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.
The Selection is, essentially, The Bachelor, set against a backdrop of a royal kingdom in a dystopian future America (now called Illéa) (ha, funny, the main character is named America), where thirty-five girls compete to win the hand of the Prince, Maxon, and thus become the future queen of Illéa.
From reading the blurbs, it’s easy to see what this book will be about – a love triangle between America, Aspen, and Maxon, where America will slowly realise that the Selection she entered for reasons of… whatever they were, I can’t remember, was the best decision she ever made (although she’ll agonise and teeter between the two men for THREE WHOLE BOOKS), combined with fantastic descriptions of luxurious dresses, balls, parties, royal dealings, and a political plot, too. America, naturally, will turn out to be the prince’s favourite, although she won’t be suitable because of reasons of class and demeanour and, you know, being in love with Aspen.
Yes, these books were predictable. Yes, it was obvious from the beginning who she was going to choose and how it was going to turn out. Did that lessen my enjoyment of them? No, not at all.
I chewed through all three books in less than a week, and they followed close on the heels of Amanda Hocking’s Trylle trilogy – given that both are about suddenly being thrust into a royal palace and realising how corrupt one’s society is, they both kind of blended into one in my head. I have to admit, though, The Selection trilogy has more dresses, where The Trylle trilogy has more supernatural powers. Both good though.
There’s nothing deep or meaningful about The Selection trilogy – the political machinations are just a backdrop to a love story. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed all three Selection books.
They aren’t standout in their field, by any means, and I’ve heard that there are two new full-length novels a sequel about the next Selection called The Heir, and an as-yet untitled second sequel – this, to me, feels like pushing it a bit far. The original trilogy sits fine. The two published e-novellas and two forthcoming e-novellas, combined with the two more full-length novels feel like stretching the material much thinner than it can handle.
As a trilogy on their own, though, a solid three stars for all three books.