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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Series Review: The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass

The Selection Trilogy is one of the easiest-to-read book series I own. I literally read all of the books within a few hours each, and although I doubt the story will stay with me forever, they are such light-hearted page-turners that I thought today I'd share with you my thoughts on the trilogy as a whole. I know that Kiera Cass has released a few novellas to accompany the series (The Prince, The Guard and The Queen) which I'm yet to read, but I will get my hands on them soon and write reviews if you guys want me to. Also, just to be clear, there is a new book coming out in May named The Heir, which is the official fourth book to this series - BUT because it doesn't hold the exact same story line and characters as The Selection, I'm still calling these three books a trilogy.


The basic gist of this series: Prince Maxon of Illea needs a Queen, and through a reality-tv-show-inspired competition called The Selection, he will have 35 young girls delivered into his palace for him to choose from. Our main character, America, is already desperately in love yet (unwillingly) signs up for The Selection. She is then chosen from thousands of applicants to travel to the Kingdom to vie for Prince Maxon's affection.

Like I said before: this is such a light-hearted book series. It's set in a dystopian future, but it's not all doom and gloom like some other dystopians I love (The Hunger Games) and the fairy tale, princessy aspect helps bring it into the light. There are some pretty intense things that happen throughout the series, including public whippings, fights, gun wounds and blackmail, but I still found it a really easy read. I loved King Clarkson as a character (not so much as a person) and his dark nature really helped add some depth to the plot.

 

One of the major dystopia points of this book is the Caste System. In America's world, everyone is divided by a system, with their Caste number deciding upon their entire lives, including who your friends are and what job you have. Those at the top of the chain (Ones, Twos and Threes) live lives of luxury, and most of them are celebrities due to the jobs available to their Caste. Those further down (Fours, Fives, Sixes and Sevens) live on the brink of total poverty and are barely scraping by most days. The final number on the scale, The Eights, live on the streets, homeless and hopeless.
 
America is a Five. Her family isn't struggling as much as some others she knows (including the 'love of her life' Aspen), but they are still finding things difficult. Aspen is, of course, one point of the love triangle featured in these books, which I found frustrating and to be honest quite boring. (This is mostly during The Elite, though). When we meet America, she is 100% in love with him, and they plan to marry. But when he is drafted for the army and he leaves her (relationship-wise), America signs up for The Selection, both to distance herself from reminders of Aspen and because of the money her family would receive during the competition.
 
I like America. She annoys me at times with her constant back-and-forth opinions and feelings, but she's nice enough. I like her defiance and political mind, and that she'd prefer to wear a pair of jeans rather than the gorgeous, flowing dresses available during The Selection. I love her relationship with her dad, and her desire for information.
Besides America, several interesting characters crop up through-out the three books. Queen Amberly is a lovely character, despite what we learn happens behind closed doors. And like I said before about King Clarkson - he's a wonderful, interesting character, but a pretty crappy person. Most of the other girls that take part in The Selection alongside America are very flat characters, at least until we whittle it down to the top 6, which is when we really begin to understand these characters and their backgrounds. But, of course, our main focus is on Prince Maxon. I'm not going to lie - I don't really like him that much. He's just very cringy, and I kind of resent the fact that he gets to pick up and play with whatever girl he feels like at the time. Again, I found this happened more during The Elite, and I grew frustrated with him for it, despite it being the whole point of the series. His relationship with America redeems him for me - it's complicated, passionate and very realistic. I enjoyed it a lot more during The Selection, compared to The Elite and The One, although the ending of The Elite won me over completely. I wasn't too drew in by Aspen, either, I'm not really sure why. He's very chivalrous and selfless, but I felt like we didn't really get to know him as a person, just as a point of the love triangle.
 
These books are well written, and well loved. Every review I've read of them has been incredibly positive, and Kiera Cass' upcoming release (The Heir) has been pretty much demanded by fans. Overall, I really enjoyed them. The ending of The One definitely left a lot to be desired in my opinion, and I did have my frustrations with The Elite, but these are books that I go back to whenever I feel like a light read. The Selection is definitely my favourite of the bunch, with The One coming second and The Elite last.
 
I've given this book series 4/5 Stars!
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If you liked The Selection, I'd recommend The Heir by Kiera Cass. and The Crown by Kiera Cass.

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