Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

About 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 herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

 Pages: 327
Published by: Harper Teen (April 24, 2012)
Genre: YA dystopia + romance

My rating for The Selection (The Selection, #1):
Disclaimer: I was hesitant to read this book because of all the mixed reviews (the bad reviews) it has received. The thought of a YA book like the TV show The Bachelor kind of repulsed me. It took quite a bit of convincing on my friend's part and a bit of complaining on mine before I agreed to read it. Now after having read it for myself, these are my thoughts:

The futuristic world in The Selection was easy to transition to. I was fascinated by the fact that it took place after World War Four and I loved how Kiera Cass weaved in background information for us through the history lessons the girls had. The only thing that puzzled me was that Illea had reverted to a monarchy that was very proper and seemingly old-fashioned. It was like we were going back in time rather than forward. As I think about it more, I can see almost any type of government form after a series of wars and lapses of time. AND humans reverting to old ways is a cycle that reoccurs in history... So it makes sense but I wish there had been more explanation for their old-fashionedness to satisfy my curiosity.

About the Selection itself, I actually wasn't repulsed by it. It made sense for the society. Maxon wasn't hooking up with a bunch of girls; he was just trying to find someone he could love and spend the rest of his life with and regular dating wasn't an option for him. I read a review that said all the inconsequential girls' names were overwhelming. I didn't have a problem with this. I actually liked how the girls were not always described to us. I liked that we knew some girls only by name because they felt more real without me feeling like I had to remember specific, unimportant details about them. America would have naturally noted these girls as she went about her day, but what they were doing or looked like didn't pertain to the story so only being given a name made me feel like I was more in America's mind.

I really enjoyed Maxon and America as characters. My initial impression of Maxon was that he was extremely proper and seemed like a man in his thirties. As I continued reading, his qualms with crying women, lack of experiences, and worries made me believe that his upbringing was the explanation for his mannerisms. His qualms were cute and amusing and they made him a refreshing prince.

I loved the banter between him and America! As for the love triangle, I don't have a pull to either “team”. I really felt Aspen and America's love in the beginning, then he made me mad. I knew Maxon was going to be a love interest and although I'm not teaming for Maxon and America, I really appreciated how Cass played their relationship. Slowly and convincingly, with hesitance from both parties. Although I know Aspen loves America, I have a feeling I am going to be inching closer to Team Maxon in the future—he intrigued me more and he was just a great guy.

America's proposal (plan, not wedding proposal) was a pleasantly surprising twist! The whole book was kind of a mystery for me. I didn't think this book was incredible but some books are rather formulaic and predictable; this wasn't one of them. At least, not for me. It was a fun, quick read that kept me on my toes and flying through the book. I'm excited to continue reading the series!

1 comment:

  1. I believe there is more info in book 2 about the history of the country. Although, I don't remember how broad it is... I agree about the girls not all being memorable to America (and therefore not mentioned in her narrative). It was the same way in The Hunger Games, a lot of people competing, and many of them remained nameless because the MC doesn't interact with them. I wouldn't have wanted a long list of names and characteristics only to have them gone within a few chapters! I'm glad you liked it!