If you adore young adult books, then the Selection series by Kiera Cass will make an outstanding addition to your reading list. This series has been extremely popular with young readers.
The Selection series is set in a futuristic society that maintains strict social groups known as castes. One is considered the best social group, while Eight is at the bottom of the food chain.
In the country of Illéa, the protagonist and narrator America Singer is a Five. When the prince hosts the Selection, America has the opportunity to marry the prince and improve her social position.
America must compete in this dystopian competition to win the marital hand of Prince Maxon Schreave.
This series consists of 5 books in the main series. However, there are also 4 novels, which are worth reading if you are a fan of this series.
They add lots of context and extra detail to this sensational series. As a result, the series contains 9 books overall.
You may be wondering what the ideal order for reading The Selection books is. Though many of the novellas are set before the main books, it’s best to read them in this publication order.
If you read the books in chronological order, you will learn about characters that have not yet been introduced.
About The Selection Series
This bestselling series from Kiera Cass focuses on a young girl named America Singer, who lives in a society with a strict class structure.
Despite being low down on this structure America is given the opportunity to become the princess of Illéa by marrying Maxon Schreave.
To earn this opportunity, America must compete in a competition known as the Selection.
America competes in this deadly competition to win the hand of the prince. Failing that, she hopes to win a cash prize that could seriously help her family.
America’s heart is not in the competition until she meets the mysterious Prince Maxon, who is much more complex than initially thought.
The main character of the series is America Singer, who is renowned for her rebellious attitude.
Brave and outspoken, America doubts that she can win the rigged Selection. However, she nonetheless participates in the hopes of earning more money for her deprived family.
Other prominent characters in this book series include America’s family, Prince Maxon, Queen Amerly, King Clarkson, and Aspen Leger, America’s ex-boyfriend.
Despite being aimed at young adults, the Selection covers some serious themes such as poverty, love, family, competition, social class, gender, femininity, and power.
The Selection Series Books In Order
First released in 2012, The Selection marks the first book in the series of the same name. This book introduces readers to the rebellious America Singer, a Five in a society that prefers Ones.
America is soon introduced into a competition. The Selection offers 35 girls the opportunity to marry Prince Maxon.
However, this means that America must abandon her lover, Aspen. Thus, this fairytale romance soon becomes a romance for America. That is until she meets Maxon, who could change her entire life.
- The fairytale vibes of this story are fantastic. It has been inspired by the tale of Cinderella.
- The story is fun and fast-paced.
- It’s a revolutionary romance novel with light social commentary.
- As a young adult protagonist, America occasionally feels a little derivative.
The sequel to The Selection is The Elite. Bursting with emotion and grandiose glamor, The Elite tells the story of the next stage of this ruthless competition.
While there were originally 35 girls in the competition, there are now just 6 remaining contestants.
To choose his next wife, Prince Maxon hosts the glamorous Halloween Ball. Here, he gets the opportunity to meet the families of various competitors.
As the competition heats up, America must make an important decision.
Does she love Maxon and the luxurious life that only he can provide? Or does America’s heart belong to Aspen, a lowly Six who she has loved for a long time?
- The central love triangle is incredibly compelling.
- This is a great follow-up to the first book that interestingly progresses the story.
- The pacing at the start of the book is too slow.
As mentioned, Cass has also produced novellas that act as supplementary material, fleshing out the complex world of the Selection.
Specifically, The Prince allows readers to learn more about Prince Maxon by providing his perspective on events.
Before he met America, there was another woman that Maxon loved. This novella covers the week before the launch of the Selection.
It also partly explores the Selection itself, covering the first meeting between America and Maxon from the latter’s point of view.
This is a great addition to the series if you want to learn more about Maxon, who becomes a more fleshed-out character.
- As a novella, this is a super quick read.
- Maxon becomes a more dimensional character. The reader can better understand him after reading The Prince.
- The narrative could have been a little deeper.
The next novella by Keira Cass is The Guard. While The Prince tells the story from the perspective of Maxon, The Guard follows America’s other love interest.
Aspen Leger has been in love with America for a long time. This lowly Six soon became a palace guard.
Through this novella, readers will get a more thorough understanding of Aspen and his love for America. Readers will follow Aspen as he is taken to the palace.
The book allows readers to see Aspen’s point of view as America enters the Selection.
The Guard works well in connection with The Prince, as each book focuses on a different romantic interest for America.
- Aspen is a more interesting character in The Guard than in the main series of books.
- If you love Aspen, you will adore him even more after reading this.
- This novella felt repetitive, as it covers many of the events that occur in the first book.
The third book installment in the series is The One, in which there are just 4 remaining contestants in the Selection.
Friendships and rivalries have been formed between these girls. However, these friendships are put to the test as the competition becomes increasingly intense.
Prince Maxon must now choose the girl that is to be his bride. As America’s victory becomes threatened, she becomes more determined than ever before to win the Selection.
If America is to win this life-changing challenge, she must be willing to fight for it.
- America develops as a character and becomes more well-rounded.
- The side characters, such as the Queen, are more compelling in this book.
- The rebels are poorly introduced in this series.
The third novella from Kiera Cass is The Queen. This prequel story is set before The Selection but is best to read afterward.
This novella follows the mother of Prince Maxon (Queen Amberly) before she was the Queen.
Long before America Singer participated in the Selection, Amberly fought to marry King Clarkson Schreave.
This narrative tells the tale of how a normal girl became the much-loved Queen of Illéa.
- This short story does a great job of teaching the reader more about Queen Amberly.
- King Clarkson becomes a more likable character, though he still retains many of his former characteristics.
- Cass doesn’t provide much detail, meaning that the narrative sometimes falls flat.
Cass continues the narrative of The Selection series with The Heir, the fourth book. Set twenty years after The One, this book follows the life of Princess Eadlyn.
As a child, Eadlyn grew up hearing stories of the fairytale romance between her mother, America Singer, and her father, Prince Maxon.
Now, Princess Eadlyn finds that it’s time to host her version of the Selection so that she can find a suitable husband.
Though she is initially reluctant to host this competition, Eadlyn finds herself in a delightful romance that’s suitable for the next generation.
- Readers will get to find out what happened between America and Maxon.
- This is a unique and interesting way of continuing this series.
- Eadlyn is a controversial character who has divided fan opinions.
The final novella in this series is The Favorite, a fantastic exploration of Marlee against the love triangle between America, Aspen, and Maxon.
Marlee Tames is a member of the Elite and America’s closest ally. Meeting as they were about to board the plane, Marlee and America became good friends.
Though Marlee lost interest in Maxon, she still wanted to win the competition for her reasons.
Marlee is in a relationship with Carter, a palace guard. If this relationship is exposed, Marlee could lose everything.
- The Favorite allows Marlee to shine as a character.
- Loyal fans of the series will enjoy learning more about Marlee.
- This is not an essential entry in the series.
Last but not least, The Crown represents the conclusion to the critically-acclaimed the Selection series.
When Eadlyn participated in the Selection herself, she doubted that she would ever find love among these 35 men.
Much to the shock of Princess Eadlyn, she realizes that perhaps love is possible for her. However, Eadyn must make some mature choices that appear to be impossible to make.
- Eadlyn’s romance becomes a more gripping narrative than in The Heir.
- There is a larger focus on politics, which is a welcome addition to the story.
- The conclusion to this series feels a little rushed.
If you are interested in high-quality writing and commentary on social class, then you will appreciate the Selection series by Kiera Cass.
Telling the story of a girl named America who attempts to achieve social mobility, the Selection series is adored by many young adults.
Though you can also try reading this book series in chronological order, it is arguably better to read it in the release order.
So why not add these books to your reading list? Who knows, you may be mesmerized by the Selection series.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Selection Series Worth Reading?
Yes, the Selection series is worth reading, particularly the first two books. This superb series is ideal for anyone interested in young adult fiction.
What Is The Best Book In The Series?
Arguably, the first book in the series, also entitled The Selection, is the best. However, fans will have their own opinions about the perfect order for reading this series.
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