by Kiera Cass
Original Publishing Date: April 24, 2012
Length: 327 pages
Obtained Via: Bought at Hastings
Format Read In: Paperback
View at the Traffic light:
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 a palace and compete for the heart of 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.
There are two things that should be known up-front about The Selection: Whoever decided it qualified as Dystopia needs to be handed a copy of 1984 STAT, and despite this oversight, The Selection is actually pretty entertaining. As long as you don’t throw the that “D” genre label anywhere near it, The Selection stands pretty well on its own. The only reason this book really can even get near the Dystopia label is the caste system, which while that makes America an underdog to root for, doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny.
That aside, I really enjoyed The Selection more than I thought I would. Cass’ writing is sometimes distracting, but for the most part I thought she told the story decently. After the first chapter, I decided not to expect anything more from this story except entertainment, and that’s exactly what I got. I’ve never watched The Bachelor, but from what I can tell, the comparisons to reality TV for this book are pretty spot-on. It has all the features of why reality TV can be appealing.
America is a bit annoying at times, but yet I still found myself so intrigued by her romance. I hated Aspen, one of the potential love interest, so I was happy to see that America slowly warmed up to Maxon over the course of the story. For his part, Maxon is a little too perfect, but this is really a fairy-tale at heart so I’ll let it slide.
Personally, I think I would have liked this book more if it hadn’t decided to play at the Dystopia genre. I could have done without the rebel attacks(though I’m hoping they’ll be important for the future books), and wished this book had just played up the fun angle for all it’s worth. It might not be the best serious reading, but it made me giggle and squee over Maxon and America’s relationship, and I think as just a fun story it does well.
Final Impression: The Selection is not that well-written or well-defined, but I liked it DESPITE those facts. It was just an entertaining story and while I totally get why people haven’t liked it, the book definitely entertained me for a few hours. It’s basically just a popcorn, completely-for-fun read, but I liked it all the same. 3/5 cupcakes.