I decided I would one review for the whole series, rather than book by book, mostly because there’s not much I have to sead about them individually. I will be reviewing the books up until The One, which is where America and Maxon’s story ends, and I don’t think I’ll be reading The Heir and The Crown, so for me this is a three-book series. In short, this is a great guilty pleasure read, great to get you out of reading slumps, but pretty shallow and simple. It compares perfectly with trash TV and reality shows. It had me rolling my eyes for a big part of it, but I was also engaged in the story and turned pages greedilty.
From now on, there will be spoilers for the whole series.
The story is set in a dystopian world in which China has taken over the U.S., now called Ilea. In this world, the prince needs to choose his bride from 35 “randomly” selected ladies that are paupers. This is what they call The Selection. Then there’s The Elite, that are the last 10 girls remaining, and The One obviously referrs to the chosen lady. Now, in The Selection, the plot was pretty good. I enjoyed America’s characters and the story comes smoothly. The real problem with the plot came in The One, especially the last few pages. The ending was absolutely horrid. The problem was not the many deaths. I mean, I’m all up for killing important characters. The problem was that it served no purpose at all. Kriss being a rebel? That was stupid, but I can take it. If there was a good reason for everything that happens in the end, it would’ve been fine. There wasn’t. We read about Maxon’s relationship with America for three books and then he sees her putting her hand on the guard and he picks Kriss. Without question, without explanation. For A HAND ON THE SHOULDER. How stupid can you be? Then the shooting starts and BUM! He changes his mind. I could think of 3,000 ways to end the story better while still being melodramatic (to keep in tone with the vein of the series). ay to ruin a story, Maxon.
America was great in the first book (let’s not talk about why her name sucks so much, what can I tell you). I was impressed by the fact that I really liked her and agreed with the choices she made, because I tend to hate female characters in YA. I remembered why in The Elite. Here, America is a dummy doll, but still with some redeeming qualities, or maybe just because you still have the memory of how she was in the first book. By the third one she became a true dumbass. Her train of thought and her choices are so stupid I felt like crying, cringing, and both. The best example of this I can think of is when she decides to go with Aspen and Maxon to talk to the rebels. What in the hell could she bring to that conversation? Why would she go? And since she did, you would think at least she found a way to be helpful, right? Well, no. Not only was she not helpful, she created problems.
Maxon was nice since the beginning. He didn’t look like the stereotypical prince that I expected. I mean, he’s handsome and cute and nice, but he’s also funny and he makes mistakes (also pretty dumb mistakes, but let’s cut him some slack). Aspen was alright in The Selection, but I hated him through the restof the series. He is so vain and obnoxious. Celeste and King Clarkson (what’s up with these names?) were good characters because I absolutely hated them at some point, and then the king got better. This happened with Celeste through The One, and I was sad when she died. The three maids were fine but useless, very flat characters.
The writing was alright, that kind of writing that isn’t special but is engaging enough to make the book addictive.
Overall, everything was fine except for the ending. It ruined pretty much the whole thing. Still, I did enjoy the series. It’s one of those guilty pleasure reads. Quick, fast paced and simple. The political aspects of the story and the world-building were lacking. I think the series would’ve worked out better if it hadn’t tried to be a fantasy and had stuck to the romance.
Have you read this series? What are your thoughts?