Then and Now: The Selection by Kiera Cass

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With the recent updates about Netflix’s movie adaption, we knew we had to reread The Selection and feature it on the blog. It’s been many years since we read the original trilogy…the spinoff books about Eadlyn don’t count. As one of our favorite YA series, we couldn’t wait to revisit the world that can be described as The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games

While we don’t know too many details about the Netflix movie, we can’t wait to see the Kingdom of Illea on screen. If anyone at Netflix is reading this, please make sure the cast looks like Cass’s descriptions and follow the books. 

In the Kingdom of Illea it’s hard to move out of your caste. A few generations ago Gregory Illea, the first King, designed the current system based on how you could benefit the country.

America Singer and her family are fives, meaning they are artists and musicians. They aren’t as bad off as six-eight, but they have gone hungry before. Determined for her children to do better, America’s mother is insistent that her daughter enter the raffle for the selection. Prince Maxon Schreave needs a wife and one girl from every province will get the chance to compete for his love at the royal place.

American never thought she’d get picked. Now, she’s traveling to the other side of the country and living with the royal family for as long as it takes Maxon to fall in love. But things aren’t as simple as it seems. With the rebels attacking and the pressure of being in the public eye, America has some tough decisions to make.

Then

We adored America and her family from the beginning…except maybe her mom. We knew America would have an interesting time adjusting to royal life, especially since she’s the lowest caste in the selection. It was fun to see how down to earth she was and how she brought a bit of home with her.

The romance hooked us right away. How could we not love Maxon? There’s so much more to him than the public knows. They might not have gotten off on the right foot, but America’s unique personality and wit made him want to keep her around.

If you’ve read this trilogy, then you should know we hated Aspen from the start. America deserved so much better than him! Seriously, why did he keep showing up? 

The political part of the book had us intrigued because Cass wrote about what would happen in North America in the future. Illea consisted of all North American after the fourth world war. The political system designed to keep portions of the country oppressed gave us The Hunger Game vibes. 

Overall, we loved this story the first time around and wanted The Elite right away. 

Now

We forgot so much of the smaller details and characters since the first time reading this series. We are so glad that we had a refresh, especially if the movie drops in 2021. 

The best reminder was the friendships America made. We loved Marlee and encouraged the fact that even though they were competing for Maxon, they pushed that aside and promised to be in each other’s lives. 

And Maxon…he’s so swoon-worthy even from the beginning. America and Maxon had so much chemistry, even when they bickered. We even included him in our The Top 10 Best YA Book Boyfriends list from last year. We don’t want to spoil too much, but just know that the two have a lot more in common than they thought, especially since they grew up so differently. 

The politics of the book reminded us why this was such a great dystopian series. Cass’s world-building was excellent and she had a knack for explaining the complicated world history. We especially love the map of Illea so we could see where every selection participant came from.

Map of Illea | The selection book, Selection series, The selection

We loved how America never thought she could make a difference, but started to gain more confidence in her ability to make changes in Illea. Rereading The Selection had us wanting to pick up The Elite and The One so we could complete America and Maxon’s story. 

Final Verdict

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars then and now. This series is perfect for those who want action, a dystopian society and swoon-worthy romance. 

Have you read this series? Let us know in the comments. 

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

25 thoughts on “Then and Now: The Selection by Kiera Cass

  1. Such a great review to feature your old and new thoughts! Loved reading the review~ Also, how did I not know about the movie! OMG! Soo happy it is on Netflix and not on those other things you can only get when you are in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This series has been so hyped for many years and yet I’ve never picked it up. Not sure why?! I definitely need to grab it sometime soon because it’s totally my kind of book. So fun to see the then and now thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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