Publication Date: April 25th, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.
Touted as a cross between the Bachelor and The Hunger Games, the release of Kiera Cass' The Selection was ripe with controversy on Goodreads and Twitter (twitter commentary and the attack on Wendy Darling's review). However, despite rumours of bad reviews and mass 'likes' of positive reviews, I still wanted to give it a try.
What I Liked: The idea of the Selection, a lottery of 'local' girls who the Prince can marry. He can take time to get to know them, and the lottery allows for girls of all social backgrounds a chance to become Queen.
The Caste system - a system of numbers (One through Eight) regulating what types of job is available to you, how you live and ect. Mentions were thrown in to catch my attention and then the topic changed.
Some of the information about the rebellion was interesting too, but it was vague. It almost would have been better to tackle just the rebellion.
What I Didn't Like: As I mentioned the world substance is lacking. There are mentions of it in one history lesson and America (interesting name, eh?) forces one or two sentences out of Maxon but it wasn't enough. It needed to become real to me and it didn't.
Another issue I had was the stilted dialogue and interactions - mostly between America and Maxon - that are nothing like the way teenagers talk. However, the relationship between America and Aspen was worse. It felt lifeless and irrational despite the way they threw themselves at each other.
Putting all that aside, I might have given a better rating if not for one giant misstep.
The ending! It's so sudden, so in your face, and so dissatisfying. It's not a long book and I feel like the overall story won't be huge and could have been lumped together into one bigger stand alone novel. I don't get why they're always so split up. Nothing is resolved in The Selection so Cass must have more planned and drafted more, so where is it?
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