WARNING: I AM ABOUT TO RANT FOR A VERY LONG TIME IN THE FOLLOWING POST.
Do you like The Hunger Games, but wish there was more focus on the love triangle? Or do you perhaps like The Bachelor, but wish that is was played with teenagers instead? Then this is the book for you!
I’m reviewing the series as a whole, because if I have to spend an ounce more of my time on these toilet rags, I ‘ll pull my hair out. Rarely do books make me so angry that I have physically stop reading them because I am too upset to continue. The only way I got through the series was that my brother started reading the books out loud to me and it was the funniest thing he has done in his life.
The series kicks off with The Selection. The country is split up into numbered classes, where each class performs a different type of task. Our heroine, America (her name is literally America…like I can’t even get past that) is a lowly 5, which means her family are artists. But she is in love with a boy in class 6, which is the servant class! And marriage between classes is not illegal, but is strongly discouraged, so they keep it a secret! But then!!! There is a competition!!!
At this point in reading I immediately googled the publication date of The Hunger Games and this series. Low and behold, THG came out first. In fact, Mockingjay was published a whole TWO YEARS before this. The whole in-love-with-a-poor-boy-but-then-competition-but-then-love-triangle plot was a huuuuuuuge ripoff of THG. I know that THG isn’t even about a love triangle (except in movie version) but it still felt like Cass was just skimming the surface off of Collin’s work and regurgitating it without the fighting.
Anyway, the competition is to find the Prince a woman to marry, because in post-apocalyptic America (which is now called Ilea or some nonsense) the Prince marries a common woman to keep the rabble happy! So dearest America (the person) gets selected to be in the competition because of her beauty and…passion? strength? Mainly beauty, so get ready for the girl-who-thinks-she-is-ugly-but-really-draws-the-attention-of-all-the-men characterizations that are coming up.
After the 35 girls wind up at the palace, there are some weird reality T.V. contests that go on (complete with eliminations) and then the first book ends. The second book is basically pointless. It just throws level 6 loverboy into the palace as a guard, effectively restarting the love triangle (America was all ready to move on and be with the Prince, because out of sight out of mind!). It also sets up the stupidest plot about terrorists evvvvveeeeerrrrr (who are reminiscent of the movement that comes out of District 13 in Mockingjay).
The third, and praise Jesus the last, book wraps everything up into a nice package. Literally no character development has to happen because the King dies so the Prince becomes the King! And the girl he was going to marry to spite America is dead too so they can be together (widdle Princey didn’t like that America had feelings for someone else)! Yay! Contrived plot points coming to a contrived end! Yay!
Long rant made short: THIS SERIES SUCKS!!!! It is literally the worst collection of words that I have ever had float around in my brain before. And I know I didn’t have to read all three, but I did, because I like to be angry. I like to be so enraged by internalized misogyny and plagiarism that I continued reading this trash. The worst part is that this series is being touted as super totes amaze balls! I saw a huge spread for it at Barnes and Noble and have seen several things on the interwebs that sing the praises of this series. Blurgh. For every good YA trilogy that I find, there are 15 crappy ones waiting in line. Maybe if Cass had done this all in one book, it could have been platable. But spreading it over three books necessitated to much contrived plot devices that dragged on and on and on and on.
Please don’t read this series.