Book review: The Selection Series Books 1 through 3

At the beginning of the month i read the entire Selection series. Or to be more exact, i read "The Selection", "The Elite" and "The One" so the first three books that were originally the only books in the trilogy that was then lengthened into a series of i don't know how many books.

But i don't plan to read more of this series, because to me it is done. i don't need to read about the child of the main characters of the first three books because i did not love the writing of those books enough that i want to read even more of it.


I thought a while about how i wanted to review those three books, which is one of the reasons it took me a while to write this review.


At first i wanted to do the specific separate reviews as i did for the Divergent series.


But honestly... this series is not as individual as most other series where so that i really felt i can write three different reviews without constantly repeating myself.


So here is my first series review where i talk about the entire series in one post.


The first part of the review is about the first book, and you can read it if you have not yet read the series, so in other words the first part of the review is without spoilers.

I will say from which part the spoilers begin and the review of the second and third book begin.

We will see how that goes.




Titles: The Selection, The Elite and the One
Author: Kiera Cass
Language: English
Pages: Selection: 336, Elite: 336; One: 323 so all together the three books have: 995 pages
series: Yes clearly the Selection series or Trilogy (but there are more books, such as the only recently released "The Heir" and another one that comes out in 2016)   
Overall rating: 3 or 4 out of 5 (get into the direct rating per book when i talk about the individual books)
Summary on the book (i only put the summary of "The Selection" here because the other two books are the second and third part of the series and with that have information about the first book and with that spoilers of that book and i did not want to include Spoilers at this point of the post, so this is the summary of the first book "The Selection")
"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. "
Worth reading? If you expect a complete new series or something that you can find anywhere else, no. If you want to a "Matchmaker" and class-system combination dystopian story that focuses very much on romance and not much of anything else, yes it is worth reading. 
Overall this series is good. 
If you want a fast, easy, sometimes a bit stupid and overdone series that you can just read and forget about, this is definitely worth reading. It is fun enough to read, it takes you into another world -because really who ever gets a change to met royalty (or wants to? what use is there for it?) and try to marry into it. I know that there are quite a few people out there that dream of becoming royalty. And this series offers a bit of a few into the life, with a twist and overdone a bit. But still. This is not a horrible series as so many people say it is. 
And it is worth reading, just don't expect to find your next Harry Potter, but really how far can you take a competition to find arm candy for a prince? 


 



Lets start with the logical choice here, the first book in the series: The Selection. 

I gave this book a solid four stars. I enjoyed it and it was a pretty good start, bit i did not like the ending of this book. Not because it was a cliffhanger. But because i personally thought that the way the story was build up, the ending did not fit. If you have read the book you know what i am talking about, i am pretty sure. And if you have not yet read this book, i will only say that i did not enjoy the love-triangle because honestly in this story it was completely unnecessary. 


The book starts by explaining what kind of world the books are set in, and why the main girl -America Singer- is not interested in entering the Selection as well as why she is entering anyways. 


I also enjoyed how the characters were build up and entered, how America was not the typical teenage girl that giggled and faints when a prince is dangled in front of her face. 


I do find it refreshing when America is herself quite constantly -until about the last fifth of the book- and knows what she wants and still lives and evolves and seems to understand that sometimes you plan does not always go as you wanted it because life happens. 


So overall the first book is very well done. And i would have given it five stars. 


BUT! i hated the love-triangle and that kind of destroyed the book for me a bit. And this is not really a spoiler because most people know that this series has a love-triangle. 


But really it would have worked so much better without it. The entire story would have been better without it, and it did not need the added drama that comes with that. It did not need those pages to make the book in any way. And i really just did not understand what the author was thinking adding that second guy into the mix, because it just did not make sense to me. 


The series is supposed to be about America and the competition and Maxon -the prince. There are enough girls and drama because of that that there really is no need to add a guy that America is interested in as well, while also trying to figure out what she will do about the competition and Maxon. I am not naming the guy because that would be spoilers and i don't want to do that. 


Overall the first book is good. it is solid. In some aspects i really enjoyed myself and some of the snarky or very clumsy moments that America had very funny enough that i had to grin. I also enjoyed the dynamic between her and Maxon for the most parts. So for most parts the book was done good -not well but good enough- and i did want to read the next book to see where this series would go because of the rather strong first book. 

As i said i did not like the ending of this book too much, and i did not enjoy the love-triangle. which is why i "only" gave four stars and even had a bit of a hard time doing that and not bumping it down to 3.5 stars instead. The ending of books are important people! They can really change your entire view on the book. And i found it a bit overdone here. 
Still good first book, good start into a different dystopian series and overall a pretty good book that is worth trying if you might enjoy the writing and the storyline itself. 



Alright on to the second and third book. 


So from the point on there are SPOILERS! if you have not yet read the first book. If you are here to hear my thoughts, go on and read on :)



The second book picked up where the first one left off, which i rather enjoyed. Because for one i picked the second one up right after I finished the first one, so continuing on where i was a bit unsatisfied and seeing if it would get better was pretty good. 


I have to say that overall this book did disappoint me a bit. It was more or less just an extension of the first book and to me it felt a bit like a filler book. And while the book did have aspects that were good, and some aspcts that were done well and needed to happen to move the story forward, i still thought that this book could have been done better. 


Most of that is because of the continued love-trianlge that i really found completely unnecessary and began to go on my nerves in a huge way. I also found the entire rebel coming into the castle bit overdone and to be honest a bit unnecessary in the way that it was done. 


I understood why it was part of the story, and it was alright to include it, but in this book nothing happened with that, so why include it so often? Why not just mention trouble with the rebels a few times, remind the readers that there are problems and then just go on with the actual story? Or you know, deal with the issue in this book and be done with it. 


I don't enjoy if authors drag out specific topics, and to me both the love-triangle and the rebel parts of the story felt very much dragged out and unnecessary long through out the second book of this series. 


Still. It was not horrible. It was alright. America was ... different in this book. Not as much the girl that i enjoyed in the first book with her witty comebacks and her "i don't care what you think of me" attitude. I understand why the author changed her, but i still would have enjoyed it more if she would have continued on with those characteristics and not more or less lose them from one page to the next. 


I also felt that the entire story itself kind of did not move. There were things happening, but the storyline itself was still where "the Selection" book was at. There were still many other girls, Maxon still did not make a decision. America did not make a decision. The love-triangle was still happening. The rebels were still there. The Queen was still nice. The King was not. The maids where helpful and a enjoyable, maybe a bit ... dumbly written in some aspects. Overall the me the second book just did not move enough and had enough happen to really be considered a nicely done installment. Still it was a good enough book. And so i gave it three starts. 



On to the third book and the last of this series that i have read and will read from it because to me, this series is done and i don't need anymore from this world. 


I gave it three stars as well. Mostly because i was happy to be done with it. And the overall story was okay. The characters were okay. Where the story was taken was okay. Or in other words the entire book was okay. And three stars to me is just that. A book that is okay. I enjoyed it enough to read it all without skipping over a few paragraphs in hopes that the story would finally pick up again, but it didn't excite me to read it. 


I found it sad that this book continued on with the same old stuff instead of finally actually doing something. The entire Selection process was still going on and i found that just overdone. Maxon wants America. Fine. He is the prince, lets be real here and just state the facts: the entire thing was made so that he could find a wife, so he wants her? He says so and be done with the process. Selection done. That part of the story finished. Lets move on already. 


 I had hoped to get more in this book. So that there was an actual relationship between America and Maxon in this book, where they build their trust, start an actual relationship because they are on their way to be married, maybe have bit of a teaching session between America and the Queen. Maybe just showcase what a royal family actually does with their days. Maybe show what the future Queen of the nation was supposed to know and how America would be taught to take on that role, while prepping for the wedding. 


Sadly nothing from all that happened. As i said this book continued on with the never ending selection process even as well as with the rebel story part and the stupid love-triangle. I mean really. Why write three books more or less about the same thing?


Sure in this final book something finally did happen. There was a bit more action and situation changed. Unnecessary deaths happened, that to me felt very much like the easy way out for the author, who did not seem to know how the heck she could write herself out of the situation she wrote herself in (or in other words how she would continue the relationship between the King, Queen and America when America was actually chosen by Maxon and all that follows). And the story ended when i thought: finally we get a real understanding on what the entire process of the selection was actually about. But no. No such luck. 


And while the ending was not horrible, i was a bit disappointed. As i said i hoped for more then just the entire selection part, a completely unnecessary and stupid love-triangle and overwritten and done rebels that could have ended the entire situation much sooner, especially since they clearly had no problems killing the royalties in the end, so why the heck not just do that right away? Just saying. 


Overall the third book was the most disappointing one from the series because similar to the second book it still had the whole selection process going on and kind of felt like the story was treating on the same spot without moving. 


BUT it was an okay book all in all. The story ending was okay. And i was happy to be done with this book. So three stars it was. 




All in all the entire series is okay. It is good. It is not perfect. It is not done overly well. It is okay. It is good. Have i said those words enough in this post yet? 


I am not sure. ;)


If you want a very light, easy read that you can read without thinking and maybe get a bit annoyed at a few times, this is perfect. 


If you hope for a deeper understanding or view into royal systems, your are wrong here. If you want more then a dragged out Selection process even tough the entire thing could have been solved and over with at the end of the first book. You are right here. 


Still. The series is not horrible. The books are not terrible and the writing style is done good enough that you can read and enjoy what you are reading without hating it. 


But as i said, don't expect to be swept of your feet or find your happy ever after in this story. ( I had to! sorry!)





This is it. I will stop my ramblings now and be done with this review. 


Did you guys read this series?

What did you think?
Did you love it? Enjoy it? Hated it?
Couldn't finish it?

Let me know, because i could not find a very consistent answer for this series. I seems that either you hate this series or you really enjoyed it, but i am very much in the middle of those two and seem to be in a clear minority with that option. 


So i am very interested to learn if other people also just found it okay, but had no strong feelings about this series. 



I will write more later... 

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