I’d been desperate to read the concluding chapter in Keira Cass’ trilogy ‘The Selection’. The dystopian story of a society where people are branded into castes or classes and forced to remain in that forever I has fallen in love with the fairy tale story of how America Singer is entered into a competition where the prize is to win the hand in marriage of Prince Maxon.
Books 1 & 2 had been largely about the growing relationship between America & Maxon, the competition and it’s entrants and a little bit about the civil unrest growing in the fictional land of Illea. In the concluding book we know that Maxon must make his choice of wife and we pray his choice will be America – or do we? We still have America’s childhood friend and first love Aspen in the background.
This book has so many similarities between recent young adult series it’s scary. The fractured, segregated unhappy population forced to watch a public competition a la Hunger Games. The two heroes forcing us to wonder whom America will choose is very Twilight, Team Maxon v’s Team Aspen mirroring Meyers books. It has all the things we loved about those books.
The final book in the series didn’t waste any time in getting started, it dove straight in with no plot recaps, immediate action and it took me a chapter or too to reacquaint myself with who was whom and where we had left the action. Once if caught back up though I immediately became aware that in this book the focus would be equally on the civil unrest outside the palace as much as it would on the competition for Prince Maxon. As a result it meant we got to see a little more out with the palace walls and began to question the existing status of the country more as the book progressed.
I have a definite sense this series had run it’s course, there is no way we could have got more books from the concept, there’s only so many balls and functions that America could attend in pursuit of her prince and those secret trysts were getting ‘Old’. So much of this series has been about the lavish life in the palace but it was losing it’s readership appeal and it’s appropriate the series concluded. I also feel that that the ending of the book was lovely but I felt that Cass could have gotten another hundred pages or so from her characters. The events which shaped the books conclusion seemed to be shoehorned into a chapter, maybe 2 (they’re short chapters) and I believe more drama and suspense could have been wrung from the events to give a less floaty and flimsy feel. It was all a little too quickly and neatly handled with no real grit about it.
All in all I’ve enjoyed my time with America and it was a great, if not original, concept. The books stand together as a great series for young girls and I’d recommend them to young adult readers who like their dystopian books with a large spoonful of sugar.