Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

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Title: Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau
Published: June 6th 2017 by HarperTeen
Page Count: 336
Where’d I Get It: ARC (Friend)
Rating: 1 stars

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

I won’t lie. I didn’t ever finish The Testing trilogy and I hated the first one. I thought I’d give Joelle Charbonneau another shot, though. Authors often grow from their first attempts (look at Ryan Graudin!). Unfortunately, I didn’t feel this was the case.

I’m still being honest here. I skimmed an awful lot of this book. The words were useless, and I latched onto the plot well enough without the flowery, romantic descriptions and long sections without anything new of note, or anything that moved the plot forward, except for the ticking of time.

I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Carys, I feel, might have had some semblance of characterization, some feelings, some motivations, somewhere, but they were lost in the muddle that was this plot. In fact, I think, on the whole, we’re supposed to be rooting for her over her brother? But I just couldn’t get to that point. She’s also, wow, the Most Mary Sue to Sue about in this book.

Andreus, I get that he has some sort of condition of the heart, possibly asthma? And most of his internal monologue is, “Gosh, I better not exert myself too much and upset my condition! Someone might find out I have a condition!” Which, considering his other characterization, in which he absolutely loves to bone any lady who looks at him, seems a little at odds. Like, I can only imagine this man is not good in the sack, especially if climbing stairs puts him in a state, and he cannot exert himself.

Andreus’s other issue is that he’s gullible as heck when it comes to the divining rod attached to his body. Give him a pretty face and some alone time and he’ll believe he’s in love and anything said by the woman is the absolute truth. It made him, for whatever reason, turn on his twin sister, who hadn’t, until that point, been anything but supportive of him, distracting the court if Andreus had an attack, taking the punishment for being uncouth. The fact that he turned on her so quickly was despicable, and out of place. I guess it worked well for the plot, and to, for the most part, DIVIDE EDEN as the title suggested, but it was still meh.

This book is supposed to have some great, grand conspiracy about it, about succession, about murder, about everything, but it all just seemed trite and stupid to me. Perhaps there’s something deeper involved, as we weren’t privy to who the other conspirator was? One can hope, I guess?

This book hit none of my buttons, and I know for a fact I won’t be picking up the next installment. Nothing lined up well, and I absolutely could not get into it.

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