its a little bit akin to slowing down to look at a car accident, or something? Then again, I'm also more-than-slightly addicted to The Bachelor as well, so...

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    1. Aw, thank you, but you shouldn't give up all YA! There are some truly AMAZING YA books out there, ones that are original and have gorgeous prose. For me, The Selection just isn't one of them, and yet I plan on continuing the series. It is a mystery to me. I mean, I basically have a Ph.D in America's Next Top Model, so... That probably says something about me.

      (Also I went and checked out your review of The Selection and YIKES, GIRL. You were vicious! It made me laugh.)

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  4. All I will say is bless you for reading this thing for me so I don't have to. I didn't loathe The Selection while reading it, but it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth when I finished. Like curdled milk.

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    1. Hahaha, what an appealing image.

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  5. I absolutely get what you're saying about how it's awful, but you still want to finish! The Selection wasn't TOO bad while reading it (like Shelver said), but afterwards, I felt like it had just lowered my IQ level or something. But then...I still really want to read The Elite and was all "You have an ARC of The Elite?! WHAAAAT? I want." Even though I don't like the series. This series is exactly like some reality TV. I don't know why I keep going back for more even though I hate it.

    Also, this review made me laugh. It sounds pretty much like I expected it to be, unfortunately.

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    1. EXACTLYYYY I don't understand but I can't stop!

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  6. KELLY CLARKSON!

    Bahahaha.

    Also, I'll be reading The Elite soon too. What's wrong with us?

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    1. I know I'm just asking for trouble, but I can't help it.

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  7. Okay so what I don't get is why it is a bad thing what Maxon said about the "exotic slant" of the Asian girl's eyes? I mean if they do slant is that not the desciption you would say? I am sorry not trying to be rude but I hope you are not calling the author racist because she is not. You might be crossing the line with that comment just saying you can hate the book but accusing teh author of racism is another thing entirely.

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    1. I in no way meant to imply that the author is in any way racist. I have nothing against the author, and the only time in my review I even alluded to her personally was when I mentioned the bad author behavior. For the record.

      I suppose, aesthetically speaking, the eyes of most East Asian people are more angled than the eyes of "white" people. But "slanty eyed" has been used as a racial slur against Asians for quite a while, so I found the author's usage of the word "slant" to be a... shall we say *inelegant* word choice.

      I actually had a bigger problem with the use of the word "exotic", which implies that Asians are some sort of foreign "other", something to be fetishized for being different and "strikingly strange or unusual" per dictionary.com, as if white is the default and anything non-white is strange. Again, I'm sure the author didn't mean that, but these words carry charged connotations, and I'm the kind of person who is easily irked by that sort of stuff, as everyone should be.

      THIS IS THE LAST TIME I AM ANSWERING A COMMENT OR EMAIL ABOUT THIS MATTER. I'm going to leave these two comments up in the hopes that anybody else who feels inclined to contact me on the matter is satisfied enough that they change their minds.

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  8. America Singer? King Clark? It sounds like someone took their American Idol Fan Faction and said, "I'm gonna polish this turd soooo much." Reading your reviews/rants has made me fall in love with ya fiction again, I'm even working on my own ya novel, and I hope one day I will see it highly praised/ripped apart on this blog. Either way, at least you're invested enough to have a strong opinion!

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