The Selection Series in Order of Their Publication

The Selection series is a collection of novels written with young adults in mind. From 13 to 17 years of age are allowed to read the books in the series but 12 year-olds can also read under parental guidance. The dystopian/romance book series is made up of five novels and four novellas as written by Kiera Cass. So far, the books have attracted enough attention to be categorized as successful, especially since they have made it to Hollywood. Warner Brothers announced the purchase of the film rights for the book series on April 22, 2015, and Netflix currently has a film adaptation of The Selection series underway.

The hype about The Selection series has piqued the attention of both young and old readers but if you haven’t been following the series from the beginning, the problem would lie in knowing which book to start with. Like every other book series, there’s an order to follow if you really want to get the best of it. On that note, we arranged The selection series in the right order you need to read to make the most of it. But first, what is the book series all about?

What’s The Selection Series About?

Fans of Delirium, The Wrath & the Dawn, and of course Divergent book series would enjoy this set of enthralling novels. A collection of young adult dystopian/romance novels, The Selection will take you through a world of fairytale romance where the caste system is used to divide people into groups that differentiates them from others. The main character in the novel is a girl named America Singer, a member of the artist caste.

To provide a platform for the prince to choose his life partner, girls are selected from each of the castes to compete for Prince Maxon Schreaves’ heart. The winner will get to marry the prince and be crowned princess in the futuristic world of Illéa. The prince’s parents passed through this process to find each other and now, Maxon has to do the same to keep up the family tradition.

America is chosen alongside other girls to live in the palace for the period they will make the most of to win the prince over but this is against her will. Unlike other girls who would give anything to become the chosen one, America does not want to win, she’s more concerned about the family she left behind and her secret boyfriend Aspen. She apparently doesn’t care that the Selection is the chance of a lifetime that can help her escape a rigid caste system, plus the icing on the cake which means living in a palace as a princess and getting married to prince charming. This sounds like every girl’s dream but not to America whose heart is tied somewhere else. But for how long will she resist the prince’s charm?

Out of the five full-length novels in the series, the first three are told from America’s perspective while the last two are from her daughter’s (Eadlyn) perspective. The novellas are based on the point of view of different characters in the series, including America’s hidden boyfriend Aspen. America’s friend, Marlee also has a novella dedicated to her.

According to Kiera Cass, her inspiration to write The Selection series came from both stories of Cinderella and the Biblical Esther. Her perception of their stories got her thinking if the ending was actually a happy one for the ladies who married a prince and seemingly lived happily ever after. Thus, in her quest to shed more light on what it could be like to marry a prince, The Selection series was born. Young adults between the ages of 13 to 17 are eligible to read the book series. However, people who are older and love to binge on such enchanting love stories can still enjoy the books.

How To Read The Selection Series In Order

If you really want to make the experience perfect while binging on The Selection series, follow this order to read the young adult novels. Reading the books in order makes more sense as the storyline would naturally flow into the next installment.

The Selection (2012)

  • Publication Date: April 24, 2012
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 338 pages

Glittering gowns, expensive jewelry and ultimately living in a palace as the wife of the swoon-worthy Prince Maxon sounds like the perfect fairy-tale happily ever after romance, at least to most of the thirty-five girls who made the Selection. However, to America Singer, it’s a nightmare she detested at first, but not for too long. While The Selection seems like a lifetime opportunity for the other girls, Singer sees it as something that would keep her away from her family and the man in her life. Her love for Aspen is the reason her heart didn’t follow her to the palace but when she meets the prince, her initial dreams suddenly seem mediocre. Will America shelf her love and admiration for Aspen and succumb to the charming prince who promises a great future for her?

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The Prince (Novella) (2013)

  • Publication Date: March 5, 2013
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 59 pages

This 59-page thrilling novella takes you back to the days leading up to the Selection. Told from the point of view of Prince Maxon, the novella sheds light on the period before the thirty-five girls were selected to compete in the palace. There was a girl in Prince Maxon’s life before America Singer and the other ladies came along. Apparently, America is not the only one who has to walk away from a love interest to embrace the current reality. The novella also includes a teaser to The Elite – the second novel in the series.

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The Elite (2013)

  • Publication Date: April 23, 2013
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 337

Exactly one year after dropping the first offering which turned out to be a banger, Kiera Cass followed it up with a sequel, the second full-length novel in the series. In this installment of the Selection series, the glamor and romance are gathering up steam as out of the thirty-five girls who came to the palace to compete for Prince Maxon’s heart, just six are still in the race and the intensity keeps going higher. Meanwhile, America Singer is still caught in her dilemma of deciding what’s best for her – a lifetime of fairytale romance as the next princess of Illéa with the prince by her side, or her original dreams of being with Aspen her first love. She seems to be the only one battling with her emotions as the other ladies know exactly what they want and that is to win the prince’s heart.

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The Guard (Novella) (2014)

  • Publication Date: February 4, 2014
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 76

With a teaser to the third novel in the book series, The Guard throws light on America’s first love before she met Prince Maxin. Aspen Leger, whose point of view the second novella is based on, now works at the palace as a guard while America competes with the rest of the girls in the same palace. The novella begins from the stage when thirty-five ladies have been reduced to a mere six known as The Elite. This means 29 ladies have been eliminated from the race and America is still running, but unlike the initial stage when her heart was tied somewhere else, she’s beginning to envision a life in the palace as her reality. A teaser for the next novel The One is also evident in this piece.

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The One (2014)

  • Publication Date: May 6, 2014
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 338 pages

The Selection series

Just like the title suggests, this is where America would have to choose between her first love and the newly found attraction she has for Prince Maxon. Competing in the Selection has opened her eyes to new things she never imagined in her life. In the futuristic world of Illéa where discrimination abides, America Singer has to fight for her future to turn out the way she imagined it but who will she share that future with, her first love Aspen or Prince Maxon?

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The Queen (Novella) (2014)

  • Publication Date: December 2, 2014
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 66 pages

The selection series in order

Another novella joined the Selection series just a few months after The One. In this piece, the past is visited. Told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly, readers of the Selection series get a glimpse of the events leading up to The Selection, before America and the prince were even born. Apparently, Prince Maxon is not the first in his lineage to have beautiful ladies compete for his heart. This was exactly how his parents met and are now living in their happily ever after world. In the same vein, his daughter would soon join the quest to find her own forever love through The Selection.

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The Heir (2015)

  • Publication Date: May 5, 2015
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 367 pages

Set twenty years after America and more than thirty other ladies competed for Prince Maxon’s heart, it is now the turn of their daughter, Princess Eadlyn, to make the same choice. Growing up, the princess heard lovely stories about how her parents met, a love story she admires so much but doesn’t think she’s cut out for. However, to fulfill her duties as a princess, she must participate in her own Selection and though she started with no hope of finding love, one of the entries in the contest captured her attention in ways she never imagined. A whole new world of possibilities in front of her and the hope of living her own fairy tale romance knocks on her door.

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The Favorite (Novella) (2015)

  • Publication date: October 13, 2015
  • Publisher: HapperTeen
  • Print length: 66 pages

Told from Marlee’s point of view, The Favorite takes readers to the Halloween event when Marlee, America’s friend, and Carter were discovered. That night changed their lives forever and meeting Price Maxon was the icing on the cake. Unlike America, who was confused about where her heart lies, Marlee was very sure of her choice and didn’t look back on going after her dreams.

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The Crown (2016)

  • Publication date: May 3, 2016
  • Publisher: 250 pages
  • Print length: HarperTeen

The selection series in order

To round up the enchanting love stories in The Selection series, the fifth book was written to sweep you off your feet. Though she admires her parent’s charming love story, Eadlyn didn’t see herself falling for anyone like that but among the thirty-five suitors aiming for her heart is an entrant that changes everything. She now has to make certain decisions that will rewrite her story. In the end, The Selection encompasses three different love stories, most of which started with doubts but led to the enchanting world of happily ever after.

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Recap Of The Selection Series In Order Of Publication

  • The Selection (2012)
  • The Prince (Novella) (2013)
  • The Elite (2013)
  • The Guard (Novella) (2014)
  • The One (2014)
  • The Queen (Novella) (2014)
  • The Heir (2015)
  • The Favorite (Novella) (2015)
  • The Crown (2016)

How We Came Up With The Selection Series Reading Order

There are many ways to read the Selection book series but the best order to follow is by publication date. This is not just the easiest way to read the books but it helps you flow with the story as the romantic adventures and dilemmas unfold. You can also decide to read the books chronologically but it is has been widely proven that The Selection series is better read in order of publication instead. The first three books in the series – The Selection, The Elite, and The One are critically acclaimed and set aside as the best in the series.

The major competition takes place in the first three books while the ensuing two books that complete the five main novels in The Selection series are sequels from the point of view of Princess Eadlyn. As the firstborn daughter of Prince Maxon, the story encompasses her own efforts to find love and live happily ever just the way her parents did. This naturally sets the order of reading the book series according to the date of publication, it only makes sense to follow the story from the beginning. So, if you are ready to start reading The Selection series and want the best experience while at it, start from the first one according to the published date.

The chronological order of reading the Selection series is listed below:

  • 0.1 The Queen (Novella)
  • 0.2 The Prince (Novella)
  • 1. The Selection
  • 2. The Elite
  • 2.5 The Guard (Novella)
  • 3. The One
  • 3.5 The Favorite (Novella)
  • 4. The Heir
  • 6. The Crown

New readers of the series are encouraged to read according to the date of publication but for returning readers, it might be fun to use the chronological order.

Onuoha Banks
Onuoha Banks
Taking up the biggest challenges is Uloaku's strong suit and you don't want to challenge her on the entertainment arena. I'm goal-driven and when I'm not working, I might go for a hiking trip in the great outdoors.


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