Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Posted July 11, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 9 Comments

The Selection

by Kiera Cass

The Selection Kiera Cass

Original Publishing Date: April 24, 2012
Length: 327 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Obtained Via: Bought at Hastings
Format Read In: Paperback
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from the back of the book:

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 herselfโ€”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.



3 Stars

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9 responses to “Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

  1. So the story in this series interested me but I’ve always seen very mixed reviews about it. I’ll probably wait until I see it at the library or something before I read. Or when I need a fun read. =)

  2. I agree 100% with everything you mentioned in this review. It was SO not a dystopian novel (those darned rebels barely made an appearance), and it was purely romance-centered and a (very) light-read. I liked every minute of it XD

    • stormydawnc

      YUP. It was SO entertaining, but not something I’d recommend for everyone. It was just a good brain break read.

  3. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    As a total reality junkie, I keep telling myself I should read this. I’ve heard it’s a cross between The Bachelor and America’s Next Top Model, and I’d be a liar if I said I never watched and enjoyed such shows. (TV is mindless fun for me, I can’t help it.) So really, this book appeals to me greatly for that reason alone. Oh wait, and the covers. I do think those are pretty. I’m glad you enjoyed it enough! Even though it won’t blow me out of the water, I’m still looking forward to reading this one just to be entertained!

    • stormydawnc

      That’s pretty much exactly what it is, in book form, with some hierarchy and really outrageous(but beautiful!) dresses thrown in. It’s great as long as you go in to it with the expectation that it should ONLY be an entertaining read.

  4. This series is one that I’m not too sure of but if you liked it and say that it’s just for fun, I may as well give it a shot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps borrow it from the library instead of buying a copy, even though the cover does look really pretty. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • stormydawnc

      I’d definitely borrow, not buy it, and go in with the expectation of reading JUST for fun. I thought it was entertaining, but it’s basically reality TV in book form. It was a good “escape” read, but nothing I’d recommend as a Dystopia by any means!

  5. Great post! I just reviewed this one a couple days ago, so I have to say I agree that this IS just a book for fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t too impressed by anything separate from Maxon (major swoon), although I did enjoy the scenes between him and America. I kind of thought that America was at her best whenever she was with him, though it took her a quite a while to warm up to the idea of their blossoming relationship. I didn’t quite get the point of the rebels either, though I do think that the second book gave them more importance, and I appreciate that ๐Ÿ˜€

    • stormydawnc

      I definitely agree with you on all points. It’s pretty much JUST a fun read, and I was okay with that!

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