Last summer I fell in love with The Selection by Kiera Cass and could not get enough. I devoured the series in one weekend and could not wait to get my hands on more. However I’m usually not a big fan of novellas unless they are done well AND the Happily Ever After novellas are. I liked each of them as it gives insight into America, Prince Maxon, and the other side characters. In this companion, all four novellas are included along with some bonus scenes from all three books and a Where are they now? feature for a couple of the girls that participated in the Selection with America.Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, , , ,
Published by HarperTEEN on 2015-10-15
Length: 416 pages
Reviewing eBook from TN R.E.A.D.S.
Meet Prince Maxon before he fell in love with America, and a girl named Amberly before she became queen. See the Selection through the eyes of a guard who watched his first love drift away and a girl who fell for a boy who wasn't the prince. This gorgeous collection features four novellas from the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, as well as exclusive, never-before-seen bonus content.
This series companion is a must-have for any Selection fan, and includes:
- The Prince
- The Guard
- The Queen
- The Favorite
Exclusive new scenes from The Selection, The Elite, and The One
Introductions to each novella from Kiera Cass
A map of Illéa and other illustrations
In The Queen, the author gives us unique insight into Maxon’s parents, namely Amberly and her Selection. Amberly comes from a poor caste and country when she is chosen for the Selection. She’s fantasized about King Clarkson since she was a little girl and finds her dreams coming true as she finally gets a chance to meet and know him.
This novella is probably my favorite of all of them. Queen Amberly was one of my favorite characters and to see her as a young girl of 17, dealing with her headaches, learning the ropes of palace life, and falling madly in love with the King Clarkson was perfect. I liked the dynamic between her and Clarkson, we see why he chose her and why she loves him and is able to forgive him of his many shortcomings.
Prince Maxon was never my favorite character. He was immature, naive, and I felt like he couldn’t make a decision when it came to the girls. BUT I really liked his novella. I feel like it gives such insight into the prince and how he comes to be the guy we know in the series. The novella starts about a week before the Selection and goes through his first date with America which I loved finding out his feelings during those scenes.
Maxon is more than a little nervous about the Selection. He’s never looked at girls because he knows that this is a requirement for him. Why fall in love with someone you can’t have? That’s his mentality. Going into the Selection, Maxon is excited and sick at his stomach at the thought of 34 girls coming to the palace for him. He doesn’t have a clue what to expect and his father is no help. When he thinks the Selection is rigged by his father, he’s more than a little heartsick. It isn’t fate bringing him together with his future wife but his father’s controlling hand. Then the girl from a lower caste, a “throw-away” brings a little life to him and throws him for a loop. As I said, I loved these scenes in the book so I enjoyed getting the prince’s perspective.
I never really cared for Aspen (Something I’ve realized writing this review, America’s two love interests, I didn’t love either of them). It’s not that I didn’t like Aspen because I did. What I didn’t like about him was his obsession with America. I felt like he threw her away, forced her to enter the Selection and then once she is a front-runner wants her back. This novella explains his actions a bit better than America’s POV does and I wind up liking him better because of it. Even if the ending broke my heart a little.
The novella spans the time after Marlee when America is questioning her true feelings for Maxon. What I felt this novella did was show the difference between first love and true love. There is a big difference and sometimes people are lucky to experience both with the same person. In this series that isn’t the case and the novella shows the love Aspen has for America, the sweetness of first love but not true love. He was blind to her real feelings and kept trying to pursue her and rekindle what they had.
Marlee was my favorite character of the series. She was spunky, bright, true to herself, and America’s best friend/confidante. I was more than a little curious to read her story and see what developed between her and the guard Woodwork that led to their caning. I felt that Kiera Cass did an amazing job of portraying Marlee.
The novella begins the night before the caning and continues to after the end of The One. Marlee is alone in her cell with nothing but memories. It was so sweet to experience Woodwork and Marlee’s romance through her memories and heart-wrenching to read the caning through her eyes. Overall this novella made the entire book worthwhile.