Series: The Selection #1
Published by Harper Teen on 4/24/2012
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Some things you should know about me before I go into my review of The Selection: 1) I despise shows like The Bachelor. Women scrambling and conniving to win the charms (and arm) of one man, for whatever reason, is a huge turn off for me. 2) I don’t believe in love at first sight. I think love is a slow burn from a nice solid foundation of friendship. 3) I’m not a big romance reader. So why did The Selection appeal to me? I’ll be honest: the cover. WHO DOESN’T LOVE THAT COVER? I wanted to GO THERE. I wanted to wear that dress and I WANTED to be one of THOSE GIRLS. Pretty please?
I still do. I loved this book. I know it’s gotten some hate, but it struck something girly in me I didn’t even know existed. Yes, I’ve seen The Bad Review, and maybe you should read it, too, before digging into The Selection, to make sure it’s going to be the right read for you. But I dug it, I didn’t want it to end and I am ALL UP ON TEAM MAXON. That’s right, I chose my side early.
Ilea is our future United States, with forgotten histories, castes and a new political system – a royal house. Our poor financial system led us down this path and this is the result. I did find this use of our current financial strife here in the US both curious and a bit of brilliant genius (because let’s wake up people, it could happen) and I think the author used it to create a sort of financial dystopia, rather than something like the iron fist of, say, The Hunger Games. This isn’t that, so let’s not even compare the two.
America Singer is the protagonist in The Selection. She’s witty, smart and someone you want to be friends with. She’s also a very gifted musician and – singer. Pun intended, I’m sure. Despite the sort-of-ridiculous-and-still-cute name, I liked her a lot. She’s everything you want in a romance heroine because of all these things. She’s not superficial in any way and she tells it like it is. My kinda girl. She’s also humble, having only participated in The Selection to appease those around her who love her, and to earn money for her family, since they are only Fives. But she makes the best of it.
I didn’t like Aspen. There’s just something about him that strikes me wrong. I feel as if his intentions are good, but they always say the road to Hell is paved in good intentions. He’s also too wishy-washy for me and wishy-washy equals weak in my book. Can you blame me for being Team Maxon?
Speaking of Prince Maxon… My oh my! If Cass didn’t nail the naive prince who has led a secluded and sheltered life, well, then I don’t know who has. He was perfect. PERFECT. I’ll bare my teeth at you if you tell me otherwise. Not only was he a gentleman, he was also smart and open-minded, both admirable and necessary qualities in royalty, in my own opinion.
The other girls in The Selection were also well-written. Some are nice, some are quiet, one in particular is a complete bitch. Cass nails the nuances and competitiveness of her very well and I found myself appalled by most of her actions, as if I were actually there (also a stark reminder of why I don’t like shows like The Bachelor).
It’s unfair to shove The Selection into one genre, because it fits several. I’ve read a few reviews that state it really isn’t a dystopian, but I have to disagree. It might not have a government such as the likes of Divergent or The Hunger Games, but government oppression doesn’t always need to. Sometimes all it takes is mass poverty and government apathy to create such a society. The plot gives you more of these details and you’ll understand more of the caste system when you read it. By the way, the plot is pretty simple. It is exactly what it says on the synpopsis. But sometimes simple is best! I loved it!
So I’ve gushed non-stop about this book, and why am I only giving it a 4? It lacked a little oomph to take it all the way to a 5 for me. But it was still a fantastic book and I enjoyed it so much. I can’t wait for the second in the series to come out and Kiera Cass can’t possibly write it fast enough for me.
I never thought to question the lack of truth until it had been placed in front of me.
For more The Selection goodness, check out the MTv trailer below!
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