The Selection, The Elite, The One by Kiera Cass
I’ve read this book three times now and haven’t left a proper review so I’m going to share my full feelings about this book as best as I possibly can. For those that haven’t read the series, what’re you doing? Go read it! It’s adorable and amazing and it makes you feel like you’re watching a rom-com but also a drama, it’s FANTASTIC!
The series is about the country of Illea (previously known as the United States of America) and the tradition of the current Prince to choose a bride by a process known as The Selection. Prince Maxon, heartthrob and wonderfully misunderstood, has to choose between 35 young ladies. Naturally, drama ensues. The story follows America Singer, fiery young woman that’s only there to help her family get some extra money (and maybe to get away from someone who broke up with her).
America is sassy, bold, and practically fearless. Her character is so fun to follow and learn about. Her interactions with Maxon are absolutely GOLD, and it was just fun to watch their relationship grow. The friendship between America and the maids was so wonderful! And Marlee and Kriss were also really great characters! Marlee’s story in particular is even better the next time you read the books!
Each of the main females had a different characteristic and had full personalities. Even Celeste goes through character development by the end of the series! It was refreshing to see a female lead that wasn’t perfect and had more to her story than just finding love. It was especially nice seeing a woman who loved her family so unconditionally. I feel like a lot of YA teenagers play with the trope of having “overbearing” parents or just the fact that the teenager just doesn’t agree with their parents. Though, America and her mother have their differences, it was nice seeing that America still appreciated her mother even if she was sort of like Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
Maxon was absolutely perfect! He’s adorable and funny and entirely relatable even if he is technically a Prince/Soon-to-be-King. I loved seeing his journey throughout the series, especially navigating his multiple relationships while also trying to please his father and be a good Prince. Itw as nice seeing all of his different sides, especially seeing him vulnerable.
I have a love-hate relationship with Aspen Leger. On one hand, I see his side, and I get that he’s prideful and wants to take care of his family. On the other, I see that as his weakness. He’s too prideful and I don’t really like his character, even at the end. However, there is definitely more to his story than whatever is in the trilogy, since this story is told from America’s POV and not his. So I can’t completely hate him even if I want to.
Even the minor characters like Lucy, Anne, Mary, Silvia, and the rest of the Singer family are developed into different personalities each with strengths and weaknesses. I loved how much thought went into each character and how each character’s story was wrapped up at the end of the trilogy!
Of course, the story isn’t absolutely perfect. There are some parts in The One that felt way too sped up and could have been told better. And there were definitely scenes where I got so frustrated with America that I had to put the book down for a few moments. But that’s all part of the experience and that’s why this series is something I keep coming back to read!
If you like romantic-comedies, dystopia, drama, or really fleshed out characters, this story is for you!