The SelectionFor 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.
The EliteThe hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestsellerThe Selection.Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
I don’t normally like cliffhangers, but I like that Cass ended each of these that way. It makes you that much more eager to see what trouble America is going to get herself into in the next part of the story (and she’s always getting into some sort of trouble). And this surprises me somewhat, since nothing really happens in either of these. Many people have said this series reminds them of a combination of The Hunger Games and ________ (fill in the silly romance book of your choice—for me, it was Matched by Ally Condie). I thought the same thing at first, but soon realized that The Selection is absolutely NOTHING like The Hunger Games. There is no death, no killing, no fighting tooth and nail for survival. Let’s be honest:The Selection is a YA novel based on The Bachelor, set in an unrealistic post-dystopian world.
We’re gonna do a quick list on my peeves:
- It was very silly. I kept waiting for some test that would equate this to and make it worthy of the comparison to The Hunger Games, and yet nothing happened.
- The caste system is ridiculous (no American, no matter what we had been through, would stand for that)—Suzanne Collins got this concept right in The Hunger Games.
- It seems that the provinces that make up the new USA seems very poorly thought out. America comes from Carolina, but none of the other provinces have recognizable regional names. Why is Carolina the only one?
- America’s wishy-washiness was so tiresome. I very often hated her. As a main character, I shouldn’t dislike her so much. I don’t know if Cass was being funny, but at one point in The Elite, America says of herself: “my fickle heart.” That’s a very accurate description of her—she never could decide what she wanted.
Next confession: I actually enjoyed the first two installments of The Selection series. I’m no teenage girl, but I wanted to know what happened next. I usually wouldn’t have been absorbed in a seemingly action-less plot, but I was fairly riveted. I even just bought The Prince, a prequel to the series and am looking forward to reading it! For all the flaws, it is enjoyable story. The pacing is really good. Cass does weave a good tale.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone is more amazed than I am that I actually enjoyed these books! They’re not what I expected, but I was so completely and utterly drawn into the story, and rooting so hard for Maxon. And wishing I could punch America. Hard.
If you’re on the fence, give ‘em a try. You might end up surprising yourself and having a good time with them.