For this review I will only be talking about the first three Selection novels by Kiera Cass that follow the story of America and Maxon, reviewing the characters and then the story-line, ending with what I did and didn't enjoy about the trilogy. I purchased the complete series through Scholastic Books last year, and I was excited to get around to reading them, which ended up being around the end of January of this year.
I'll begin with America Singer, the main character of the story and the point of view for the books. America's character is so real and honest, which created a refreshing and exciting read through her eyes. Her heart is pure, and she always does what she believes is right regardless of the consequences.Along with this, she's very stubborn and refuses to be influenced against her views, which causes many problems for her with a lot of people. Regardless, she aspires to make Ilea a better place for her family and others living in the lower chastes. America is presented with conflict in her love life, facing a choice between her teenage love and the Prince of Ilea, both of which end up becoming a big part of her life during the Selection.
Next up is Maxon Schreave, the Prince of Ilea and the bachelor of the Selection. He's seen as just another royal snob to America before they begin to interact, where it's revealed that Maxon is very genuine and true to himself. He's respectful and kind to America and all of the other women in the Selection, and the story proceeds to show the sides of him that aren't seen by everyone else. As his relationship with America progresses, she comes to understand that he too cares greatly about the people of Ilea and those around him, and that he's always had the same intentions as America regarding the government and society systems. To create conflict, his Father, the King, does everything in his power to shoot down all of Maxon and America's ideas.
The final main character is Aspen Leger, who is America's ex and childhood friend, and a prestigious guard at the castle. He is strong-willed and protective of America, risking his job to visit her in her room whenever he gets the chance. Aspen is a wholesome character with honest intentions for his relationship with America - which is a crucial factor of both his and America's character development in their story.
The additional characters throughout this trilogy are done really well and had a great part in supporting the main characters through their decisions. For example, the King and Queen of Ilea, America's maids and family, and the other girls in the Selection are all characters that variously affected the development and choices of other characters.
Regarding the story-line throughout The Selection, The Elite, and The One, I really enjoyed the consistency of surprises and plot twists and turns, and how it always kept me on the edge of my seat while reading each of the books. The way the story flowed, progressed, and connected at points was impressive and very well written. The use of the Northern and Southern rebels and their frequent attacks with varying intensity created lots of suspense that left me wondering what was going to happen next! This made it nearly impossible to put down any of the books while I was reading them, and I would give this trilogy an impressive score for how close I got to throwing each book many times, especially as I finished them.
In the end, I really enjoyed The Selection Trilogy, and would definitely read it again, possibly even multiple re-reads. There was a lot that I loved about the books, but there is something that I wish was written differently about Maxon and America's love story. For 2 1/2 books, Kiera Cass adds quite a bit of length to the development of their relationship, with lots of ups and downs and conflicts between them, which does keep my interest, but at the end of the 3rd book, their conclusion feels soooo rushed. It's true that they've been affected by massive loss and don't want to waste any more time wandering around "maybe's", but I do wish it didn't feel so jumped at the end.
Overall, I rate these books 5 stars because they kept my interest the entire time, the writing was impressive, the plot was amazing, and the characters were very well written and developed through the story. 2 big thumbs up for Kiera Cass, and I can't wait to read The Heir!