YMMV / The Selection

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Eadlyn in the end of The Heir. Did she finally agree to take the Selection seriously and seriously consider a husband because she realized the value of love and companionship, or is she really looking for someone to leech onto after Arhen eloped?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Both Maxon and Marlee have gone through a rather traumatic and humiliating experience An abusive father in Maxonís case who regularly whips his son. And a public caning for Marlee. But neither seem very bothered by the experience. In the third book Maxon doesnít seem that broken up over the fact that his parents (or at least his mother) just died.
  • Ass Pull: Aspen falling for Lucy in the One. In the Elite itís heavily implied that Lucy develops feeling for him. However, from Aspenís end, it comes out of nowhere. He spends the majority of the three books and his novella the Guard pining for America. While towards the latter half of the One we are given a bout of Ship Tease for him and Lucy having him tell America that he doesnít love her anymore at the end is still a sudden shift from the way the Elite and the Guard ends. It ends up as being a forced and clunky way of settling the love triangle.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Eadlyn is a pretty controversial lead. Some disliked her selfish attitude and felt her novels were Sequelitis. Others liked that she had a different personality from previous lead America and that the story was about her Character Development from selfish to selfless.
    • Aspen to some extent. While some love him, otherís find him whinny, a jerk to America, or simply not Maxon.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Towards the end of the second book America discovers in Illeaís diary that he forced his daughter to marry a foreign prince in order to make himself royal, thus king of his own country. The problem is the reader already knew this. Illeaís princesses marry foreign royals to secure alliances. The girlís even have a history lesson discussing this. However, itís revealed that Illeaís daughter didnít have a choice in the matterÖ Which still isnít all that surprising given the aforementioned detail about Illeaís princesses. America even describes them as being Ďsold offí within the first few pages of the first book. The reader really doesnít learn anything new.
    • Kile claims he didnít apply for the Selection. Was anyone honestly surprised when it turns out Josie filled it out behind his back?
  • Idiot Ball: America, more often than not. Revealing existence Gregory Illea's diaries to her father, and national TV (and it was only pure frigging luck the former works out). Wearing the button of Aspen's guard uniform as a bracelet. Still seeing Aspen after seeing what happened to Marlee and Carter. See's Maxon with Celeste, throws a fit and decides she's leaving the Selection with a bang, revealing the aforementioned diaries. Especially when she, herself, sneaks around with Aspen.
    • Eadlyn, the future queen, needs Arhen to spell it out to her that she can negotiate the terms of her Selection with Maxon.
  • Sequelitis: The Heir and The Crown. While readers did enjoy it, some wondered why Eadlynís story had to be told when The One wrapped things up pretty well. It doesnít help that Eadlyn was such a Base-Breaking Character.
    • Arguably the original trilogy too. It wasn't unheard of to hear the belief that the story could have been told in one book. Maybe two, but it didnít need to be three. The Elite was seen as the weakest of the three, with many readers none too happy with America blatantly waffling back and forth between Maxon and Aspen.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Aspen and Lucy had very little build up. Lucy was heavily hinted to be attracted to him, but Aspen spends most of that time pining for America and is inexplicably in love with her a little more than halfway through The One. This is especially jarring since Aspen spent most of the first three books all but begging America to take him back.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic
    • Many readerís found it all too easy to feel for Jose Woodwork. Her biggest crime is being fifteen. An as Kile spells out to Eadlyn, sheís grown up under her shadow. Eadlyn ends up being needlessly cruel and rude, calling her a commoner, and putting her down for having a crush on Ahren and other celebrities.
    • While no doubt a jerk, if Celesteís treatment of America for being a Five is a common occurrence, then itís little wonder Kota ended up being how he is.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • America does not seem to understand that just because she was content as a Five doesnít mean others are. Early in the first book, she asks why her mother isnít happy or content with her life. However, it becomes pretty obvious why when America recounts a time when the Singers had to sacrifice lighting and heat in order to feed the family and went without presents one Christmas. And if Celesteís attitude towards Fives is not uncommon, then itís really not that hard to understand why Magda (and even Kota) would want something better if the opportunity came. America ends up coming across as less of a girl who wants the simple things in life and more of a petulant brat who cares for little outside of her own love life.
    • Itís hard to feel bad for America when Maxon starts seeing Kris, when Americaís shown to be unable to keep secrets and refuses to talk things over with Maxon when things happen between them. Itís hard to feel bad when Maxon is fooling around with Celeste when America herself is seeing Aspen behind Maxonís back. And itís hard to believe her assertion that she would be a better queen then Celeste when she puts off her philanthropy project, when everyone around her is saying it should be easy for her.
    • Eadlyn, Eadlyn, Eadlyn...
    • Aspen can be forgiven for not wanting to make America a Six, a servant who's generally worse off than Fives, and breaking up with her because of it. But what brought this about? America made him dinner and hurt is oh-so-precious pride. And then we learn he was waiting to be drafted, which makes him a Two and in about four years could have married America, then any reason Aspen has for breaking up with her in the first place is kind of lost.
    • Aspenís assertion that ď(Heís) a SixĒ falls short when he has absolutely no problem reaping the benefits of a Two.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • With how often rebels from either side get into the palace and how no steps are taken to amp up security, itís a wonder it took three books for that final bloodbath to happen. Aspenís novella, The Guard does little to help the matter at all saying that if you act like you know what you're doing, otherís will listen despite being new, indicating that they have little discipline. The Queen may indicate that shutters might have been installed since Amberlyís time in the Selection, but itís never made clear. And the narration makes it pretty clear that thing only worked out as well as it did at the end of The One was because of the Northern Rebels working with the Italian royals.
    • Maxon specifically asked America to keep the existence of Illeaís diary, and by extension the room they got it from, secret. She fails. Twice. Once with her dad with pretty flimsy justification and the second time on national TV. And she still has the gall to be surprised when Clarkson is furious at Maxon for it.
    • Eadlyn and Maxon apparently learn the goings on in Illea through newspapers.
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