I first read The Selection back in July 2013, in nearly one sitting. It was a feverish love affair from the start and I think it took me less than three days to finish it. I downloaded the following book, The Elite and her novella, The Prince before even finishing the first book and devoured them in quick succession. I then basically had to sit on my hands and pout for almost an entire year before finally getting my hands on a copy of the final book in the series (not including a novella or two), The One.
I am not alone in my struggle to wait patiently and I was totally like a kid at Christmas when I finally purchased and began to read the beloved and much awaited final installment. Before I get to my review, here’s a quick description from goodreads:
For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.
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 realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.
So. A year later and nothing has changed for me. Like the previous books in this series, it was addictive and completely sucked me in. Not only did I literally set aside the book I was currently reading for this one, I stayed up way too late and ignored a few chores during the day to enjoy it. There is just something about Cass’s writing style that lends itself to binge reading. It’s not a matter of long flowy descriptive chapters to make English majors swoon or complex plot developments though there are a fair share of those. It’s more like that incredibly compelling show on tv that you wait for all week and love in a nearly guilty pleasure kind of way.
The thing that truly makes these books succeed is the character development and the compelling plot. Cass does a great job making you truly CARE about these people and their futures. It has a compelling love story (or two) and enough tragedies and intrigue and action to keep you coming back for more. And it boasts a dystopian story that manages to feel fresh and avoid seeming over done and cliched. I’m sure on a number of levels that it does play off of other dystopian stories but it doesn’t feel that way while you’re reading it.
In some ways the end of the book felt a little too easy, as though half the obstacles facing the characters throughout the series just sort of magically worked themselves out so that everything could be tied neatly with a bow. But overall I think this is actually fitting. Sometimes when one thing comes together, everything else falls into place and frankly some story lines and struggles don’t necessarily merit the same amount of follow through – the book might have felt cluttered and overdone if Cass had taken the time to hash everything out.
One thing I was struck by was the feeling of hope and optimism that radiate from this story, which is rare for a dystopian story but I think much needed. Though America and the rest of the characters certainly deal with their fare share of tragedy, heartbreak and a bit of teen angst, they seem to come back to a feeling of hope and a belief that they truly can change the world which I think is much healthier than “everything sucks and everyone is corrupt eventually” – a sentiment that I’ve felt pretty firmly in a lot of the other dystopian books lately.
In short: LOVED. LOVED. LOVED.