Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #2 Annoying Heroine of all time (America)
Series: The Selection
The Selection, The Elite and The One are all America’s story. The Heir and The Crown are Eadlyn’s.
Author: Kiera Cass
# of Books: 5 (The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, The Crown)
There is also a prequel novella, The Prince and another called The Queen. There are also two novellas that takes place after book 2 called The Guard and The Favourite.
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Drama, Dystopian,
Heat Rating: warm
POV: First Person, Single
Source: Borrowed–Paperback (The Selection); Public Library
When I read The Selection, two of my friends who have similar reading tastes to me, had just finished reading it. My one friend really enjoyed it while the other didn’t care too much for it. This left me with mixed expectations so I tried to read the book as objectively as possible.
After reading the first book, I could understand why the views were so mixed. This book is clearly marketed for a younger teen audience. The writing is nothing fabulous (it’s like Twilight where it is not the best writing in the world) but as my friend who liked the story said to me, it’s the story’s concept that makes it interesting and enjoyable. It’s very Hunger Games meets The Bachelor which is cool in my opinion. (More emphasis on The Bachelor aspect though) I liked the idea of the competition and I feel like the concept is well conceived mostly because it is so simple.
America isn’t my favourite book heroine ever. I don’t understand her logic sometimes and I find that she is very strong in some convictions but not others (which seems contradictory to me). Everyone claims she is funny but I fail to see her comedic skills in either of the two books. While I was reading The Elite I reached the conclusion that she is very immature in her thoughts and actions.
Be warned, there is a love triangle in this series and it is a full blown “Who I love today isn’t who I love tomorrow or who I loved yesterday”. She flops like a fish in both books and then she gets angry when the prince spends time with other girls who he might have feelings for. I definitely have a “team” when it comes to the love triangle but to be honest, I’m not really “sold” on any of the choices yet either. The guy I was rooting for kind-of pissed me off in The Elite with his immaturity and actions but I’m hoping he can win me back in The One.
Besides the love triangle and the immature heroine, I feel like this book is missing that little something that makes it noteworthy. I wish more was done with the rebel attacks but so far they are just little blurbs here and there. The series in the first two books really only focuses on the Selection and America’s struggles with the competition and the possibility that she may be princess one day and not on the conflict against the monarchy.
–July 19/14– Book Three: The One
My wish for my rebel fighting was finally granted with The One. The focus definitely shifts more to the rebellion but not enough for my tastes. There are a few unexpected twists that I felt were added to keep up with some of the “darker” young adult dystopian novels but it really has nothing on the Hunger Games in terms of grittiness. America is still a brat to me and I had to roll my eyes a few times at her. However, I felt like all the characters had a decent amount of growth to them. Bonus points for how everything at the end unfolded–I really had no clue what was going to happen which made me happy. Overall, The One was a good conclusion for the series.
On another note, I’m really excited to read The Queen novella. Queen Amberly is one of my favourite characters and I can’t wait to read her story!
–December 13/14– Novella: The Queen
The Queen was finally published and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I almost wish we got a full story with Queen Amberly because she is a much more fascinating and tolerable heroine than America ever was. It is a nice tie in to the series and I was very happy with it. I’m not sure if I would read it before I read the series; I think it is almost best to read it after The One because it justifies some of the events you see.
I was shocked to discover that there are going to be at least two more books in this series! These books seem to be about the next generation so that boosts my spirits a bit. If I had to endure another two books of America as the lead I think I would pass for sure. But, my curiosity is peaked and I will probably pick up The Heir to see what is next in this world. Hopefully, it will improve upon its predecessor.
–June 21/15– Book Four: The Heir
I found The Heir to be surprisingly addicting! I got really absorbed into the story. I think it’s because Eadlyn is the one picking the boys this time around and not a competitor herself. There’s just an unpredictability to it that makes it exciting.
As for Eadlyn, I didn’t find her as annoying as America but she was definitely just as bratty if not worse sometimes. It was frustrating because I liked her desire to be independent and to be Queen without a man beside her; I just didn’t like how she treated people. She was rude, abrupt and just plain mean sometimes. Worst part was, when people called her out on it she would get upset and defensive and basically be all of the things she was called out on to that person while claiming she wasn’t. Hypocritical to say the least. She does have some self awareness near the end and I hope that continues in the sequel (the final novel).
–June 10/16– Book Five: The Heir
My rating might have more to do with the end result of who gets “selected” than anything else. I really didn’t like how everything wrapped up and that really disappointed me.
Eadlyn was all over the place in terms of her character. She seemed to grow a bit but man, she wasn’t winning me over in her attempts to win over her people. She comes across as selfish and conceited. Even when her mind was made up about the guys, she’d be upset that they weren’t in love with her and that just irritated me.
The romance was zilch for me. Perhaps if I had read [book:The Heir|22918050] closer to this one, I might have seen more or appreciated it more but this did nothing for me. I didn’t like how the relationships progressed at all and when it became apparent to me how this was all going to end, I really didn’t like it. That dampened my entire experience.
I did like the political aspect but it felt rushed at the end and a little too late for me to truly appreciate it.
Overall, a disappointing end to a series I considered to be a guilty pleasure read. Sigh.
My Rating: 3.5/5
The Selection 4/5 | The Elite 3.5/5 | The One 3/5 | The Heir 3.5/5 | The Crown 2.5/5
Definitely recommended for a younger reader crowd (14+). It’s not the greatest dystopian young adult read and
so far it mostly focuses on the romance: so if you want a romance story with a minimal dystopian background, check it out! This series is a guilty pleasure for me but I know that lots of people wouldn’t enjoy it.
Read if You Like: mostly romance novel, enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Avoid if You: don’t like love triangles, don’t like bratty heroines, want more dystiopian elements
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy #1)
- Matched by Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy #1)
Synopsis for The Selection (from Goodreads):
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.