The Selection Stories

I’ve been super busy with school, auditions and the dreaded upcoming end of year exams and I’ve neglected my poor little blog!

It’s time for a book review!!!

I’m taking a break from “revision” (aka belting out show tunes)

I bring you my review of The Selection Stories (The Prince and the Guard) by Kiera Cass!

The Prince and The Guard are two novellas in the perspective of the two main love interests Maxon and Aspen (BOO.) The Prince is set near the beginning of the selection and in the novella, Maxon meets the selected girls for the first time. The Guard is set around the time of an emotional event in The Elite (that I don’t want to spoil)

If you haven’t read The Selection, I thoroughly recommend that you do so! It’s probably best if you avoid reading my review if you don’t want to be spoiled! This review will contain spoilers for The Selection, The Elite, The Prince and The Guard… you have been warned! ;)

18172471Two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Timesbestselling Selection series are now available in print for the first time. The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer’s love. This collection also features exclusive bonus content, including a sneak peek at The One, the eagerly anticipated third novel in the Selection series.

Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition.

Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen’s life within the palace walls—and the truth about a guard’s world that America will never know.

So here it goes: 

As a big fan of The Selection and The Elite (Check out my thoughts on The Selection and The Elite) and a devoted member of the Prince Maxon fanclub, I had high hopes for this book.

It did not disappoint!

The Prince

Admittedly, The Prince wasn’t a very compelling novella, but this is understandable as we already know the outcome of the events (as it is set around events from The Selection) and because it focuses on giving background information and a different perspective on scenes rather than fast paced, action packed adventures. But the Prince was written in the perspective of the gorgeous, charming and kind Prince Maxon (want to guess what side of the “love triangle” I’m on?) so what’s not to love?!

I loved learning about Daphne and Maxon!

One thing that was great about The Prince is that it allows the reader to see behind the usually carefully composed and idealistic Prince that Maxon appears to be and the reader can discover his fears about the selection and the pressure his father enforces on him.

Can we just talk about the King for a minute. I HATE HIM! It’s bad enough that he puts so much pressure on his son and doesn’t have faith in him, but the fact that he beats him just makes me burn up with rage. He is probably second on my list of most hated fictional characters just under someone from Divergent (I don’t want to spoil the books so click here if you’ve read them to discover who I’m talking about.) It’s just horrible!

Okay! Rant over!

It’s so amusing to see Maxon and America interact from Maxon’s perspective. I’m a big America and Maxon shipper (do they have a ship name?) despite the fact that I’m so annoyed with America for going off with Aspen. Reading these scenes again, but from a new perspective, is probably the closest I’m going to get to the feeling I felt when reading The Selection for the first time.

“But what I liked the best was that, while the room giggled at her request, she didn’t duck her head or blush or think to ask for something else. She wanted what she wanted.
There was something charming about that.” 

I think they are such a perfect couple and would definitely make my list of my top 5 ships!

  1. Johnlock (John and Sherlock)
  2. Nuna (Neville and Luna)
  3. Romione (Ron and Hermione)
  4. Maxon and America
  5. Monica and Chandler

I’m really worried about the future of Maxon and America though! Maxon has to find out about Aspen in the one and wouldn’t it be terrible if he was so close to proposing to America and then found out and made a rash decision in his hurt/anger to marry one of the other Elite *shudders*.

 

The Guard

I’m not ashamed to say, I hate Aspen Leger! He messed with my ship! I was ambivalent about reading the Guard because I was afraid that I would be distracted by my dislike of Aspen and wouldn’t be able to get into the story. I don’t know how Kiera Cass did it, but I really liked Aspen in this novella! In fact, The Guard helped me see a different side to Aspen !

So the first chapter is set in that horrible scene from The Elite with Marlee and Carter. The fact that I was able to see this terrible moment through Aspen’s eyes helped me to be more accepting of Aspen as a narrator as I realised that being with America doesn’t make him worthy of my hate (though I still dislike him) and it helped me to soften to him as a character.

The Guard helped me to see the other side of the “triangle” and it helped me to understand that he does work well with America. I surprisingly found Aspen’s novella a lot more interesting than Maxon’s novella as it featured a lot of new information about the story and it focussed on much more compelling events (such as the rebel attack.)

“We know you’re strong, but accepting help is its own kind of strength.” 

However, if Aspen dares to ruin America’s chances in The One, he will be back on my list!

 

 

OVERALL:

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3.5 stars for the cover. Whilst the cover is lovely, I wish it could focus on Aspen and Maxon more than America as it makes it seem like they are trying to focus the book on the love triangle. If the book had to have America on it, I’d prefer it if the book had a cover similar to the others with the beautiful dresses.

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4.5 stars for the content. The Selection Stories was a great read, but comparing it to other novella collections (for example The Assassins Blade) it has a long way to go

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4.25 stars for the protagonists. Whilst Kiera Cass managed to make Maxon charming as ever and Aspen a lot more tolerable, they still weren’t perfect!

 

So that was my review! Are you looking forward to reading The One?

 

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