Whelp...this was just ok. The Guard is a short novella detailing some of the events from Aspen's point of view. It's an uber quick read and, to be honest, didn't really give a whole lot of new information or character development. I know that Cass has to make it standalone so as not to put those who don't read it at a disadvantage...but on the same token, I do wish we had learned a little bit more about Aspen. Instead, it was just him pining after America while we re-read what already happened in the second full-length story The Elite.
I guess I was hoping for some new content (even if it's totally unrelated to the overall plot), rather than just a rehashing of the last portion of The Elite
I really enjoyed the earlier two full-length installments in The Selection trilogy, but Aspen was never one of my favorite characters. (Which, btdubs, if he ends up getting the girl in the final book, I may be a little miffed. Not that my opinion will sway the book's final outcome...but yeah.)
I'm still looking forward to The One...mainly because I'm curious as to which guy America will choose. Only a few more months to go!