“A clear night is useless without direction. All the visibility in the world won’t tell me where to turn the helm. Information is no substitute for decision.”Homer and Selah- the beholder by anna bright
“You mean I have to know what I want.”
“I mean you have the power to choose. Set your course and trim your sails, and whatever your heading, keep your eyes ahead.”
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy & Romance
Dates Read: July 21-22, 2019
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My Goodreads Review
📖”Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.”📖
From the description alone, I kind of expected this debut to be similar to The Selection, and in certain ways it was. This books tells the story of a girl named Selah, the only daughter to the Seneschal of their country Potomac. As Seneschal-elect, she has a duty to find her perfect match and she believes that Peter, her longtime crush and childhood friend, is just that. Selah proposes through official channels (their fathers) and it is announced publicly. When Peter’s father rejects the proposal, Selah is left embarassed and heartbroken. Afterward, her stepmother proposes a plan and sends her on a journey across the sea to find a suitor, and is only to return once she’s engaged.
The first hundred or so pages are quite info-dumpy, and honestly? Kind of confusing. This first part of the book holds 90% of our world-building, and most of it left me very confused about the setting and time period. Basically, this book is set in our world, but with fictional countries and a fictional history, and I believe it is set in a different century? It was a bit weird truth be told, and a map would have been very helpful. I definitely struggled with this first part of the book, but i persisted. After this hard hump to get over in the beginning though, the writing flowed very nicely, and was a very fast and fun read.
About 100 pages in, once Selah is aboard the Beholder, things really start to pick up in the book. There was a whole lot of fun, but also some serious notes. Heartbreak, intrigue, and heartwarming romance. I truly loved this story once the plot really took off.
Romance is obviously a main focus of this book, and I definitely enjoyed meeting the few guys we were introduced to. Fairly quickly into the story, I decided that I was clever and had already figured out the ending. I was quite shook though once we were introduced to Selah’s first suitor and I immediately questioned everything I thought I knew. It didn’t even stop there! Her relationship with her second suitor was EVEN BETTER! I honestly was surprised so. many. times. and I eventually decided to stop trying to figure out where it was headed.
As far as MC’s go, Selah herself is an ok female lead. She is kind, and sweet, a little nieve and a tad bit overdramatic at times. This was one other reason I knocked off 1 star–she was very much just going through the motions, and we didn’t see her personality shine through for a good chunk of the book. When you read it though, I believe Anna Bright did this on purpose. The last hundred pages or so, we see that Selah really comes out of her shell and takes control of her story and her life. But if you have issues with a pushover female MC, then the fist 2/3 of the book may disappoint you quite a bit. I found myself wanting to yell at her at certain points in the book to stick up for herself! But the way she acted and her personality towards the end of this book has me very excited about the sequel.
Overall, this is a very fun read and I enjoyed it immensely! Like I said, it did take me a bit to get invested, so stick with it and I promise it will get better! Even though this was a light and fun read, it did take a more serious turn at the very end, and it has me VERY excited for the next book in this duology to see how it ends! If you like a good YA Romance with a bit of adventure, you are sure to like this one!