Author: Kiera Cass
Released: 8 October 2015
Series: The Selection #0.4, #05, #2.5, #2.6, #3..1
America's story wasn't' the only one with a happy ending...
Before Amberly came to the palace... She was a four in love with a one.
Before Maxon met the girl of his dreams.. He was the boy of someone else's.
Before Aspen opened his heart to someone new... He was determines to fight for his first love.
And before Marlee could fall for a prince.. She was swept off her her feet by a guard.
The Queen [0.4]
This novella follows Amberly during Prince Clarkson's selection. She is one of the two only remaining Four's in the competition and can't possibly see how she'll be selected when there are ample Three's and Two's remaining. What makes it harder to Amberly is that she had been in love with the Prince since she was seven years old. After some pleasant encounters with the Prince, she believes she's in with a running chance, only to have it all ruined by the news that she may be unable to have children as a result of the toxic pollution from her home town. What's worse is that Clarkson is with her when she finds out!
I really enjoyed this first story. It did take me a bit of getting into because I hadn't read The Selection for a few months, so needed a bit of a refresher. But soon, everything came flooding back and I immersed myself into Illea.
Since I've only read The Selection at this point, it was great to see someone else's selection. Even though we don't really get a look at the entire Selection and all the other girls, it was still great to see how the even plays out with the current King and Queen. I love reading about the back stories of characters, and The Queen did not disappoint.
The Prince [0.5]
This novella shows The Selection from Maxon's perspective, from a week before the names are drawn, up until the night of his date with America. Here, we get to see more of his relationship with his parents and how he feels about America when they meet. It also show's his friendship with the Princess of France, Daphne, and her confession that she is in love with him.
I LOVE MAXON! I really enjoyed this novella, and seeing his perspective of the The Selection, and his thoughts on the girls, and how he views America especially. It's interesting to see from Maxon his relationship with his parents, and you really feel for him with regard to his treatment by his father.
The Guard [#2.5]
From Maxon's perspective, we now move onto Aspen, and his time in the palace during the Selection, trying to win the affections of America, without being caught. When Marlee and Carter are caught, he realises just how dangerous getting caught can be, and yet he still wants America. However, there is someone else in the palace with their eyes on Aspen.
I wasn't really a fan of Aspen until The One, but this novella was really great. It's great to see how Aspen dealt with life in the palace and his feelings for America, all the while hearing the Kings' secrets. It was also great to see Aspen and Lucy starting out - they are such a cute couple!
The Favourite [#2.6 (although since parts of it take place during The One, I feel like it's #3.05]
Marlee knew she wasn't in love with Maxon, but didn't want to leave the palace just yet when she fell for guard Carter Woodwork. But pursuing the relationship is treason and when they are caught by cameras at the Halloween party, both face death. Maxon, who isn't offended by the events and is happy to see Marlee in love, manages to lessen their sentence and get them jobs in the palace. But how did there relationship start out, and what happens to them when Maxon becomes King?
MARLEE IS THE BESTIE EVERYONE NEEDS! Marlee and America's friendship is goals and I literally cried during the caning scene, but I was so happy when it was revealed that she was okay and living at the palace. It was great to see the caning through Marlee's eyes, and get flashbacks to how her relationship with Carter evolved. I also loved the events that took place after Maxon becoming King - it was such a fun novella, even though it began really dark.
Scenes From Celeste
These bonus scenes show three points in Celeste's time during the Selection - her arrival from Carolina with Marlee, America and Heather; her kiss with Maxon and the aftermath after he left to see America; and when Maxon told her that she was going home. It was great to see her change over the period of Selection, and I definitely grew to love her in the end [why did you do what you did Kiera!?].
This is a short novella from Lucy's perspective during The One when she discovered that Aspen and America used to be in love. It shows their relationship and Lucy's insecurities about being abandoned by the people she loves. I really enjoyed this story, as we don't really see much about Aspen and Lucy's relationship. I think they are such a great couples so I loved see more of their story.
The Epilogue - After The One [#3.1]
This is a short scene taking place on Maxon's birthday, two years after Maxon and America married. It shows Marlee and Carter, now parents to one-year old Kile, and Aspen and Lucy, who have only recently got married. But America has the best news of all and the best birthday present Maxon could ever ask for. I loved this story so much! It was great to see them as established monarchs, and see what some of the characters have been up to.
Where Are They Now?
This is three stories about three of the Elite - Elise, Kriss and Natalie - showing how they have established their lives away from the palace and with the fame of being in the Selection over their heads. In the end, they are all able to find the love they hoped to find as a Princess.
Overall, I really enjoyed all of these stories and they made the series so much more amazing. I definitely recommend that Selection fans read these stories because they are awesome!