Note: This review is part of the 2016 Summer Reading Diversity Spotlight.
The Favorite by Kiera Cass
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia, Romance
Add it to Goodreads
While America Singer’s heart was torn between Aspen and Prince Maxon, her friend Marlee knew exactly what she wanted—and paid the price.
Revisit the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series in this digital original novella. Told from Marlee’s point of view, this all-new 64-page story returns to the fateful Halloween when Marlee and Carter were discovered, and reveals how that night—and Prince Maxon—changed their lives forever.
Kiera Cass is a diverse author who delivers all of the romance feels in her Selection series which I adore. And while the story itself isn’t necessarily diverse, the author is biracial and this diversity spotlight is putting the spotlight on not just diverse books but diverse authors as well. So here we go, with my latest read from this diverse author!
In this novella, we follow Marlee, a very memorable character from the first two books in the series. A favorite. The people’s favorite. Hence, the title of the novella. This story explores what it means being the people’s favorite but knowing that your favorite, your one true love doesn’t align with their choice. It explores what happens when love and loyalty don’t necessarily align and I enjoyed every minute of it.
“She said, ‘True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.'”
We’ve seen forbidden romance before but in this trope and all that comes with it, Cass captures beautifully here a genuine romance that I, a non-romantic can truly root for. So if you were rooting for Marlee and Carter before, you will thoroughly enjoy this novella.
How far are you willing to go to fight for love? This story shows us the humiliation Marlee must endure and sacrifices Marlee must make, the power dynamics in the castle that she must navigate, to survive and to love as freely as her circumstance allows until she can truly love boundlessly.
Speaking of power dynamics, this story is an uplifting portrayal of friendship and empathy, as we see what Prince Maxon is willing to do for other people, even if it means he himself may not live in the truth that these two can. (If you’ve read the trilogy, we know that Maxon eventually does make it with his one true love but at this point in time, his fate with America is still a question).
In seeing certain moments that we’ve seen before from Marlee’s point of view as well as fresh scenes from her POV, it was exciting to see Marlee’s world through her lens which, yes, include a bit of her thoughts on the other girls (*cough* Celeste *cough*).
I do wish this novella had been a little longer and given us just a bit more depth from frankly, every aspect but overall, it’s just what I wanted which is a dip back into this world. Is it necessary? After reading, I can’t say that it is. I don’t know if this would have been satisfactory filler had I read it between books two and three. It’s surface exploration, really, especially considering that Marlee could have her own spinoff trilogy. But having been out of this world for awhile now, it was fun to jump back in for an hour. So if you love The Selection trilogy and are just looking for a way to dive back into this world without reading the entire trilogy again, consider the novellas.
The Favorite by Kiera Cass is available today.