Please note that I am only reviewing the three books (The Selection, The Elite, and The One)
“I hated it but I had to finish it!”
Ah, The Selection series. Where shall I start? Perhaps I shall start with how I did not like the series at all BUT I was sucked in and HAD to finish the blasted thing because I hoped, in the end, America would choose Aspen and just hang Maxon?! So yes, it is that predictable.
I decided to go ahead and review the whole series rather than review each book. I mean, each book can be summed up with a few words: a love triangle, the bachelorette, stupid uprising, I love the Prince, the prince is so cute, I (America) am so ugly, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Overall, the series is basically like The Bachelorette, including the petty gaggle of girls and stupid, stupid, stupid bachelor.So yes, I though each book could have been shortened to one book because they felt so repetitive.
As with Twilight, I HAD to finish the series despite not loathing the characters. I guess it has to do with me hoping that the series would redeem itself in the end? Well, it didn’t.
For those who haven’t read this series, I will share a little (spoiler ridden) intro. So read at your own risk.
In dystopian America, now called Illea, the society has now been divided into castes from 1 through 8, one being the Royal family, 8 being the lowest of the low. This is also a love triangle so if that is not your cup of tea, avoid this book as the love triangle is one of the central plots of the story. The Selection is a competition based on the lottery of all eligible females to compete with Prince Maxon’s hand to become the Queen of Illea – similar to the Bachelor/Bachelorette. Initially, the heroine America Singer didn’t want to join in the lottery but her boyfriend (secret boyfriend) Aspen Leger, wanted her to join for their future. Naturally, our heroine is picked and is part of The Selection.
The story is a little slow in the beginning and nothing really happens throughout the first book. We read about the pettiness and Mean Girls like attitude of the other girls and also the sickeningly sweetness of some. And we also get a glimpse of Prince Maxon.
Now, let me start with Maxon. I really had a hard time liking him at all. Just because he is a prince, doesn’t mean he is charming! (Props for the movie, Shrek!) I really didn’t like him from the get-go. Naturally, my views regarding him stem from the fickleness that I see in the Bachelor/Bachelorette. I mean, I really can’t comprehend liking someone who flirts and spends time with other girls while saying that he likes ONLY ME! At this point, America is still in love with Aspen and doesn’t want to compete in The Selection BUT wants to stay so her family will get money for her presence at the palace.
We also see a change in Maxon where the author tries to redeem him in our eyes. By allowing the beatings of
America also becomes a symbol for an uprising and I have no idea why. Presumably, it was because of her radical ideas (which came from Aspen, by the way) and her hardheadedness. There are also mentions, and in fact parts of palace attacks but it is never mentioned. All we get is Maxon and America locked in a safe room OR America locked in a safe room. Honestly, it was at this point that I was gritting my teeth. For a palace to be well guarded, there seemed to be A LOT of attacks where the rebels were ABLE TO INFILTRATE the palace! I mean, what the -! Shouldn’t the palace be well guarded? And a point, in fact, the rebels really didn’t have a lot of weapons!
As the reasons for the caste system of Illea was revealed, I had another cringe worthy moment. I couldn’t believe that ONE PERSON could trick the whole country! So yes, I thought this was implausible.
Despite finishing this series, I still couldn’t find any joy in the books. I really wanted America to just leave The Selection and go with Aspen! Seriously, I didn’t think there was any love between Maxon and America. Because by the third book, Maxon had become pretty condescending and I wanted to smack his face multiple times throughout the three books!
If you want the illusion of going for prince charming then this is the book for you. But if you are the Shrek type, then I suggest you avoid this book like the plague.
The Selection series is narrated by Amy Rubinate, and I think she had a great impact on me finishing the book. I really didn’t enjoy the plot as much as I hoped I would but I was able to finish it through Ms. Rubinate’s masterful reading. I liked the tone that she used and I think it is appropriate for the YA genre.