Failure is not easy and sadly I must confess I failed to complete my summer reading goal, and I have yet to start any of the books I didn’t finish because I hit a reading slump. I am taking five English classes this fall and as you can imagine all the reading is very time consuming therefore I haven’t got a lot of personal reading done. I did however manage to read the The Selection Series (just the first three books) in about a month which is amazing considering all the other works I have to read this semester.
I really enjoyed the selection trilogy because it was light hearted, a romance, and two characters who just refused to fall in love! It was a wonderful combination and I am very glad a coworker suggested them to me.
The first book in the series, The Selection, introduces us to America Singer, a five in the cast system who is in love with a six named Aspen Ledger. America is determined to marry Aspen when they can save up enough money but when the selection comes up Aspen encourages America to enter. When I first started this book I was reminded of the story of Esther in the bible because she too was competing for a crown. This whole first book reminded me a lot of the movie “One Night With the King”, and from reading this and what I know about Esther my whole perspective on Esther has changed. It’s also a lot like the bachelor which is why I have a problem with that show and why I understood America’s hesitation. The whole selection was a competition to compete for Maxon but can you really fall in love with a guy when he is paying attention to other girls and they want him as badly as you do? That is no way to form a relationship or fall in love so I was continually frustrated by this book. I wanted Maxon and America to end up together but he was trying to follow the rules of the Selection and America was just trying to make enough money to go back home and marry Aspen. I wasn’t surprised when America chose to stay and fight but the fact she was still in love with Aspen bothered me.
The second book is all about the elite or the four girls who are left. Maxon was supposed to make a decision soon after forming the elite but because of attacks from the rebels Maxon chose to keep the elite at the palace where they would be safe. I admit there were many times where I was infinitely frustrated by the lack of information I was given regarding the rebels and their purpose behind their cause. America herself was completely clueless because obviously the king kept it that way but as my brother could probably tell you I wanted to know more information desperately. I wanted to know what the King was hiding and why Maxon, the future king, seemed just as clueless as America. The second book does give more information regarding the rebels and in fact the reader meets a few of them but again the focus of this book is on the selection and the risks America takes regarding her place in the selection.
The last book is about Maxon and America finally realizing they love each other and America’s realization her father is a rebel, albeit a southern (I think, the ones that were descendants of Gregory Illyea) after his death, and the fact the king hates her and will do anything in his power to make sure she doesn’t become queen. I struggled a lot with the relationship of the king to the queen and to Maxon. Amberley, the queen, clearly loved her husband but she had to have known what he was doing to oppress the people. Considering she was a four in the cast system you think she would have known what it was like to live in a caste you can never get out of but she was also a four a little higher up than say a five or six. She also loved her husband and love can blind us to the severe faults in the people we love. This last book was intense because I was so ready for Maxon to finally propose to America and for America to finally tell Maxon she loved him and when it happened I was super excited except that Maxon caught America and Aspen talking and found out who America had previously been in love with. I was so frustrated I wanted to scream, which I might have done, because Maxon was being such an idiot. He knew there was someone in her past and he’d already come to accept it. He also knew she might still love that person so why was he surprised to see her with him? He was willing to throw away the love of a lifetime just because he finally met America’s ex-boyfriend? Stupid, stupid Maxon. I was extremely happy about the ending and enjoyed reading it immensely. It was a good solid ending to a really good trilogy.