Release Date: April 2012 | April 2013 | May 2014 | May 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins; HarperTeen
Pages: 336 pages | 336 pages | 323 pages | 346 pages
Source & Format: Gifted; Kindle
Series: The Selection #1-4
Summary 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.
Thoughts on The Selection series
I was at the bookstore with my best friend a few years ago, and she picked up The Selection. The cover caught her eye, and I mentioned that I'd heard it was reminiscent of The Bachelor. We used to watch the show together every Monday night in college, laughing hysterically and getting sucked into the drama. She didn't buy the book that day, but she texted me later saying she'd purchased the e-book and was hooked!
Since then, I made sure I texted her when I saw news about the series around the blogosphere - cover reveals, release dates, etc. When my birthday rolled around this year, she asked if there was anything on my wishlist. I'd been curious about the series after hearing her talk about them (and after Alexa binged them), so I mentioned that I'd love these books. She was thrilled that I wanted to read them, and pretty soon I had all four waiting on my Kindle. I didn't want to let them linger for too long, so I decided to start the first book one morning... and I ended reading all four books in about 24 hours. Oops?
Alexa described this series to me as "book crack," and she's exactly right. Objectively, there are a lot of things that are... questionable... about this series. They're not the most well-written books, and the characters and scenarios sometimes made roll my eyes and shake my head. And yet, the fact that I read all four so quickly must speak for itself. This series is addicting, and I had so much fun reading it!
3 Things I Loved:
- The concept: I found the idea of a competition for the chance to marry royalty totally fascinating! What I didn't anticipate - but found delightful - was that there's more going on behind the scenes. There are big things happening in this world, and the juxtaposition between that and the pursuit of the Prince (or Princess, in The Heir) was so enjoyable. The series was never too serious or too fluffy.
- The entertainment: Listen, there's a reason I read this series as fast as I did! These books are addicting. While they don't necessarily close with cliffhangers, the end of each book left me reaching for next in the series immediately. I had to know what would happen next. So, while the writing wasn't the strongest, I do admire Cass' ability to have me racing through each installment.
- The Prince: Oh my goodness, Maxon Schreave was my favorite from the moment he stepped on the page. My brain was literally like, "Aspen who?" I loved that he was so much more than America expected, and I found myself looking forward to every scene that he was in. I loved that he wanted to do what was best for his country - but still follow his heart. What a sweetheart!
2 Things I Liked:
- The heroine: I wasn't always America's biggest fan. There were things I admired about her (the way she wasn't afraid to take a stand, etc.)... but there were things that drove me insane, too. I had to keep reminding myself that she was a teenager, and I couldn't expect her to act like an adult. The same was true for Eadlyn, the heroine of The Heir, though she was difficult to like in different ways.
- The world: The world was one of the weaker elements in this series - solely because there was so much more that could have been developed! I didn't realize that the political climate (and history of the country) would play a role in this story, but I loved that it did. There was just enough included that I was intrigued - but not enough to really leave me satisfied! I would have loved if it was a bigger aspect.
1 Thing I Loathed:
- The angst: Holy cow, I wanted to light these books on fire a few times. I think I was most frustrated while reading The Elite, though I was definitely going crazy during a few chapters in The Heir. In the first three books, it was the love triangle that nearly killed me. I understood America's interest in both boys, but I hated how she handled it. So much back and forth! It made it hard for me to take the books seriously.
While I'd describe the series as uneven overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. They provided a fun and dramatic escape - just what I needed after a few weeks where I didn't spend much time reading! I needed something addicting and entertaining, and they fit the bill perfectly. If that's the mood you're in, I'd recommend picking up these books! There's more to them than meets the eye.