I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Released: July 6th 2021
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Betrothed #2
“I struggled with this book”~ Under the Covers
The Betrayed is the second book in a YA duology, with the first being The Betrothed. If you have not read The Betrothed, it is a must to start with before beginning this book.
I would like to point out that this is categorized as YA and as an adult, I may be more critical of certain aspects of the book.
First things first, I should admit, I did not love The Betrothed. After really enjoying Cass’ prior series, The Selection, I had high expectations for this series. I found The Betrothed to be pretty shallow and fell flat. However, being a fan of this author, I felt that she deserved to share the rest of the story and I was excited to read it.
The Betrayed begins directly following Hollis’ wedding where her new husband, his family, and her parents were massacred. She journeys with her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and Etan (her rival of sorts) to Etan’s family estate. There, she tries to adjust to life in a new country where she is not accepted and help avenge the murder of her family.
I’m not going to lie, I struggled with this book. One of my biggest issues with it was our leading lady, Hollis. I think it is very important for our protagonist to be displayed as not only strong, but also flawed. Especially in YA, it is a positive thing to show a character struggling. I feel like Hollis was portrayed as a “savior” character by everyone and I mean everyone. I did not feel a connection with her as a person. Why could I not seem to like her when every single character thought she was the greatest? Reader’s are smart and we can come to our own conclusions. The more constant dialogue praising a character every other page, the more the reader sees through it.
I enjoyed the aspect of the importance of not only the family you are born into, but the family you choose. Also, the focus on the difficult yet rewarding fight for freedom and justice in a sometimes cruel world.
Now, onto the romance. Of course the whole reason I started this series was in hopes of a swoon worthy royal love story. In the first book, Hollis “falls in love” with King Jameson, only to then fall in love with Silas (after a few days of knowing him). She breaks off her relationship with the king, flees the castle and marries Silas. However, when Silas is killed…she falls in love with someone else in book 2. I would be ok with this if the book were written like a “love after loss” story, but it did not feel that way. Even though they start as enemies to lovers (and enjoy some banter), it kind of just felt like convenient instalove. Even so, the romance was the highlight of my reading experience, but it still felt wrong and rushed.
I feel like the ending came out of nowhere. I thought, “There must be an epilogue I am missing, right?”. I was finally ready for the fluffy HEA chapter and that never happened.
I really do not want to be super negative about this book. Again, I am an adult reading this. A young adult reader may enjoy the exact things I am criticizing, but many young adults I know these days are reading at very mature levels.
If you ask my ultimate opinion about this book, I would say, give The Selection a try instead.
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