Okay, so this series review is a little weird. I wanted to do a review for the series since I just recently completed the whole thing, including the two novellas, but I read the first book right when it first came out and never wrote a review for it because I hadn’t started book blogging yet.
I remember absolutely loving it and giving it a 5-star rating. But that was right around the time that I was starting to read YA for the first time, before I started to get a sense for the genre and figure out what’s good and what isn’t. I talk about this more below, in my review for The Elite. But let’s just say that, if I read The Selection again now, I probably wouldn’t give it 5 stars. It’d probably come in around 3.
But I’ll leave the 5 stars in this review, I guess, since that’s what I originally thought when I first read it. Although, to be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed that I ever thought this book was worthy of 5 stars haha. I’m actually surprised that I gave The Elite even 3.5 stars, although like I mention, I did have trouble coming up with a rating for that one. I wish I could remember The Selection better (damn you, book amnesia!), but I’m probably going to say that I liked that one the best, then The One, then The Elite.
I guess that’s just the nature of maturing as a reader and a book blogger, though. I’m sure that everybody has books that they originally rated a certain number of stars, yet end up totally disagreeing with themselves in the future. It’s actually kind of cool…it shows progress. But I still feel the need to explain why I’m giving The Selection such a high rating in this review 😛 And something needed to go here anyway.
I finished reading The Elite more than 24 hours ago and I’m still not totally sure if 3.5 stars is the right rating for this book. Sometimes I have trouble deciding how to react to books when my personal enjoyment doesn’t line up with its literary merits.
I’d been waiting for this book to come out for forever, and I signed up for a copy through my library as soon as I could. I remember absolutely loving the first one, so I was really excited for The Elite. I first read The Selection back when The Hunger Games was the only other dystopian novel/series I’d experienced. Although I still haven’t read a ton, I’m less jaded now. I can appreciate The Selection for what it is (and I actually think that I want to re-read it), but I no longer thing that it’s this incredible book.
Reading The Elite was really fun, though. It was such a quick read and there was a lot going on in the story that kept my attention the entire time. I couldn’t put it down!
The ending of The Selection was really ambiguous, so there were a lot of places that this one could’ve gone. But, instead of having an awesome plot, it was more like America just randomly bounced back and forth between being in love with Maxon and being in love with Aspen about 70 times. And America’s character was starting to get on my nerves. I don’t like the way she treats Aspen, and I thought that her performance at the end of the novel was very disrespectful and so stupid of her.
I was super entertained throughout the novel, though, and I’m definitely going to read the third one when it comes out. I’m really interested in finding out what’s going to happen with the King, Kriss, and Marlee. I guess that I like the background characters in the book a lot more than the main ones!
I don’t really have much to say about this one. I liked it, but it wasn’t amazing. The Selection series isn’t one of my favorites…it’s more like a car crash that I just can’t stop staring at for some reason. So of course I had to read the novellas that went along with it, but they weren’t that special.
Although I liked Maxon’s story more than I did Aspen’s, mostly because we got to see how Maxon was before the selection and how his feelings were about America when they first met, but Aspen’s story was more of a retelling of things that we already experienced in the first two books, so it wasn’t as compelling.
Well I pretty much only read this book because this series is like bad reality television. I know that it’s bad…but I just can’t stop myself from watching. Although I do have to say that The One surprised me in that it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Although the overall storyline of the series is a little predictable (it’s clear from the beginning who she will choose, I think), there were a bunch of twists that I totally didn’t seeing coming at all in The One. And it was pretty fast-paced. I finished it easily in two short sittings and was wildly flipping through the last 100 to find out how it would all end.
But although I found the ending to be entertaining, it went by way too fast. So many things important happen in those last hundred pages that are only briefly talked about, at best. There are so many complications and problems, yet the story all gets wrapped up into a neat little bundle in only 300 pages, with barely a thought thrown to these side plots in the end.
I was intrigued by all of the catastrophes that seemed to strike America during this final book — it seemed much darker than the previous books, which I enjoyed — but they weren’t handled well at all. It was like I had whiplash. One thing happened, then another, then another…but, ultimately, almost none of it was resolved except for the romance (of course).
I guess I’m glad that I decided to read this book and finish up this series, because honestly these books were kind of fun to read. But they’re neither my favorite YA dystopian or romance books, by far, so I probably wouldn’t ever recommend this series to anybody. Unless, of course, they were specifically looking for a The Bachelor rip-off with shoddy world building. I think that this book could’ve redeemed itself and actually been the best in the series, if only a little bit more time was taken to wrap up those loose ends. But unfortunately it didn’t and I could only give it a (generous) rating of 3 stars.