Review: The Heir by Keira Cass

the heirThe Heir by Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopian
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 342
Format: E-Book
Series: The Selection (#1), The Elite (#2), The One (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Before we get to the review, we would to point our readers in the direction of Kristina Horner’s video review, because in 14 minutes it will perfectly summarise a lot of how we feel about The Heir. 

On reflection The Selection was a fun series, with an intriguing cast of characters that you only really appreciate the quality of once you have subjected yourself to this spin-off sequel.

Continue reading “Review: The Heir by Keira Cass”

T5W: Most Frustrating Characters

This week, we discuss the characters that make us want to jump inside books and shake their shoulders! There are quite a few (unfortunately) so let’s get to it!


1. Tris Prior

Tris, overall, is an excellent character. She’s strong, she’s determined and she’s practically capable of anything. But, there’s one thing she’s not capable of: communication! Actually talking things out with Tobias is her downfall. They’re so willing to sacrifice themselves for each other, which is endearing, but frustrating when they won’t tell each other what’s going on!

2. Prince Kai

It seemed like the lovely prince was the only one out of the loop in The Lunar Chronicles. Scarlet knew about Cinder. Cress knew about Cinder, Levana knew about Cinder…everyone on Earth and the moon knew her identity. Having to read Kai’s chapters in the books was frustrating because I just wanted to dive into the council room and catch him up on all the action. Thank goodness he’s part of the team at the end of ‘Cress’, otherwise I don’t know how I would have coped.

3. Sydney Sage

Don’t get me wrong I love Sydney! She’s intelligent and sticks to her morals no matter what other people tell her. She’s also really good at evaluating right from wrong, but how she handles the Adrian situation had me ripping my hair out! I know you come from a background that pretty much hates vampires, but you shouldn’t care about that if you love one! Sometimes she just needed to listen to her heart instead of her head.

the selectionThe Darkest Minds23264825
4. America Singer

Girl’s got two really sweet guys wanting to be her boyfriend/husband/prince. She spends most of the books in regretful turmoil over each, and struggles to come to a conclusion until the final book. America needed to accept her fate much sooner, and to stop comparing herself to the other contestants for Maxon’s heart! He was looking at her all along!

5. Wells Jaha/ Ruby / Juliette

All three of these characters are classified as juvenile delinquents. All three of these characters share the same weakness: they’ll classify themselves as monsters. Whether it’s because they’re keeping a secret or hiding their powers, Wells from ‘The 100’, Ruby from ‘The Darkest Minds’ and Juliette from ‘Shatter Me’ all have what I like to call ‘The Monster Complex’. If they only realised the potential they held, I would be much less frustrated with them. Embrace the power, guys. Please.

Cover Comparisons: Girls in Dresses

As part of the gendered covers debate, I thought for this ‘Cover Comparison’, I’d discuss some covers filled with girls in dresses, a classic trope used to obviously market books to a female audience.

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The first collection of books are ‘The Selection’ series by Keira Cass. These stand out, as America’s dress is the central feature of the cover. It makes sense, and links to the almost-beauty-contest concept of the novel. The covers are accurate and appropriate. These books are very ‘girly’, focused on romance and making a good impression because of appearance. Only in the final book are the social injustice themes prominent. Looking at these covers, you wouldn’t be expecting anything more than a cutesy light read.

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The ‘Precious Gems’ series by Kerstin Gier does the same thing as ‘The Selection’ series. The appearance of Gwen, in fancy ball gowns, is quintessential to her time-travelling adventures – she needs to fit in with the societies she’s investigating. At least there’s a slightly dystopian looking background of curled clocks and cities.

the winner's crimethe winner's crime

So, what about ‘The Winner’s Trilogy’ by Marie Rutkoski? Like with ‘The Selection’ the focal point of the covers are Kestrel’s dresses…she just happens to be holding a sword. I think covers like this do the content an injustice. Boys are going to be less likely to pick up this book because of the cover, when in actuality, the books are filled with war, conflict and social struggle, set in a high fantasy world resembling the 18th Century. Why wouldn’t boys be interested in that?


The His Fair Assassin trilogy is a real contrast to the previous examples. With the stormy backgrounds, dark colour palette and the weapons. It’s important to notice that their dressed are not made of satin and silk, but much heavier materials like velvet – these girls are obviously not afraid of getting their hands dirty, and I wouldn’t mess with them because they look extremely comfortable holding those weapons. These covers are excellently well designed and I think actually do the story justice. You can see the tense emotions, and even the titles are enticing. These covers tell you that you are in now way about to experience a fluffy read.

throne of glass throne of glass back

The ‘Throne of Glass Series’ by Sarah J Maas is taking book covers in the right direction. Sure, Celaena is on the front of every cover, but she’s not in a ball gown. She’s wearing combat weaponry, cloaks and armour. I love that when you look at the back cover, only then do you seen a girl in a dress, because Celaena is a warrior first and a lady second.

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

The One by Kiera Cass20572939
Romance, Dystopian
Published by: Harper Teen
Pages: 323
Format: ebook
Rating: ★★★★.5
Series: The Selection (#1) | The Elite (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I was unbelievably excited to start reading The One, I had such high expectations for the final book in the series, and I was not disappointed! We all knew the ending, I mean the title of The Heir will pretty much tell you all you need to know, but I still anticipated every moment. Even though I knew the resolution: America had to be the One, I was still on the edge of my seat in every rebel attack, and whenever Aspen was in the room.

Continue reading “Review: The One by Kiera Cass”

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

13564634The Selection by Kiera Cass
Genre: Romance, Dystopian
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Series: The Elite (#2) | The One (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve heard a lot of people say that the main character, America, is annoying, therefore I went into The Selection with extremely low expectations and ended up really loving it. The Selection is basically a mix between The Hunger Games and the TV show, Take Me Out. Instead of fighting for your life, you’re fighting to become the next potential Queen, boyfriend is included, but dresses each sold separately.

Maxon was not what I was expecting at all, for a guy in a love triangle containing 35 people. Of course, he’s also in a love triangle with America and her ex-boyfriend Aspen, but that’ll probably be a bigger theme in the next book. Maxon is kind and gentle and has the makings of a great king, which means he isn’t exactly a fan of having to pick a girlfriend from 35 girls, as it means he has to break 34 hearts – although some of them could probably do with a knock to their ego. I’m not the biggest fan of the concept, because the love matches were basically selected because of their beauty over anything else, and America can be quick to judge with her backhanded compliments to some of the other girls, but overlooking that, it was a fun read!

America wasn’t as annoying as people said she was, but perhaps those comments relate to the next book. I actually thought she was quite a strong character in places, she really seemed in control of what was happening to her, even if she don’t enjoy it in the beginning. I didn’t really get into the story until America did, the beginning section where the majority of the narrative is world building was, although interesting, a little dull. The action really started when we got to the Palace and were introduced to the other girls.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t feel any remorse for any of the girls that left the selection, because I didn’t know them! Sometimes there would be an announcement that three girls has left and I’d never seen their names before! The only one that really had an impact was the first girl to leave, because it was quite the surprise. It’ll only get harder in The Elite, I assume, as we’ll actually know the girls who are leaving next time.

The development of the romance was nice, not too fast not too slow, but I didn’t like the idea of Maxon dating about fifteen girls in one go. There were mildly suspenseful sections, like the attacks from the Rebels, who we still haven’t seen yet. Their threat seemed a bit exaggerated, but I’m sure when we meet them later on in the series – which I presume we do – it’ll seem a lot more intense. I was intrigued by the Queen and her family, and would like to know more about her selection process, I think there is a novella from her PoV and I would definitely be interested in reeading it!

As for my favourite character, it was probably Maxon, and then America, and then the maids, because they were so adorable, and precious. The ‘surprise’ about Aspen was something I had guessed would happen as soon as the drafting was mentioned in the world building, but somehow the predictability of this book make it even more enjoyable. America was friendly to everyone, but her naivety about Aspen will definitely grind on my bones later on in the series, I can tell. For some reason, Aspen’s reintroduction has given America an element of choice, even though she likes Maxon and Aspen was a total douche canoe, oh my goodness, why.    Rant over. Other than that, I really enjoyed The Selection. Good world building, good characters, unfeasible but still okay concept and a gorgeous cover. Perfect.

I’m still not entirely sure how Kiera Cass has managed to make it so that one process splits up into three books, and I’ve only heard the worst of things about The Elite, the second book in the series. What confuses me even more is the fact that the title gives away the plot of the whole book! Well…basically. The concept of the ‘elite’ is introduced quite early on, when America explains how the process works, and it means the stage in the competition where there are only ten girls left. The One is obviously about the winner, and why the heck would an author write from the perspective of one of the girls that gets knocked out in the first round? Kiera Cass obviously doesn’t do this, so if we put two and two together we somehow end up with America as the one. Well, that’s my satisfaction with the series all wrapped up! I’m not sure if I’m going to bother with The Elite or The One, as I’m 99% sure my predictions are correct, and if The Heir is anything to go by, then just call me the Oracle of Endings. Maybe I’ll pick the series back up with The Heir, or at least wait for The Elite to be super cheap on Kindle. Four stars to The Selection, even though it was pretty predictable.