Why The Selection is The One

Friday 9 December 2016

It's not a secret that the Selection series is one of my all time favourite series, but I haven't really talked that much about it on my blog. Sure, I've mentioned it in passing and touched upon the romance in the first book, but I've never formally reviewed the series or talked about why I love it so much. Yes, it has it's flaws and I fully acknowledge them, but that doesn't diminish how enjoyable the books are. Hopefully, this post will explain to you why I got so swept up with Maxon and America.

The Selection
Straight away, I noticed how bratty America could be, as well as how naive she was in regards to her relationship with Aspen. Overall she wasn't too bad or unlikable, I just didn't think she was being realistic when it came to them getting married. She was better once she got to the palace, showing her true self an dhow headstrong and sure of herself she was. Her naivety didn't change, however, and I did get frustrated when she couldn't see why the others saw her as a threat: she was one more girl in their way, regardless of whether she wanted to be there or not. Maxon, when he was introduced, was sweet and very sheltered, but I appreciated that he was trying his best given the circumstances. I also appreciated that he and America started off as an alliance, rather just instantly falling for each other. It was much more realistic and they stayed honest and true to themselves. He made sure to always ask her permission, and she even states that her feelings for him won't change overnight, even though I felt like she'd already moved on from Aspen.

The Elite
This is when things start getting more political and truly dystopian, rather than just pretty dresses and princesses. Things didn't change too drastically, though, and America still remained true to herself and her family and things felt natural. And despite all the trouble it could cause in the already turbulent political situation, she sticks to her own morals and beliefs and isn't swayed at all which I really liked. Aspen, though, felt like he was deliberately holding America back and this only made me root for Maxon more - if Aspen loved her he'd want the best for her and for her to be happy. The re-introduction of their romance was extremely frustrating to me, and it felt like America had taken a giant step backwards as she'd moved on, in my eyes. However, a relationship that I enjoyed immensely was the one between America and her maids.

The One
The final book in the original trilogy is much more action packed than it's predecessors: the rebels are a much more series threat, as is King Clarkson, and it's unclear who Maxon will pick. While I did enjoy Maxon's indecision as it felt very natural for the situation, it was frustrating to read because I was furiously shipping him with America, There were also a lot more details and explanations in this book; things you may have overlooked in previous books were pulled back and not just forgotten. My biggest problem with The One, however, were the deaths. I only really understood and appreciated one, the others were either pointless or a plot device.

The Heir
I'd forgotten that Eadlyn was a twin going into this, but I definitely hadn't forgotten how vain and self-obsessed she is right from the start. I think this affected the way Maxon and America came across, as they weren't themselves at all and felt so wishy-washy and more for comic relief. I hope this is because we're seeing them from Eadlyn's point of view and not because Cass got bored with them. I also can't get my head around how they managed to raise such a bratty, petulant, whiny child who thinks she's so above everyone else ('No one is more powerful than me' what about the king?), and not even in the strong-willed way America was. I liked every time she was put in her place but she never seemed to learn from it which was endlessly frustrating. The Selected, however, were a lot more enjoyable to me in comparison. In the end, I didn't hate this as much as I did the first time I read it, but I still disliked it and couldn't help but feel that it was lazy and written just for the sake of it, not as a way to improve the series.

The Crown
Going into this, I would have been happy with any of the Elite winning, as it didn't feel like a love story - despite being marketed that way - due to Eadlyn not being ready and having no feelings towards the boys. Any of those remaining would have made a good ally, if not a partner. The character of Marid came completely out of nowhere and everything that came with him just felt so poorly done and like it was all an afterthought. 'Oh no, I got of the castes but never went into detail or even acknowledged it, better address it before I wrap this up.' Overall though, this was definitely the most boring in the series as I just cannot stand Eadlyn and did not agree with the ending. The engagement came across as fake - mostly because I got the impression that Erik was in love with Henri - and instating a constitutional monarchy felt sloppy and lazy. Really got the impression Cass just wanted to be done with this.

Happily Ever After
I did enjoy this collection, but I still had problems with things. In The Queen, Amberley was weak and Clarkson was just an ass. It was clear to see where it got it from, but that didn't make it okay. Their relationship was not healthy in the slightest; Amberley was a complete doormat when it came to Clarkson and he knew that and abused it. The Prince was a nice little insight into the goings on behind the Selection, but at the end of the day it was just scenes we'd already seen reworked. I didn't care at all for The Guard, and it was probably my least favourite novella. Purely because I can't stand Aspen. Marlee's novella was much in the same vein as Maxon's, and Carter felt very out of character to me. Celeste's scenes, however, were a refreshing change - especially from America's point of view in the main series - and it was nice to get inside her head. The Maid just felt pointless as there wasn't much to it, and again, I don't like Aspen. After the One was the type of thing I wanted from The Heir and The Crown, but it still didn't feel right. America seemed out of character and it was very rushed. By this point, I suspect Cass had had enough and wanted to move on, but if that's the case why even create Happily Ever After? Where Are They Now had the potential to be a great continuation of the original series as well, but it felt more like notes or a summary, not a scene or a biography. It was a nice addition, but it wasn't too great. 


  1. I loved the Selection series because it was so addictive. The books were so easy to get through and it felt like watching a trashy tv show that you just can't help but love to be honest. But once I got to The Heir, it all went downhill. Like you said, America and Maxon went through some serious changes and Eadlyn was a brat. In The Crown, I also didn't like the ending at all and everything seemed so forced. But I actually liked Aspen! Honestly didn't have a problem with him other than the fact that he and America had no chemistry whatsoever.

    1. The Selection will always be one of my favourite series, even with all the problems I had with the last few books. They were still easy to get through, just not enjoyable, sadly. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like Aspen! Really started disliking him in The Elite though and it just got worse from there haha.

  2. The Selection series is the most ridiculously addictive book series I've ever read. It's like The Bachelor, it's kind of horrible and trashy but a girl has got to love it. I really don't like Aspen, their relationship frustrated me to no end. The books have their fair share of flaws but I love them so much. I read The Heir a few months ago and I was so excited only to be terribly, heart-crushingly disappointed. Eadlyn is so annoying. Also, not gonna lie, it was not trashy enough for my liking. Because of this I've been putting off The Crown for the longest time but I'll have to go there one day. Sigh.

    1. Honestly, if you're happy with the original three books and didn't like The Heir, give The Crown a miss. It's so rushed and just overall a really bad addition. :/ Eadlyn's Selection is nothing like Maxon's and I feel like that was what drew most readers in. As well as the fact that the original characters were likable.


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