Reading The Selection Trilogy by Keira Cass In 3 Days

10/08/2020

So, I kind of went on a book series binge. Shocking, I know. September was a rough reading month for me. I was fighting off a reading slump for most of it and I had absolutely no motivation to pick up books. So I did the only plausible thing to do when that happens and picked up a book that I knew was going to be kinda trashy but fun to read. I was hoping to be swept up into a YA dystopian novel that kept my interest long enough for me to actually finish something. And guess what? I ended up reading the entire The Selection trilogy! Who am I? 

The Selection series by Keira Cass is basically The Bachelor in a dystopian world. It is mandatory for Prince Maxon to choose his future wife through a competition 'The Selection' wherein thirty-five girls from different backgrounds are prepared to fight for his love. For America Singer, a poor girl with her own true love at home, this is an opportunity to get her family higher up the social ladder and send them much needed money. What America doesn't expect is to slowly fall for the misunderstood prince.

I won't discuss the entire events of the sequels as it's pretty obvious from both the covers and titles where the story goes. As mentioned above, this is a cliché story that you will likely guess the order of. However, and that's a big however, this was so much fun. I've never watched an episode of The Bachelor but if it's anything like this trilogy, golly gosh. The Elite follows on with The Selection itself as the competition goes down to six girls. The One has four girls. I actually didn't expect the entire trilogy to be about the competition, I figured the prince would choose America at the end of the first book and from there we'd read about America's time adjusting to being a princess. Instead we had a lengthy Selection with, not one, but two love triangles. 

The main love triangle is between America, Maxon, and Aspen (the boy from home). In the first book it was actually done alright. I didn't feel a personal tug to either 'team', but it was an overall understandable triangle. It surprised me. However, then we got to book two. More to come on that soon.

As a YA protagonist America was.. okay. I liked her in The Selection. She seemed to have a strong head on her shoulders and showed compassion to so many of the "lesser" characters. I enjoyed her interactions with her personal maids and her friendship with one of the girls grew very strong throughout the duration of the book. Basically, I liked that her story didn't start and end with the prince. However, in The Elite she was insufferable. I've never read about a more flippant character in all my life (and I've read Sarah J Mass and Stephenie Meyer!) It felt like the chapters were out of order as she'd be so certain in her choice and then suddenly at the beginning of the next chapter she'd be aching for someone else. It didn't make sense, at all. Have you ever read a YA contemporary written by two different people? Like What About Us? or Yes, No, Maybe So? It felt like that. Almost as though two authors were silently battling as to who America would end up with so they kept changing the story. I hated it. 

Negative, right? However, then I started The One. This was the superior book of the trilogy by far. All the characters seemed to shine in this one. There was so much growth that it confused me as to why Keira Cass didn't do it sooner. Her writing was much, much better and there was a lot of depth in the story without it being just a black/white love story. Throughout the series you're told about rebels who break into the palace and plan to overthrow the kingdom. That story seemed to be the front and center of The One which made for a better book. America's biggest relationship in The One is with her family and, I mean, when don't we want to support a family driven girl? 

The highlight of trilogy for me was the relationship between America and her Father, a kind but intelligent man who you wanted to hug. (side note: I also really liked how America seemed to have a healthy relationship with her family throughout the entire series. Her older brother was a jackass but was out of their lives. Her mum seemed to care about America's wellbeing, her dad was her rock, and her sister was a pure ray of sunshine. It's a very rare thing to see that in a YA romance.) My other favourite thing (and my favourite character) was Celeste. What an utter bitch but in a Blair Waldorf/Petra Solano way. A #queen!

All in all, I'd give the series a 3.75 out of 5 rating. It was a lot of fun and the three books really did read like one long novel. 

If they're on your TBR, give them a try. If you enjoyed The Selection but want to DNF The Elite, stick with it. The One is worth it. I know the series continued with two more books surrounding a new Selection but I'm going to keep them aside for my next reading slump. I already know it'll work wonders. 



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