Sunday, August 13, 2017

Books: The Selection Series (Books 1 to 3) by Kiera Cass

Book thoughts! Well, this is a first. I normally review each book in a series one post at a time, but I read these books too quickly and I don't think I can even clearly define the borders of the story laid down per book by now. So I guess the smartest thing to do (instead of waiting for everything to settle down and in the end become too lazy to review even one) is to review it straight out -- all in one post. The first 3 books of the series, specifically.

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For the blurbs, kindly click on the links:

The series revolves around America Singer and how her life changed when she was suddenly selected for the Selection, a tradition in their country in which 35 girls are to be selected across all provinces and all castes to have a chance to be the crown prince's wife -- and, in turn, the future queen. So basically, it's like The Bachelor for the royalty.

Anyway, I read this series one lazy afternoon and in roughly a little less than 24 hours (discounting the hours I dedicated for work), and I quickly finished all three! Which is a feat for me, considering the fact that I am a really sloooow reader. I tend to linger -- but in this case, I just flipped and flipped and flipped and flipped, and before I knew it, I was through. Of course this is somewhat thanks to the way Kiera Cass ended her books -- cliffhangers after cliffhangers, you just can't help but read the next one at once. Honestly, if I read The Selection during its first release and the second book is a year away from being published, I would've been really frustrated. Taking into account everything that happened, I do think the whole 3 books can be squeezed into one giant tome - with some filler scenes and story lines cut, readers wouldn't feel too frustrated with how the books were divided.

But I digress. Basically, this falls under the romance genre -- but there are little injections of political and familial drama, bits of rebellion/revolution that somewhat reminds me of the ones in the Red Queen series, though a bit lighter. America Singer, the protagonist and narrator, had a decent character development through out the 3 books. At first, I have to admit that America was insufferable. It's no secret that I hate female leads who think that love is all that matters and as long as there is love, everything will be alright -- which, to be honest, is a pretty pathetic idea because love can only take you so far (hello, inner cynic), right? Not practical at all. So imagine the horror whenever I read "all I want is to be your wife". It was torture reading the first few chapters but I'm glad I pulled through. As the chapters went by, especially by the time she arrived at the palace, everything became exciting. If I gotta say, Prince Maxon's presence made the pages charged. I mean... *swooooon*. There are some things that are too cliche to be easily believed like how he has absolutely no romantic experience but then goes on and be smooth AF with the ladies - it's a bit too hard to process. Despite this, the chemistry he had with America is undeniable... and the moment he appeared on page, I was already #TeamMaxon. I miss obvious romance -- maybe because I've been reading too much SFF lately, so this is really a welcome change. And I also get to read that famous line of Maxon's that's circulating in Twitter for quite a while now:
"Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway."
Relatively speaking, the characters could have been made a lot more interesting... but despite its flaws, I can see why it became a bestseller too quickly. The story is a bit predictable but I can definitely say that it doesn't lack in the entertainment department. I was always drawn to the pages, that even though I know that America would eventually be chosen in the end (is this even a spoiler at this point?), I was still nervous that she would be eliminated because of many circumstances. The journey of it was a heartwarming one. And even at the very end, Kiera Cass managed to bring that thrilling factor to her scenes. That epic conclusion was a dream - that build up to the ultimate admission (of feelings) was palpable. It made it heartwarming-ly worth it in the end.

And can we talk about the covers? They're breathtaking. Aesthetically speaking, these designs make you just want to grab them and run to the nearest bookstore counter to pay for them and take them home. The gowns are gorgeous, catchy. Book cover master class, indeed.

So to anyone who wants to fall in love while having a quick read at the same time (each book averages to 200+ pages only), this is definitely for you. (You can conveniently stop at Book 3 because the next two books involve a different character and plot.) Entertaining, swoon-worthy. Not the best series I've read, but definitely a decent one to say the least.

My Ratings:
The Selection: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)
The Elite: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)
The One: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

The Selection Series (Books 1 to 3): 
★★★☆☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

"The moment you're ready to ask, I'm ready to say yes."

"...true love is usually the most inconvenient kind."

"...but the truth is... there's only you. Maybe I'm not really looking, maybe they aren't right for me. It doesn't matter. I just know I want you. And that terrifies me."

"Because when you're on the bottom, your only choice is to blame the top."

"Mistakes mean it's real."

"You're so pretty when you're a mess."

"The best people all have some kind of scar."

"...this is what it's like; this is how it feels when you fall."

"You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that's all it would manage to do."

ALL OF MAXON'S LETTERS AND HIS PROPOSAL. BYE. >.<

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