Hi guys! I’m back in the swing, and ready to talk about BOOKS! I love Summer reading, even if it is assigned sometimes. What I deeply am concerned about is a series I had read called The Selection Series. I looked up book ratings, and I was very surprised at how high the ratings were! I myself quite enjoyed the book. It had all your book essentials!
Did I do a good job trolling? Sorry about that!
Ya got me all wrong. Sure the book was enjoyable…as a comedy really. I basically cannot stand this series. I wrote up a review on Goodreads. You can take a canter and read it here too:
SPOILER ALERT! MAJOR SPOLIERS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Sigh. Where do I start?
When I first finished this series, I thought “This is way cooler and better than I expected!”. Then, after much thought, I realized “this is pretty terrible!”. I mean, I only came to this conclusion after I realized that I didn’t want to be caught making a photoset for this on Tumblr. That was how bad liking this felt. It’s not that I’m embarrassed to like it, it’s the fact that I DON’T like it and honestly can pinpoint where and why.
First of all, I realized just how bad the world-building is. Dystopian America? Okay, but why is future America sounding more like the 1600s to me than FUUUTURE?
And castes? Really? That was the best Dystopian thing you could think of? I had the hardest time thinking that one person can just go all Hitler on everyone and turn America, oh so proud for it’s ideas on freedom and awesomeness America, into…castes? And there’s this stupid-a** law on virginity? It literally would have made much more sense if this was set in INDIA because it sounds A LOT like INDIA! (I’m no history pro, but I’m pretty sure they were the ones famed for castes, not being able to move up castes, and stuff like that, sorry if I’m incorrect). And the whole excuse on why America was renamed? Just…just no. I’m most certain than Americans would never let themselves sink this…this low on government. I know Cass was trying to make the government corrupt and “BLAH! EVIL IN YOUR FACE!”, but..it’s just not realistic to get into! I would have zero, ZERO problem with the world-building, if it was not for the fact that it’s supposed to be Futuristic Dystopian America.
The world-building got so bad to the point that I forgot that we were even IN America half the time! It sounded much more like some far off place. In The Hunger Games, it made sense since the past was kept vague, but Panem was SO FAR OFF into the future that it seemed like the world was totally destroyed and a revert had to happen. Here, the Chinese invaded somehow and just BOOM automatic reversal. Okay, enough ranting about the world, you all get my point. It’s a dystopian place that sounds nothing close to America or the future.
My second point is the last few pages of the book. That sudden murder fest was just…so pointless… I mean, I know people had to die, but come on. At least let the characters go with some sense of dignity. Getting killed off with a “BANG!”. More detail and description instead of “They died. We were sorta sad. We moved on.”. It was too factual and barely containing emotion at all. I mean, this scene was just so rushed, that even characters from the Hunger Games would go “woah, holy sh- slow down crazy!”. And Celeste’s end was the worst way to kill her off. I mean, it went like “she died. America remembered her briefly at her wedding.” The end. Was she even worth killing off? I felt that so much character development could have happened, even continuing on to The Heir. I always imagined Celeste as America’s daughter’s cool aunt or something.
And oh my gosh, the explanation of the head maid? “She disappeared and we never saw her again”. WOW. Cass’ methods of ridding characters is just so..bad. I’m sorry, but there’s no after effect. No one really mourning them. No one crying over them. Even Maxon didn’t react much to BOTH his parents dying. He just went “Yeah, that’s a bummer” and moved on to his girl. SUCH a respectful son.
Third, the part with Maxon and America and Aspen, ugh it TIRED me out so much! You just knew America was going to end up with Maxon from day 1, yet this love triangle just keeps getting shoved down your throat relentlessly. I wanted to learn more about the other Selected/Elite and the maids! They all get sidelined. And really America? You literally decided on Maxon yet you STILL have the nerve to act all flirty around Aspen? What a JOKE this character and her problems are. This is why I didn’t feel a twinge of pity when Maxon suddenly turned on her. At least the other choice he had, you know the Northern Rebel, ACTUALLY LOVED HIM AND DIDN’T PUT THE MOVES ON SOMEONE ELSE!!
Lastly, what the hell was up with the Northern Rebellion? At the end, it’s revealed that all these people were involved in it, but for what reason? They were simply left as facts for America to point out and to make the characters seem more significant, which didn’t really work.
I need to stop, or this will never end. Honestly, my final verdict is that this is still entertaining..but not as a Dystopain America Book Series. Not as good as The Hunger Games Series, or even the Divergent series (with it’s bad ending). It’s not fit to be a book. The entire time, from the moment I started reading this series, all I could see this as was a reality television show.
It was just some weird mixture of America’s Next Top Model+The Bachelor=The Selection. (Girls Looking Pretty With Drama+Girls Competing For A Man With Drama=The Selection) Add some Hunger Games rebellion BS that isn’t really clearly explained all that well and BOOM! Instant Selection!
Alright read, but too many problems to even think about reading again.
“As for lack of consistency: Maxon, for example, is described as being not very good with girls (“I don’t meet very many women,” he says at one point). . . and yet he goes around calling everyone ‘my dear’ (ewww sleazy, by the way?) like a dedicated Regency rake. It would be one thing if this was described as being awkward, but instead the women all seem to really like it–so he’s inexperienced, yet smooth with the ladies? WTF?
Maxon is in general the least sexy ‘hero’ I’ve ever read. First off, he’s a shitty prince. Even America studied the names/faces of the other Selected, but Maxon asks to be “[forgiven] if [he’s] slow with names; there are quite a few [girls].” You’re a PRINCE, Maxon. Learning people’s names and remembering them is a PART OF YOUR JOB, especially because you have access to that information. Sit your ass down. Memorize their names and faces.
He’s also completely ignorant of what’s going on in his country until America tells him (and then he becomes an overnight communist because of her. Not that there’s anything wrong with communists per se, but I’m still amused). I get that as the prince he was maybe really sheltered from the realities of the caste system, but it’s still really unsexy that he hasn’t even tried to find out before. It demonstrates a complete lack of curiosity, empathy, and imagination.
As a love interest, Maxon is just really creepy. He says, “You [the Selected girls] are all dear to me. It is simply a matter of discovering who shall be the dearest.” Oh, ick.
The problem isn’t that Maxon has clearly never been laid, which is fine (I love non-man-ho heroes!), the problem is he’s so awkward/sketchy that he also couldn’t get laid if his life depended on it. Actually, I wonder if he actually has all his manly parts intact, because he talks/acts/thinks like a not very bright woman.
I also really enjoyed this description of Maxon: “He just looked . . . thoughtful. It was an interesting expression on his face.” Because, you know, Maxon usually just looks dumb as a brick, so when he’s thinking, it’s totally weird.”
After all of my rage was extinguished, I came across another problem: The Heir. Boy oh boy, I hear the main lead in this one is somehow, some way, even worse than America Singer! I’m trying to get a copy to read so I can see the comedy gold for myself.
Did any of you guys read the books? What did you think about it? Based on the ratings, I’m going to assume that if you did read it, you think it’s a great book. Feel free to debate with me, but if you did read it, and liked it, please answer me this:
- What’s so great about America Singer? She can’t make up her mind, she is not sweet, she is barely passably kind, she has no preparation whatsoever to be the next queen. Can we also point out she treats the castes below her exactly the way she said they shouldn’t be treated? Can I get a quote here?
It says she “enjoys the company of Sixes.” That is like saying “I enjoy the company of Asians” It’s like classifying them as another species! So much for ignoring the castes, huh Singer?
- Did the love triangle work? I thought it was assumed that America’d just marry Maxon from Page 1
I think all of my rage has been beaten dead. Alrighty then! I will probably review The Heir to see if there are any improvements in writing, but in the meantime, I’m starting a new series! The Mortal Instruments! Why do I get the feeling that I’m also going to not like this despite it’s really good ratings? Oh yeah. Rumor has it that it’s supposed to be a Harry Potter knockoff. Sort of how like 50 Shades of Grey was a Twilight Fanfic knockoff. We’ll see won’t we?
See you all very soon! And sorry if I totally shattered or offended your image of The Selection Series!