Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult Romance, Dystopian
Series: The Selection, #1
Publication Date: April 24th, 2012
Source: Own E-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 herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
You know how people can’t help but stare at a train wreck? That’s kind of what I felt when I read this book.
At first I couldn’t stand it because of the poor world-building and my hatred for Aspen, but as I kept reading, I realised I couldn’t stop.
It’s not as if this story is particularly suspenseful; it’s not at all. We don’t see anything happening event-wise up until the end, but still, I couldn’t help but eat up the angst and drama between 35 girls fighting for one guy.
In this The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games book, I realize that the world built is extremely similar to that of The Hunger Games. Think about it. The world is divided into different “castes” [districts] each labeled with numbers. The castes are divided by social standing. Those castes that have the highest numbers are the wealthiest, while those with lower numbers are the ones that are forced to work harder than the others, because they’re the poorest castes. In comes this televised competition (the Selection) where 35 young women will “battle” against each other to win the Prince’s heart. Only one girl will be left standing, and that girl will automatically become a One in Caste numbers.
“I think the Selection was meant to draw us together and remind everyone that Illéa itself was born out of next to nothing.”
At first I couldn’t get over the blatantly obvious similarities between The Hunger Games and this book to actually take it seriously. After a while, the similarities started to dim, and I could start to like the story more.
Nevertheless, what really redeemed the story was the main character. America is a great girl. She’s honest, funny, beautiful, and talented. She was opinionated and supportive, and it was clear from the beginning that she had great chances in this competition. However, entering “The Selection”, she had left behind her true love, Aspen. While America’s mind was on the competition, her heart still lingered on Aspen.
I hated Aspen so much in this book. I couldn’t grasp why America would want to be with him, when it was clear that their relationship was almost completely physical. Aspen is a sexist jerk, and way too proud to be a man who I’d ever admire.
“I’m not some charity case, America. I’m a man. I’m supposed to be a provider.”
Suddenly, Prince Maxon enters the picture, and I couldn’t help but feeling that the skies had opened.
Maxon was the kind of guy that I know I’d fall for. He was attractive, but not cocky about it. He was charming, kind, funny, shy, and at times awkward. He’s exactly the guy America should hope to fall for, not arrogant, intolerable, Aspen.
Maxon and America’s friendship was so nice! It made me feel giddy. I loved how they both so easily interacted with each other. If I would have been participating in that competition, I’m sure I would have felt “blind-rage” jealousy over their relationship too.
Overall, this book was mildly entertaining, yet engaging, and I find that I have some interest to read the next book in the series.
Rating: 2.5 stars.
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