The Selection Series Review

The Selection


When you’re in college, giving your mind a break while keeping your brain active can be accomplished through outside reading. A great way to get your mind off your school work and relax is to read books that use the creative and imaginative aspects of your mind. One of the new series of books that has recently become popular and can be purchased at most all bookstores everywhere is The Selection and Elite series by Kiera Cass. The series is about royals in a caste system that use a selection process to court potential suitors and choose one to marry. In the selection books, America Singer, the sixteen-year old protagonist joins a selection of woman in a competition to marry Prince Maxon.

The Challenge


The selection is similar to a beauty pageant combined with an intellectual challenge as the girls are given rigorous assignments by Sylvia to both present to and impress King Clarkson, Prince Maxon, and the public. The girls are required to give presentations to the public where they address social justice issues to demonstrate how they would make the best possible decisions among an elite group of women if they were chosen by Prince Maxon to become the new princess. These assignments would remind the reader of how hard it is to prove your ability to reason on an individual basis in college presentations and papers that are to reflect similar thoughts and goals that can be compared to the arduous tasks the girls in the selection are forced to undergo. Their main task is to prove that they are well-bred by displaying proper etiquette at social functions hosted for royalty from other countries to show their diplomatic skills. These events include balls that the women in the selection host. As they put on the social event, they are given different roles that work on specific aspects of the social events as they strive to become the leading hostess through their social interaction with their guests. In the midst of all of the social functions, there are rebel revolutionaries that strive to terrorize and harm the royals. At one point in the Selection series, the women in the selection are to host a social event which is then interrupted by an outbreak from the revolutionaries. America Singer’s life is in danger and she has to use her intellect in the same way she does in the competition only this time it is applied to a real life situation as she is forced to think quickly to survive in these instances.

The Competition


The code of conduct is very strict between men and women in the palace, which makes the competition more interesting. America becomes distraught in a horrific scene where Marlee is punished for her misconduct with a male suitor where she is publicly beaten and shamed. At the end of the selection, Maxon surprises America as he lets her see Marlee again. America Singer is not your typical female heroine. She is outspoken and she does not play a typical character as she is very different in her thinking and views, since she is a highly intelligent and creative character. She is not as worldly in light of the that fact that she does not care as much whether she wins the crown or not while the other girls are more vicious in their competition and desire for the crown, such as Celeste. When America finds Maxon in a romantic scene with Celeste after she had an intimate and romantic moment with him, she becomes very upset. Celeste presents a more evil aspect of the competition than the other girls present as she strives to steal Maxon from the other girls and manipulate him by using more of the physical nature of their relationship against him. Women can relate to this aspect of the complexity of relationships in the books because it is both very realistic and imaginative. America begins to wonder about the nature of men herself after this event because Maxon appears to be somewhat of a fickle play boy. The other girls in the competition include Elise, Celeste, and Kriss as they add complexity to the story by presenting striking contrasts to America’s personality. Elise and Kriss seem to care more about the trivial aspects of winning the title and the crown than America does. Elise tends to doubt herself out of frustration when the competition becomes gradually more challenging and Kriss seems to care more about the gossip among the girls. America has more of a personal relationship and connection with Maxon than the other girls do. The other girls tend to focus on and be distracted by other extraneous factors that play into the competition, but are not as significant overall in the making of the final decision.

A Surprise Ending *spoiler alert*

America’s outspoken nature gets her in trouble with the King, though she wins the heart of the public’s approval through her bravery and actions. She is forced to not take the King’s criticism to heart about her overall contribution to the worldliness of the royal scene. Surprisingly, through the genuineness and humbleness of  her personality, she wins the crown. Cass makes the series interesting by presenting a series of arguments and fights between Maxon and America with a surprise ending where they get married. Since America Singer plays a unique role in The Selection series as she is both a royal and a down to earth character, she becomes an admirable character that captures the readers’ attention and favor.

About Julie Mathis

Julie Mathis was born in Birmingham, Al. on December 29, 1988, where she grew up as an only child. She attended Samford University, a prestigious private university in Birmingham where she majored in Nursing and I received honor medals from being included in the Dean’s List my freshman and sophomore years. She was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta freshman honor society, and became a member of the fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha. She then attended Birmingham-Southern College, one of America’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges, where she became a member of the honor society for English majors, Sigma Tau Delta, and graduated with the honorary status of Cum Laude from BSC. She is now a graduate student at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS., and she enjoys writing, reading, and studying the sciences as well as the humanities.