The Guard: A Selection Novella (HarperTeen, 2014) is a companion novella to The Selection series by Kiera Cass. The Guard is told from the point of view of Aspen, America’s first love, who is eventually enlisted as a guard at the palace in the original series.
*Spoilers Ahead If You Haven’t Read The One*
I found reading this mini-novel somewhat painful, as it reminded me that Aspen has so much more passion than Maxon ever did. Sure, Maxon has endearing qualities, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Aspen’s fire. It still upsets me that America didn’t choose her first true love in the end. I was hoping this novella would bring some comfort, maybe show Aspen beginning to fall out of love with America, or at least give us more of him with Lucy so that we could get the origins of their love story and be assured that everything would turn out great for them. (Because I still was not convinced even in The Heir and The Crown.) But nope. In this novella, Aspen is still crazy about America and 100% certain of his undying love for her. Knowing how things end, this depressed me.
“Focus on America. Let the world go to hell around you as long as you can get to her.”
“I wanted to keep her in my arms, so close to my heart that she could practically be a part of it, and bat away all the pain that might come her way.”
I felt this book was probably the least necessary of all the Selection novellas. We didn’t learn any new information. However, it was still well-written and enjoyable to read, even if a bit heartbreaking. I really liked Aspen’s voice, the way it was distinctly masculine, confident and straightforward. Maybe someday we’ll get a novella from Lucy’s POV so that we can finally see our sexy Aspen get the proper love story he deserves!
“There’s an art to making people suffer. The palace seemed to have it mastered.”
“‘But I’ve seen a lot of people let the bad around them make them hard or stubborn. In the end, they miss the chance to make their world better because they only see the worst in it.'”
“‘We know you’re strong. But accepting help is its own kind of strength.'”