March 3, 2014

The Selection Stories: The Prince & the Guard by Kiera Cass (Mini-Review)

Title: The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard by Kiera Cass
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: February 4, 2014
Genre: Romance, Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling 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.

The rating I gave this might suggest that it's not all that great. Which is partially true, and partially not. I have so many mixed feelings about these two novellas that I'm struggling to put them into words.

So here's the deal - the main elements I love about Kiera Cass' writing were there, as they always are:
  • The writing style. Cass excels at first person POV. I don't know what it is. The writing isn't fancy. In fact, it's so casual that it has this natural flow to it. I don't have to focus too much. I can simply read with ease.
  • The love triangle. I hate love triangles, mainly because they're been way overused in YA lit. But I don't hate this one. If I had to pick a handful of books in which I didn't mind the love triangles, this series would be in that group. It isn't your typical scenario - one bad boy, one sweet, loving boy and one girl who doesn't know which she likes better. It's a sweet prince who doesn't even know what he wants vs. boy back home who she's loved her whole life. (While we're still talking about this, I can't decide if I like Maxon or Aspen better. I love them both for different reasons. So I'm pretty much stuck as far as they're concerned.)
But there was one huge thing that I couldn't look past, and that is:
  • I was reading the same thing I had already read. It was from a different perspective, sure, but I could have guessed how Maxon and Aspen were feeling during those scenes. And I was expecting a different side of things, maybe an entirely new scene we hadn't read before. But it was the same as the scenes from The Selection and The Elite, only from a different POV. I know some novellas are advertised like that, but for some reason I got the impression that I was getting something different. We weren't even presented with any new information. That's why I took off half of the five stars. Because even though the characters were enough to keep me interested, I wanted something fresh.

I would probably still recommend reading this, especially if you've read both The Selection and The Elite. The characters will be enough to keep you reading. But if you'd rather have new scenes than the same ones you've already read, you might get bored.


  1. Oh - I just bought this recently and I didn't realize that it was the same story from their POV's either. Guess I'm glad I know now before I read it! Thanks for the warning!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. Eh, that doesn't sound riveting. That's a shame. It's weird how these little prequels are so hot right now....done in the alternate POV (like Four's books, I guess, for the Divergent trilogy). I like it...but I'd want it to bring something new into the book. Maybe even new scenes? The repetition might get to me.