The Selection Trilogy
by Kiera Cass
(The Selection) 24th April 2012
(The Elite) 23rd April 2013
(The One) 1st January 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Selection: In a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels The Selection is the chance of a lifetime: to compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s heart. But for America Singer it means turning her back on her secret love, and leaving home for a prize she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Maxon and all her plans start to crumble. Can the life she’s akways dreamed of compare to a future she never imagined?
Today’s review is a 3 in 1 review of The Selection trilogy. The reason I decided to review them together instead of separately is because I read them consecutively. I was aware that I didn’t want to spoil the final books in the trilogy to those that may not have read the first, and I honestly didn’t want to bore anyone that hadn’t read the first one.
This review will be spoiler free, but I will discuss the way this dystopian world works – because I found it incredibly interesting. If you’d rather go into that blind, skip the following and I will let you know when it’s over.
This trilogy is set in a dystopian world called Illéa, and in this society the inhabitants are divided into caste systems. Those caste systems determine what jobs they are allowed to have. For example, the protagonist of this trilogy, America Singer, is a five. This means that she is bound by the laws of her caste number and she must choose a job in the arts. The different castes also reflect the wealth and power you have, if you’re a One – you’re royalty and run the country. This dwindles down to caste Eight, who are uneducated, often homeless, and the poorest of the castes.
The world building is complete.
The premise of this trilogy is that Prince Maxon of Illéa is searching for a bride. The family hold a selection process for him, in which the ladies that would like to participate are invited to apply. The Prince must narrow down his choices to find the one he wishes to marry. There have been a lot of comparisons to the TV show The Bachelor, and it’s even been noted that it shares a lot of similarities to The Hunger Games. I have to agree with both of those and say I believe this story is a mash up of all of the good things from those mediums.
Before beginning this trilogy, I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book, and that mainly stems from the negativity surrounding the main character. I must admit, there are moments where I could have happily slapped America, because she can come across a little whiny and fickle – but there was something I found in her that I liked, which outweighed her flaws. I appreciated that she was a character that was feisty and knew how to let her feelings known. She isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and she had a lot of strong qualities.
In terms of the love interests in this book, I genuinely felt that they were basically the same character just with a different name and caste number. With that being said, I found myself drawn more to Maxon than I did Aspen, purely because he was the one I connected with the most. I think because Aspen had a lower caste number, and therefore had financial struggles, his character had a harder exterior and his focus was elsewhere. The love triangle was quite frustrating, I must admit – I hate when characters flit back and forth – thankfully, the rest of the plot made up for this annoyance.
Overall, I was very happy with this trilogy – I can see that it wouldn’t be for everyone. At times it does read quite young, but I flew through the books and enjoyed them nonetheless. I especially liked the sub plot running throughout the trilogy – a dangerous terrorist group, threatening to kill the royal family. There’s a gripping quality with these books, and it was a page turner for me.
Recommended for those that would enjoy a Hunger Games style battle, in dresses and heels, with all of drama of a reality TV show.