I’ve recently finished reading The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass so here’s a short review of it (there may be minor SPOILERS ahead but nothing too life-changing).
This series consists of three book: The Selection, The Elite and The One.
The story follows a seventeen year old girl called America Singer (I know, what a name!) who lives in a dystopian world where the people of her country, Illéa, are separated into eight social castes.
One consists exclusively of the royal family and their relatives, Two of rich noblemen and so on and so forth down to the Eights, who are the poorest of the poor. America and her family are Fives – musicians (yes, America Singer is a singer) and artists who are supposedly poverty-ridden. I say supposedly because America complains about not having enough food to eat half the time but munches on popcorn while watching TV the other half. She even mentions that he family can even afford to hire Sixes as servants sometimes! I felt that there was no consistency to this element and Cass just threw in the ‘poverty’ tag to gain America sympathy without really committing to it unless the story asks for it.
Anyway, she is oh-so-in-love with a Six called Aspen who used to clean her house and they plan to get married but it gets complicated and they break up. America then fills in a form to win the opportunity to become the next princess of Illéa by entering into a Bachelor-style competition to win the prince’s heart.
(It’s worth noting that she made a huge deal out of it and complains about how much she has to do for her family already and how she shouldn’t be forced into a competition that rewards her family generously which she can easily drop out of after they get paid.)
So, of course, America becomes one of 35 girls who move into the royal palace to try and seduce Prince Maxon.
Upon meeting him, she’s rude and direct which seems like the author’s attempt to make her appear as the typical poor-fiery-redhead-who-captures-rich-boy’s-heart-with-brutal-honesty but actually just makes America come off as entitled (even though she’s ‘poor’).
Anyway, without ruining too much, in the second book she makes it into the Elite (as the title spoils) – Prince Maxon’s top six favourite girls and decides to fight for his love only after 95% of the girls have been eliminated because so is so torn between her love for Maxon and Aspen. In the third book – The One – Prince Maxon makes his choice.
All in all, I only decided to pick up this series as it sounded like a nice mix of the typical YA dystopian world story of rebellion mixed with a love story. I did find that I finished the series in a only a few days so I applaud Cass on her writing style’s ability to capture and hold my attention. However, the entire trilogy was very predictable and full of clichés and to be honest, I spent the majority of the time reading it complaining about America’s personality. It was well-written but the story lacked depth and thought.