Friday, July 25, 2014

The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass (Review)

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.
 Welcome to my first series review. I am doing this for a couple of reasons: 1. I really want to review this entire series as a whole, and 2. I kind of want to try this out since I will also being writing a series review on the Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks when I finish it (which will be soon so look out for that). If you guys want me to do more of these, feel free to leave a comment about this.
Anyway, onto the actual review.
I am going to first talk about how I felt the plot flowed throughout each book. These books are a little bit of different reads for me, because I am not a huge fan of books that are primarily focused on romance. Especially when the romance is the main aspect of a dystopian book. I read Matched by Ally Condie, and I felt like it was really boring and only really focused on the romance, while barely exploring the dystopian aspect.

However, I really liked the romance aspect in this series, especially since it makes sense according to the plot. A lot of people say that it's basically the Bachelor meets the Hunger Games. I agree with that, personally, however I did not expect that there would be a lot of dystopian parts shown in this world. I thought that it was only going to be about the romance, but I was proven wrong and I am glad by that. I loved how there were rebel attacks in the castle and the role of the rebellion was a major part in the last book.

In The Selection, there is set-up and it is the beginning of the Selection for everyone and it feels like when they enter the castle at least one person is eliminated per day and I liked it. But in The Elite, there weren't a whole lot of people left and I was concerned that it would have the second-book-syndrome, where it really dragged. And it did. There wasn't a whole lot that happened, and only two people got eliminated by the end. But in The One, the Selection ends and I would say that it is a satisfying conclusion to the series.

Now, with the characters. I think that this is my main problem with the series. The characters are all frustrating in at least one way. Particularly, America Singer, the main character. If you read my Elite review, you know that I was extremely annoyed at her, and she was the reason my rating for that book was a 2.5/5 stars. The other characters I either didn't care for or didn't like a whole lot. The only characters that I really liked were Maxon, but I was annoyed at him in The One, and Queen Amberly. Everyone else, I could find one flaw in them and I didn't like/care about them. There is a character in the series (I won't mention the name but if you read the books you should know) who was really mean in the first two books and had a personality change in the last book. Even though it did set up what happened to them later in The One, I did love that change and I thought that it was realistic.

An example of a character who I wish was developed more would have to be King Clarkson. I won't go into too much detail about him if you haven't read the books, but he is basically the President Snow of Illea. My main problem with him is that he is a villain that everyone hates with a burning passion. This is probably more of a personal preference, but I think that in order to have a successful villain, he/she is a villain that you love to hate or you hate him/her but can't help but like him/her at least a little bit or it is a villain with a motive and honestly believes he/she is right about it. He is one of those villains that you just hate inside and out, and I didn't like it all that much.

Overall, I had mixed feelings towards the characters, but I think that Kiera Cass should have worked and developed them a little more in this series.
The relationships were either that you liked them or you didn't. The friendships were nice to see, but I would have liked to see, at some point, a friendship fall apart thanks to the Selections. The relationships between Maxon and the rest of the Selection, America would be annoying and think that Maxon belongs to her and that he can't spend time with everyone else in the Selection. She does understand by the One, so I am at least happy by that. Now, who ends up with who, I think that it is (at least with America) pretty obvious who she ends up with, but it still was a fun lighthearted journey and I do think that the three main characters end up with who they should and deserve to end up with.

Lastly, I want to discuss the writing. I did think in the first two books, it was only good. It wasn't really layered and it was kind of boring. When we got to the One, there was a vast improvement and I loved to read the adjectives and how America was feeling. But the main part about the writing that sticks out in my mind is that it is that type of writing that is addictive and makes you want to read the whole series in one sitting for each book, and I love it when a book does that.

Now, if you haven't read the Selection, you might be wondering if this series is for you. I would say if you are in the mood for a fun, lighthearted, quick series to get through, I would definitely say this is the series for you, especially since this is the perfect time of year to read a series like this. But, if you want to marathon a series that is developed and is more philosophical, then this may not be the series for you.

I would give the entire Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass a 4/5 stars. It is not my favorite series, nor is it the best series ever written, but it is an addictive, lighthearted, fun trilogy that I am glad that I read.

Separate reviews for each book:

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