Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, #1
Genre: Dystopian Romance?
Source: from library
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
The Selection by Kiera Cass
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.
I don’t really know what to say about this book. It was good … but it was also bad. It was cool … but it was also cheesy. In some ways it was interesting … but in other ways it was boring. I liked the characters … well, some of them … some of the time …
Frankly, my feelings of this book are quite mixed.
The plot was good … but a little slow at times. It just wasn’t very exciting, with a bunch of girls cooped up in the castle going on walks with the prince (punctuated by rebel attacks, of course).
So … not good, but not bad either. I admit the whole idea of the Selection is intriguing. Kind of reminds me of The Hunger Games, only with marriage instead of death. But, according to America, these are somewhat similar.
And then the love triangle. Some have said this is a better love triangle than most. That is true. However, it’s still a love triangle. All love triangles are annoying.
From page 1, I was ready for her to dump the other dude (Aspen) and marry sweet, sympathetic, handsome, wonderful, RICH RICH RICH Maxon. (Yes, I am being “a bit” mercenary, but ’tis how my mind works … sorry … INTJ over here …)
There were thirty-five girls, and quite a number of them were featured. I was able to keep track of a few, but not all. Unfortunately, the ones I’d come to care for were eliminated (which I don’t think is a spoiler because we all know someone’s going to get eliminated, and I didn’t say who).
Okay, so, a rundown on a couple of the main characters:
America Singer: once I got past her name (even though it does have meaning, I still find it annoying), I came to appreciate her. First, she’s a redhead. Second, her personality is remarkably (and I’m not kidding here) similar to mine. She acted in the way I would’ve in a lot of situations, which was just … fun. I’m so used to facepalming at a YA heroine’s every movement, that this was a nice reprieve. She seemed to have a good grasp on real life, etc.
Maxon: finally a YA hero who doesn’t annoy me!
I’ll be honest; Peeta is spineless and stupid and worthless and not good at anything that actually matters and he made stupid choices and Katniss is all like, “Well … I guess I won’t like Gale now that he accidently killed my sister who was actually being stupid anyway.” So … back to the book we’re talking about.
Aspen: I have nothing to say here except that he can’t leave well enough alone, he is waaay too interested in America physically, and I want him to die. There. #teammaxon
America’s mom: YOU ARE ANNOYING! STOP! I would die if my mom were like that. Good thing I’ve got the mom I’ve got …
Rest of America’s family: her sister and brother are sweet. Her dad seemed a little weak/boring to me. He was just … there.
Then there are several girls from the Selection whom I vaguely remember, but not enough to write something about them. Ooh, and I loved America’s maids! They were so sweet and awesome.
In this futuristic society, people are divided into eight classes based on their job. Ones are the nobility, while eights are lower than servants. The government has controlled many facets of peoples’ lives. However, I don’t know if it’s directly dystopian. The people seem reasonably content … not ready to all-out invade … and the rebels are treated as bad guys.
World-building was amazing. I loved the history of the country.
The writing was good. I normally don’t go for first person as readily, but this was fairly well-done. It helped me get into America’s head, which was good, because, like I said, she’s similar to me. Unless you get in my head, nothing exciting happens.
I … didn’t pick up on a theme, to be honest. Maybe it was just so buried that I couldn’t see it. I believe this is partially because America’s character arc will continue throughout the series.
However, there were a couple good lessons … don’t judge a book (or a prince) by its cover (his outward appearance/status). That people are people no matter what their social status. And … there may have been other stuff that I missed. I never remember to look for theme when reading a book.
Content: 3/5 (note: I have a new content rating system)
Language: a swear word was inserted randomly in two or three places: I believe ‘d*mn.’ Both times just to be cool. *sigh* I hate when people do this …
Violence: mentions of rebel attacks, raids, etc. Mentions of wars. The rebels attack the palace a couple times.
Sexual: sex is illegal pre-marriage in this country. This is mentioned a couple times. Also, there were some pretty intense … oh, how can I describe it other than make-out scenes?! Seriously. I don’t need that kind of kissing. It was just once or twice, though.
A decent book with good world-building and a great main character.However, the content (particularly the kissing) didn’t please me, and the plot was a little dull at points. Still, I did enjoy trying a different genre, the premise, and cover (oh, shush). I’ll probably be reading the next book in the series.
Have you ever read The Selection? Do you plan on reading it? What are your thoughts on love triangles (and this one in particular, if you’ve read the book)? Did you notice my new design? Megan did it for me. She’s amazing!