The Selection Series – Part One

Posted June 29, 2016 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments

series review headI randomly decided to binge this series when I saw the audio on Hoopla back in early May. I had just finished with my reread for A Series of Unfortunate Events via audio and decided to go with another long-ish series in the same format. I’ll be splitting this review situation up into a few different posts because there are 3 main books, 2 companion-y books, and some novella bind-ups. I’ll just split everything into two posts and share my thoughts as I binge along. You know how I do.selection series

The Selection Series – Part OneThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Published by Harper Collins on April 24th 2012
Format: Audio/eBook (336 pages) • Source: Hoopla, Owned
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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.

I could tell right away why people loved this book and why people hated it. It’s super addicting and easy to read, but there are so many little things that could grate on someone’s nerves. America Singer, for one, is a decently annoying main character. I appreciated that she had a personality but the millionth time she talked about her prettiness level (others thinking/telling her she’s pretty, her thinking she isn’t, and sometimes thinking she is)… I wanted to punch her. Towards the end of the book she had really started to bug me.

The love triangle is also pretty irritating. I don’t have an issue with them in general because love triangles can happen – especially at a young age – but this one didn’t work for me personally. I do like the idea that it’s the hometown/long term boyfriend versus the new, different guy. It has that Peeta vs. Gale vibe. (#TeamGale) That element works for me because I can totally relate to feelings changing. However, it’s hard to be in America’s head because she is soooo back and forth. I’ve definitely never read a triangle quite like this one! I wish there was more personality for Maxon and Aspen though. They feel too similar to me.

Clearly this book is a nice introduction to the rest of the series. There’s no conflict really at all besides like twice when rebels come to attack the palace. I’ve never read a book where there’s literally no rising action, climax, and falling action (taking it back to elementary school with those terms, eh?). I got to the 90% mark and figured huh, this is a bit late to introduce a conflict. But here’s a tiny one to keep things interesting!

But…there were so many things that made me want to keep reading too! I don’t know what it is about this series, but I fully understand the term “book crack” now. This book is nowhere near perfect, but there’s a part of me that just needs to know what happens next. The final 20% of the book was beyond frustrating and I had to remove a full star from what I was thinking I’d rate this.

The Selection Series – Part OneThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Published by Harper Collins on April 23rd 2013
Format: Audiobook (336 pages) • Source: Hoopla
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The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

So, so bad. I jumped right into book 2 even though book 1 enraged me towards the end. I was on a little road trip and had to pass the time, so I listened to these for like 3 hours in one night. I can’t handle that again.

This is the most exhausting love triangle I’ve ever encountered. I don’t honestly see the appeal for Aspen at all and the appeal for Maxon is pretty limited. Her back-and-forth is like nothing I’ve dealt with. Usually there’s something within the triangle that doesn’t bother me, or the timelines of the person’s affections don’t overlap AS much… but she will literally be obsessing over and loving both of them within instants of each other. I think my biggest issue is that the two guys don’t feel different enough for me. I want to feel their personalities a little more so I can make a real decision about who I ship! This one was hard to read for me for some reason, which stinks. I don’t mind love triangles but this one isn’t appealing to me at the moment.

Maxon and America have had the same conversations over and over again. Here is a plot summary:

  • Maxon exists
  • America jumps to conclusions
  • America is a hypocrite
  • Maxon proves her wrong
  • Repeat

America is the worst. I’ve liked her less and less with every chapter of these books. I know she can’t help how she feels, which includes feelings for both guys, but still… She understand the point of the Selection, right?! Like, Maxon is supposed to date all of these girls. She gets mad when he does because he wants her to love only HER… while meanwhile she has Aspen, who she loves and kisses whenever she can. She’s terrible right now and I hope she gets better, or my phone will get chucked across the room at some point. Good lord. Two stars is a very generous rating, in my opinion.

The Selection Series – Part OneThe One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Published by Harper Collins on May 6th 2014
Format: Audiobook (323 pages) • Source: Hoopla
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The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

I tried really hard to not let my hatred of the previous book impact me too much going into this one. I knew this is the last book where America is the main character, so I wanted to push through. I have to say, it started off with a bang. The whole “rebel” thing in the previous books kind of made me roll my eyes and think it’s just a random addition to the book so it’s not completely about dating. But, in this one, there were some big developments right off the bat that I found interesting.

I had mixed feelings about America in this one. That’s actually a good thing! I usually can’t stand being in her head 90% of the time. With this book, I genuinely started to like her at times. Unfortunately, every time I started to like her … I started to hate her again within the next few pages. Sigh. I loved when she stood up for herself but, as usual, hated her wishy-washiness with Maxon. I kept trying to put myself in her shoes but it was difficult.

I actually ended up getting pretty invested in the story towards the end too. There was a little too much View Spoiler » Regardless, it kept me interested. So interested, in fact, I ended up checking the book out from the library just to read the final 20% instead of listening to the audio.

Overall, this series was just… not great. I hate myself for saying this but I will totally continue with the rest of it.

10 responses to “The Selection Series – Part One

  1. The Elite was by far my least favorite of the series too. Everyone told me I had to continue reading anyway though because The One would be much better, which I agree with. And yeah, the characters are SUPER annoying but I was really addicted anyway. I’m hesitant to read The Heir and The Crown because I heard that America’s daughter is a million times worse (which I cannot even imagine / don’t want to).

  2. I was so surprised to find that I enjoyed this series when I binge read it earlier this year. It’s SO addicting, and I really got swept up in America’s story. I definitely didn’t love the second book (it was way to angsty for my tastes), but I did enjoy the first and the third!

  3. The Elite is also my least favorite in the series. America’s inability to make decision and her pettines of being jealous when Maxon shows attention to other girls really bugs me. She joins the Selection. She can’t be jealous, it’s Mazon duty to pay attention to other girls too-_- Despite the lack of action, I kinda enjoy the drama that ensues, not the maxon-or-aspen drama, more the girls competition drama. And yes, the ending of the one also took me by surprise. It’s like BANG. There you go, a memorable ending. I can’t wait to hear what you thought about the rest of the series!


    I think everyone is in agreement about book 2. However, I really liked The Heir and much preferred America’s daughter (she has flaws but they’re not the same ones that really grated on me that America had). I hope you have a better time with the rest of the series!

  5. Sorcha

    I really agree with you! After finishing the first book. I was so flabbergasted because there seriously wasn’t any climax! The romance was sweet but I just couldn’t stand her saying ‘I love you forever’ to Aspen while wanting to be Maxon’s future. My ratings are probably one star down from all of yours.

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