The Favorite is a novella about Marlee Tames, written in her point of view as she had met Carter Woodwork. The first part takes place during The Elite and the second part takes place during The One. The Favorite was released as an e-book, as well as in Happily Ever After: Companion to the Selection Series, a hardbook, on October 13, 2015.
Marlee Tames came to the palace to win Prince Maxon's heart — but her own heart had other ideas. "The Favorite" goes behind the scenes of Marlee and Carter's life together, from the fateful night their secret was discovered to the events at the end of The One.
This novella begins with Marlee meeting a palace guard named Carter Woodwork. Soon (in The Elite, after the Halloween Ball) she was found in a closet with an unzipped dress, a kiss, and a certain topless guard, because she fell in love with him, not Maxon. In the beginning, Marlee is in her cell, and revisits many of her previous experiences with Carter. Later, Marlee is visited by Maxon, whom she apologizes profusely to and says that she accepts her fate to die, not knowing that Maxon had changed it. When she learns that both she and Carter would be caned fifteen times, she says that she would take that beating for Carter, if it meant that he would be alright. Maxon laughs at this and remarks that he had just visited Carter's cell, and that the former guard had declared that he would do the exact same thing for Marlee. It finishes with the couple being pardoned of their punishments and becoming the first casteless citizens in Illéa.
- Marlee Woodwork
- Carter Woodwork
- America Singer
- Maxon Schreave
- The Selected Girls
- Aspen Leger
- Abril Diego
- Juan Diego
- "I pulled the top layers of my dress a little tighter over my shoulders. Carter was quiet now, and his silence sent deeper chills through my body than the lack of heat in the palace cells did. It had been horrific to hear his grunts of pain as the guards beat the hope out of him, but at least I knew he was breathing. I shivered as I drew my knees closer to my chest. Another tear slid down my cheek, and I was grateful for it if only because it was warm on my skin. We knew. We knew it could end this way. And still we met. How could we have stopped? I wondered how we would die. A noose? A bullet? Something much more elaborate and painful? I couldn't help wishing that Carter's silence meant he was already gone. Or if not, that he would go first. I'd rather have my last memory be of his death than suffer knowing that his last memory was of mine. Even now, alone in this cell, all I wanted was for his pain to stop.Something stirred in the hallway, and my heart started racing. Was this it? Was this the end? I shut my eyes quickly, trying to hold back my tears. How has this happened? How had I gone from being one of the beloved members of the Selection to being labeled a traitor, awaiting my punishment? Oh, Carter... Carter, what have we done?" — Marlee Tames narrating through the first part of The Favorite
- "There was too much love in my heart to leave room for regret." — Marlee Tames
- "I'm starting to understand how pointless it is to fight being in love." — Maxon Schreave to Marlee Tames
- "Maybe you stole me. Because I distinctly remember belonging to myself once, but now I'm all yours." — Carter Woodwork to Marlee Tames
- “I keep thinking that I have a grasp on what it means to be in love, and then I see you two, each asking to spare the other, and I wonder if I understand anything at all.” — Maxon Schreave to Marlee Tames
- "He was control to her chaos; she was levity to his seriousness." — Marlee Tames about Maxon and America
- A sneak peek can be read at the last part of The Queen.
- Originally released in March, 2015, Kiera Cass and HarperTeen later decided to publish The Favorite with all other novellas on October 13, 2015.
- The Favorite and The Queen are in print for the first time in Happily Ever After: Companion to the Selection Series.