The Selection by Kiera Cass
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 24th, 2012
Series: The Selection, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction Dystopian, Romance
Date Read: 27/11/2017
Links: Goodreads|Booktopia | Book Depository| B&N
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.
My rating for this book is probably higher than it should be, but I found it enjoyable. I enjoyed reading this book, I didn’t have high expectations for it. I’m not sure what it was, but it was a little better than what I expected.
As I expected, the characterization in The Selection was weak. America Singer is portrayed as compassionate, down to earth and is generally pretty likable. However, she’s also kind of a special snowflake… She is portrayed as better than the other girls because she goes “light on the makeup” and likes to wear jeans instead of dresses. America is also constantly told how pretty/beautiful she is, and you guessed it – doesn’t believe it!
The way America is written as a special snowflake would normally annoy me, but I actually really enjoyed her as a character and loved her banter, wit and her overall personality.
The world building isn’t that great either. All of the world building and history is given to the reader in the form of “History lessons” in classes at the castle which are really just a disguise for lots of gigantic info dumps in which we may as well be given a page of dot points instead of it being mushed together with dialogue.
The writing is unremarkable, and at times just straight up bad. The dialogue is stilted and at times cringey, but it was easy to read. Also, let’s get one thing straight. While this book is marketed as a dystopia, it should not be considered dystopian at all. The competition in which the girls do not have to participate in has no negative outcomes, in fact the outcomes of losing the competition are still pretty positive. As I said before, the caste system is sketchy and the only thing that could possibly point to this being a dystopia is the poverty, which even then, is not explored in enough depth to even be considered a huge deal compared to the extravagant risk-free competition to win the heart of the attractive, kind, caring Prince Maxon. The palace does keep getting attacked by rebels. What is that about anyway?
This is pretty much The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games, so I honestly had fun with parts of it. I mean, a bunch of girls from various castes competing for the prince in a dystopian world is going to either be horrible or seriously entertaining. This was both.
Anyway negatives aside, I did enjoy this book. It was a light, easy, fun read and I smashed through it. It may be silly, but serious wasn’t exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up and it made for an enjoyable read. I’ll probably get around to reading the next ones soon too.
That’s it for this review! Have you read this book? If so, What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR? Tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree with any of this. I’d love to know your opinion.