So I have just finished reading The One, the third and final book on the Selection series. I liked the first one and the second practically made me se...moreSo I have just finished reading The One, the third and final book on the Selection series. I liked the first one and the second practically made me see red, so I was unsure about what to expect from this. Overall, I pretty much got exactly what I suspected would happen. Not what I wanted by any means, but what I expected. The cover of this is gorgeous. The model isn't posed oddly, and the color of her dress doesn't clash miserably with her hair. This time, it's completely perfect. If only I could say the same about the story hiding behind the cover. That's not to say it doesn't have a couple of redeeming qualities, but is it worth it to read this entire set of books? My answer is: maybe. I'm going to do this in list format.
What I didn't like:
- America acted completely out of character in the beginning by so blatantly trying to seduce Maxon. Up until this point, everything between them was fairly chaste. So reading about her being so obvious was almost painful to read. She should have just talked to him.
- If these characters sat down like adults and discussed things instead of throwing childish fits every three pages, there might have been a lot less misunderstandings. Half the time, whatever was wrong could have been solved with a simple conversation and it was maddening waiting for somebody to SAY SOMETHING.
- The writing isn't bad, it's actually kind of addictive in its own way, but it kind of has this middle grade feel to it. Everything is just extremely simple. It definitely feels like it could be directed at young teens, like 13-15 maybe.
- I still firmly believe that the setting in this story would have made a lot more sense if it had been set in its own world rather than the USA (or what's supposedly left of it in the future). It makes no sense that we would eventually become a monarchy. And in all honesty, I don't feel like the world ever came together very well.
- I like America and Maxon together when they're happy. But they almost always seem to jump to bad conclusions about each other if given the slightest reason. That or they storm off and proceed to ignore each other for a while. I can't help but feel like that's going to be a major problem for them in the future.
- The pacing is off. The first half was just okay, but nothing really happens until the second half.
- Everything happens really fast in the end, like a movie stuck on fast forward. I really hated the way Cass choose to kill off the King and Queen - the former especially - because it felt like a cop out. He was the only thing in the way of Maxon's and America's blissful wedding and suddenly he's conveniently gone. And though Celeste also dies, very little thought is put into it by America or anyone else. I was beginning to like Celeste, but when you kill of a major character and then make it feel so completely emotionless, it kind of ruins the affect.
- The epilogue is insanely cheesy. A part of me thought it was nice, but mostly I was annoyed. All their problems were solved way too easily.
- A lot of things are left unsaid. What happens with the rest of the southern rebels, and with the Italians?
- This happy ending is completely and totally false. The country is still in a state of unrest, and Maxon and America are not the most experienced or mature people. I see lots and lots of martial issues between them.
- I don't understand why the love triangle was so played up in this series. Aspen is almost never around, and America never seriously considers getting back together with him. Even in The Elite when she was constantly going back and forth, I was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen. So the suspense in that aspect fell flat.
- Nothing in this book (or series) surprised me much. It's almost painfully predictable.
- I like how Celeste became kinder before she died. And the friendship between all the girls was nice (despite the fact that it was still creepy to have them all dating the same guy).
- America is still not the sharpest tool in the shed, but she's not as indecisive and I didn't hate her quite as much. In fact, there were moments when I thought she was brave.
- I still like Maxon quite a bit. He's also incredibly frustrating and I'm not sure he'll be a good King, but as a normal teenage guy he's pretty awesome.
-Despite how rushed and careless the ending was, it's still the only book with a real climax, so that's appreciated.
I won't lie: I actually had fun reading this series despite its many many faults. It's not one I would go out of my way to recommend, and I definitely warn you not to expect greatness, but they're decent for pure dramatic entertainment.(less)
When I picked up The Selection about a week ago, I wasn't expecting to like it. Based off a few reviews it seemed to contain a lot of elements I would...moreWhen I picked up The Selection about a week ago, I wasn't expecting to like it. Based off a few reviews it seemed to contain a lot of elements I would hate. But I actually ended up enjoying it, surprisingly. I definitely had some issues with the story, but I enjoyed it for what it was because my expectations weren't that high. I pretty much thought The Elite would be similar. In many ways, it was.
These books are very easy to read. They're short, and though the writing isn't stellar, it works just fine and I could read them both in one sitting (or two) apiece. But my main problem with the Elite was that it seemed to take everything I thought was wrong with the Selection and multiply it by two. These issues are the following:
(1) America Singer. This girl has to be the most infuriating protagonist I have read in a long time. At first, she was merely a bit irritating. But in this sequel I pretty much hated her. Her only redeeming quality was her desire to rid the world of its unfair chaste system. She constantly flip-flops back and forth between Maxon and Aspen. And she was like a broken record, repeating the same thing over: "I need more time." I could have accepted that maybe once, but about the eighth millionth time it happened I could not stop rolling my eyes.
(2) For a series so focused on the love triangle, it seems incredibly one-sided. The only time America goes to see Aspen is when Maxon is A) Gone or B) Fighting with her. She strings Aspen along, and I thought that was pretty cruel because I never really felt like he was going to win. Though why he'd want to is beyond my ability to fathom in the first place.
(3) It was difficult to take the King and Queen seriously when their palace was being attacked every other day by rebels. They either need to up palace security or move away. They just don't feel like very strong figures of authority, which is disappointing because apparently the King is now a villain.
(4) I get why the rebels were taking books based off the plot, but you'd think they'd stop off in the kitchen for food since they were supposed to be starving.
(5) And one instance in particular I wanted to mention: America gets really angry with Maxon upon finding him kissing another girl in the competition, but it was hard to feel sorry for her. Maxon has basically been asking America for a commitment since the end of the last book but she won't give him an answer.
The best thing about this book is the prince. I genuinely like Maxon and think he's pretty sweet. I just really wish he had a better love interest. Though this book irritated me immensely, I have invested enough time in the series as a whole to want to finish it. I might as well see who she picks in the end. And I may be just a little bit in love with these covers.