The contents of Happily Ever After are as follows:
-The Prince (with the two bonus chapters), Maxon’s novella
-The Guard, Aspen’s novella
-The Queen, Amberly’s novella
-The Favorite, Marlee’s novella
-Three scenes from Celeste’s POV
-Lucy’s scene (bonus scene from The One)
-The bonus epilogue
-Where are they now?
I really enjoyed this compilation. I wish I could have remembered more details about The Selection, The Elite, and The One though. That would have helped connect the dots when reading. I loved the pictures throughout this book. Here are some impressions of the individual novellas.
The Queen (The Selection #0.4)
It’s another selection with Maxon’s father as the prince, and Queen Amberly as one of the candidates. I loved this story. Amberly is so sweet and selfless, and she’s been in love with the prince her whole life practically. She witnesses an event that helps her understand Clarkson more. He is rough and kind of mean, but she’s good for him. Clarkson is so different than Maxon during the Selection, so cold and non physical. That was interesting to read. After also reading The Heir, I was impressed with Kiera Cass’ ability to write three very different Selections.
The Prince (The Selection #0.5)
I loved being inside Maxon’s head before the Selection. He’s so nervous. It was so cute. Reading his reaction to America yelling at him in the garden was so fun. There’s some sad back story on Maxon as well. He was so isolated. There isn’t really anything new in this story since it follows the beginning of The Selection, but it’s an enjoyable read.
The Guard (The Selection #2.5)
I never really liked Aspen. I’m not exactly sure why. He loves America. Why do I fault him for trying to hold on to that? I don’t know. I enjoyed seeing the servant perspective on the Marlee and Woodwork scandal. And I gained some insight into the king and Maxon as well. Mostly though this story didn’t make me feel any differently toward Aspen. I still felt kind of sorry for him for holding out hope for America to choose him.
The Favorite (The Selection #2.6)
I love Marlee. She was always my favorite, even more than America. This story is so sweet. I really enjoyed the flash backs to Marlee and Carter’s early romance. I loved seeing the kindness Maxon showed them. It was especially nice to read after knowing what happens with them all in The Heir.
Scenes from Celeste
There are three scenes from Celeste’s POV at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Selection. It was fun to read about her transformation from her POV. She was so miserable in the beginning, and she ends up so sure of herself and so happy in the end. Once again this story showed how wonderful Maxon is.
3 stars (only because it’s not really a complete story)
This story tells of an encounter between Lucy and Aspen which would have happened during The One. I am so happy that Aspen gets to find love again and that that Lucy found someone to love. This is a sweet little addition to the series.
After the One
This short story takes place 2 years after their marriage. America has planned a birthday party for Maxon. Everyone is there. It’s so fun to see Maxon and Aspen as friends. I knew that happened since I read The Heir, but it was nice to read an exchange of friendship earlier on in their lives. America’s birthday gift for Maxon is perfect. This story was great!
Where They Are Now
Kiera Cass has given a quick update on Kriss, Natalie, and Elise and where they ended up. I didn’t remember enough about them to care very much. I could have done without this addition. I would have liked to know more of what happened to Celeste though. Am I forgetting something? Was she mentioned in The Heir?
My Rating: 4 Stars
Understand my ratings.