The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
Alright, I promised I’d put up my review on the last book and I swear that I will, but before I get there, lemme just give you a little bit of history on this series in my life. But before that…. *SPOILERS!!!* There will be spoilers in this series so if you haven’t read it (and shame on you if that is true! ), do not read any further. With that being said, on with the show.
I have loved this series since I first picked up The Selection back in 2012. I was entranced with this Cinderella meets The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor story. I loved The Hunger Games and The Bachelor was always a guilty pleasure of mine, plus it’s all set in the future with fancy dresses and expensive jewelry. I’m not gonna lie, I cheered for Maxon from the start. I’m currently rereading the book now and will reread the whole series. I’ll take my time this go around and treasure every second.
The Selection and The Elite and The One all came out while I was married. In the beginning of my marriage I’d deluded myself into thinking many things about my life. Without giving away specifics, let’s just say that I made myself believe that how I received love was not important. I’m referring to Chapman’s Five Love Languages book. I made myself think that what I wanted out of marriage was ridiculous, and that my happiness was not important. Well, that’s what I was made to feel anyway, and after you tell yourself a lie or someone trains you well enough to think that way, it just becomes the reality.
At first, I enjoyed this beautiful love story between America and Maxon, and seeing the hardship it was for her to leave Aspen behind. The glamour of the beautiful dresses, and the prospect of becoming queen…I mean it’s something that most every girl dreams of. Truly, I lost myself in this series. I waited anxiously anticipated each book, but it was by the time The One came out that my marriage had become so effected by everything that it made the book hard to enjoy. By then, my now-ex-husband was living in a different state attending school and pursuing his dream, while I was living in Kentucky working a full-time job anxiously awaiting for my turn.
You see, when we had first gotten married, I had to change my career goals because we’d anticipated to move out to California so that he could attend grad school. That never happened, so I changed my degree for no reason, but by then I’d already graduated with my undergrad and he’d gotten a job in Texas almost a year into our marriage so we were off to live 14 hours away from our families. I found a good paying job with benefits while living in Texas and honestly that’s probably the only good that came from my marriage, because I’ve been able to transfer within the company for the past four years. When we moved back to Kentucky not after a year in Texas, he wanted to go off to Minnesota to get another degree for his dream job and I didn’t say no. I mean, the guy had no idea what a compromise was and I’d not said no to him once during our then 2 years of marriage. I know, a lot of this is my fault too.
I’d told him I wanted to go back to school when he came back. I wanted to be an English Teacher and to write more. He’d agreed…at least I think he did. Well, after he came back that turned into me going to school full-time to me going to school part-time and working full time, to me working part time and going to school part time, to me working full time and not going back to school.
Now there were many other contingencies that caused our marriage to at last fall apart, and I can’t go into it all right now, but this is to give you some idea as to why I sped through reading The One and hated it almost the whole way through. I hated the mess I’d found myself in and realizing that I never should have married him. I mean, America and Maxon were finally happy after everything they went through and they’d seen each other’s true colors before they said “I do,” and not after.
Fast forward to May of 2015. I was in the throws of separation and had only a few more months until the divorce was final. At first, when The Heir came out, I wasn’t even going to bother reading the book. I didn’t really understand that the book was about the child of America and Maxon, Eadlyn. So, it was a few weeks before I bought the book and I read it in one night just as I had done its predecessors. It was just as well written and as beautiful as the books that came before it and I instantly compared myself to Eadlyn. I’d done quite a bit of growing since that previous December when everything officially fell apart. I’d made myself stronger, sought after the things that I wanted to, and surrounded myself with people I could trust. I began to realize that I could only rely on myself and that was it. No one was ever going to get that close to me ever again. There’s no way I would willingly open myself up to romance and heartache ever again.
Then The Crown came out. A whole year had gone and I’d done some more changing. I was in final weeks of Beauty and the Beast rehearsal and was going to soon make the transition of going to a Family Ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to a Singles Ward. I figured it was time to at least meet people who shared my beliefs, and leave the rest to Heavenly Father. I felt like I was ready to enter into a world of socialization again ( and believe me I couldn’t have been MORE wrong! ).
I literally cried through The Crown. Seeing Eadlyn struggle with the realization she’d built up all of these walls around herself and that she’d made herself to believe that no one was as powerful or as strong as she was and that she didn’t need anyone else, was like looking into a mirror. How long had I gone with this protective barrier around my heart and my emotions? Well, it started during my marriage so it’s been at least two to three years.
I watched as Eadlyn make changes to herself, not because she needed to do it for another person, but because it made her a better person. To care about others, isn’t such a bad thing. But to be strong wasn’t a bad thing either. She could “be queen and still like flowers.” How long had I been waiting for that understanding to dawn on me! And then she finally got to have the man of her dreams and everyone lived happily ever and there’s so much more than this that happens in the story so go read the book!!
By the time I closed the book, I realized it was time for that transition in my life to start caring about others again. To realize that I could still be independent and love the things that I love and still love others and that my feelings and emotions are good things. I have feelings. I have opinions. And that’s good! They matter just as much as the opinions and feelings of others.
I could write another thirteen hundred words about how much this book series means to me, and if you’ve made it this far, then I thank you! The Selection Series followed my life and has a very special place on my bookshelf. I thank Kiera Cass for writing it and for the characters that took up space in her head for a few years. I’ve not found my Erik yet, but I know that I will, and that I’m still in that transition phase and you know what? That’s okay!