Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Narrator(s): Amy Rubinate
Series: The Selection Trilogy, book #1
Length: 8 hrs 7 mins
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: audio from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Narrator(s): Amy Rubinate
Series: The Selection Trilogy, book #2
Length: 7 hrs 42 mins
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Source: audio from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Narrator(s): Amy Rubinate
Series: The Selection Trilogy, book #3
Length: 7 hrs 25 mins
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: audio from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

**I'm reviewing this series as a whole and there are likely to be spoilers below. If you haven't started the series yet, and you actually care about the outcome, I suggest you don't read any further.**

I never had any intention of reading this series. After the fiasco with Wendy Darling and the author and her agent -- publicist? Idk...it's been so long that I can't remember -- I immediately shelved all the books by this author as "not in this lifetime". But I was perusing my library's audiobook selection, and I was bored and couldn't decide what to listen to next when I came across The Selection. And from there, a very bad idea was born.

I didn't even know the final book was releasing soon when I picked up the first two books plus the novellas...that's how little attention I've paid to this series. And yet, I still embarked upon my mission to read the series in its entirety, knowing what a train wreck it would be. And it was: you know it's terrible, you're cringing the entire time, and yet you just. Can't. Look. Away.

I don't enjoy reality TV...at all. I don't find it even mildly entertaining usually, but if I discover it already on the television when I sit down, I admit that it's very addictive and hard to look away from. Which is one of the reasons I detest it so much...what a time suck! Such was my experience with this series. I didn't want to keep reading about these girls and all their drama or that love triangle of doom. After all, I despise The Bachelor and this story is that show's premise in book form. But morbid curiosity just wouldn't let me pass up this series.

I think one of the things that helped me maintain my sanity was the fact that I was listening to the audio instead of wasting my precious reading time. I've listened to several audiobooks narrated by Amy Rubinate, so I know that I like her narration style. I can't say that I was impressed with her performance this time around, though I think she did portray America as the whiney, sniveling mess of a girl she is with precision. However, every time she voiced Maxon's dialogue, I was reminded of how she made Cole sound in the Everneath series, and it made me sad that I wasn't re-listening to that series instead of this one.

Things I loathed about this story:

1. America's immaturity when it came to love and other people's feelings. This girl was already planning to marry her first love, so one would expect her to have some sense of what is expected in an adult relationship. Instead, she strings her first love along while trying to decipher her feelings for the Crown Prince...while also stringing him along. America's constant back-and-forth -- during the ENTIRE series -- drove me nuts. I wanted both guys to find out about each other and say to hell with her.

2. The fact that America was essentially set up to become a martyr, that everything just perfectly aligned for her to be the perfect choice. Of course the King would be an evil blow-hard who would make things difficult for America at every turn. Of course he didn't want her to succeed. Of course because of her willingness to stand up to him, she became the people's favorite. Of course her own father would be a rebel himself, as would Caesar Flickerman, er, sorry...I mean Gavril whatever his name was.

3. All the drama and misunderstandings. Miscommunication in a story is one thing, but when you let every situation get out of hand because no one can apologize or admit fault, it becomes beyond annoying. Create tension in the story some other way because you aren't doing your characters any favors with this type of behavior.

4. How the story wrapped up so perfectly and yet left so much unsaid. First, so a life-or-death situation negates any betrayal felt five minutes before? Really, Maxon? Also, maybe I missed it in my haste to be done with this series for good, but what happened to the rebels? Was there even a funeral for Maxon's parents before the wedding? How did Aspen and Lucy come to be so close so quickly? So many unanswered questions! Grrr.

5. The fact that this contemporary story about a love triangle was trying to masquerade as a dystopian novel. Yeah, no. Throwing in a tyrant of a king and some rebels does not a dystopian story make.

There's more but if I list all of my complaints, we'll be here all day.

Redeeming factors:

1. I actually did appreciate that this story showcased that first love =/= true love. (Not always, anyway.) It may have taken the characters forever to get to this point, but they did...eventually.

2. The competition between the girls was fleshed out and eventually bordered on friendship, not just a group of girls all vying for one guy's attention. This, too, took awhile, but they got there.

3. Pretty covers with pretty girls in dresses that actually do have significance to the story. I have to admit, this series would look gorgeous on my shelf. If I had room for a series that I knew I'd never read again.

I obviously didn't love these books, but I did find them at least somewhat entertaining, hence my ability to actually finish the series. I can understand the appeal of these books, but it's clear they were not written with someone like me in mind. I knew that from the get-go, and yet I still endeavored to make the most of this series. I have no one to blame but myself.

GIF it to me straight:
Yep. I couldn't have said it better myself.

The Queen (The Selection, #0.4)The Prince (The Selection, #0.5)The Selection (The Selection, #1)
The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Guard (The Selection, #2.5)The One (The Selection, #3)

About the author:

100 Things I Love:

Being married. Cake. The smell of Autumn. Motherhood. Books. Elephants. Back rubs. On demand movies. Actually going out to movies. Faith. Cinnamon rolls. My family. Butterflies. When my kitchen is clean. Crayons. Pink. Tote bags. Dancing. Organizing via color coordination. That my wedding dress was tea length, not floor. Baking. My house. Writing utensils. Paper. India. The sound of water. Making videos. Buttons. The word Episcopalian. Making people laugh. Layering clothes. British accents. Pinterest. Animation. Fireworks. The smell of the Ocean. My wedding rings. Aprons. Reasons to get dressed up. Sex. Pop music. Stars. Taking walks. Daydreaming. Stickers. School Spirit. My friends. Living in a small town. Japan. Singing. Painting my toenails. Pranks/ practical jokes. Painting. Stretch canvas. Costumes. Dipping my fingers in melted wax. Style. Soda. Spending an hour typing at a coffee shop. Musicals. Back to school season. Mopeds. Good hair days. Naps. Not walking up but looking at a beautiful staircase. Driving alone. My ankles. Playlists. Spending entire days in pajamas. Holidays. Telling stories. Spontaneity. Theme parks. Bookshelves. The word copacetic. Boxes. Empty journals. Surprises. Doing things in groups. Doing things alone. Getting real mail. Decorating. Small forks. A good hug. Gift cards. New Years Goals. Going out to dinner. When someone else remembers some great story about me/us that I’ve forgotten. Toy stores. Fireplaces. Breakfast foods. Journaling. Crying for a good reason. Doorbells. Pointless adventures. Voting. My birthday. Reasons to make wishes. Recycling.

Find Kiera:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. I read the Selection and enjoyed it for the easy, fast paced nature of it. I attempted The Elite and had to DNF and have no interest in reading The One. I couldn't enjoy these because of the negatives :-( They are really beautiful though.

  2. Oh no, that over all rating has me second guessing these ones. lol. I already own the first two and I think a novella in there. So I'll get to them sometime. I got them on sale, so it's no big loss.

  3. I plan on borrowing them just to finish...or maybe not. Who knows, maybe I'll dislike the second book even more than the first.

  4. I have no inclination, none whatsoever to read this series. I am not a fan of reality tv, and I especially loathed any dating shows (seriously, are you that desperate?), so regardless of whether or not THAT fiasco happened, this book was not in my radar at all.


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