Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (March 26, 2013)
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.
First off, I would like to issue a public apology. If you received an notification previously about this review, it was accidently published WAY before I meant for it to be. This was an operator error. I had just begun my review and written out a few random thoughts that I wanted to touch upon, when I accidently hit the publish button. I was so embarrassed. Let’s do a re-do, shall we?
I listened to The Selection via audiobook through Hoopla. What is Hoopla? Essentially, Hoopla is a digital database of ebooks, audiobooks, TV shows, and movies. You borrow titles for FREE through your library card. Definitely check into if your local library offers this program! I download my audiobooks straight to my phone and listen to them in the car, at the gym, doing housework, etc. I am able to “read” 3+ more books a month this way!
Anyways! On my quest to expand my literary horizons, I have been trying to read more YA, a genre I don’t typically frequent. The Selection was my 3rd YA book this year, the others being The Red Queen → My Review: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Finding Audrey → My Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. Since both of these books were just ‘ok’ for me, I didn’t go into The Selection with high expectations…
I’m pretty sure every little girl dreams at some point or another dreams of falling in love with a handsome prince and becoming a princess. I, like everyone else, am I sucker for any kind of variation on the classic Cinderella story. When I read the synopsis, I thought that the idea of 35 girls competing for a prince’s affections was a creative take on a classic idea. Since this is a relatively short book, this isn’t going to be a long review, but here are a few thoughts…
The best way to explain The Selection is that it’s the YA version of The Bachelor with elements of The Hunger Games thrown into it. The common elements with The Hunger Games (class division, love triangle, political rebels, publicized competition, etc.) wasn’t enough for me to be annoyed with the similarities like it had with The Red Queen. The Selection had enough of an original story line, however like the other YA books I’ve read this year, it did fall a little flat for me.
While the story line was entertaining at times, overall it was lacking. For one thing, I am over the love triangles. This story did not need a love triangle, it was just an unnecessary complication, especially with the idea of multiple girls competing for the same guy. Instead of focusing on the love triangle, I would have preferred the focus to be more on the competition of the selection itself. There was so much that could have been done with the concept of a selection… instead of a competition, the girls just sat around most of the time. Not a whole lot seemed to happen in this book aside from the main love story…
I did enjoy the developing love story between America and Prince Maxon. This was probably my favorite part of The Selection. Instead of ‘love at first sight,’ they developed a friendship that began to blossom into something more. It was very sweet.
It was easy for me to like American and Maxon. I appreciated the spunk and gumption of the main character, America. I admired that she wasn’t impressed by class rankings, royal titles, or material objects. She wasn’t the type of girl who is going to marry a price for the sake of power and wealth. Maxon can be best described as the stereotypical “good guy.” I know most people are all about the “bad boys,” but I’ll take a gentleman any day of the week!
I was not blown away by the writing. It was not bad by any means, but it didn’t paint a picture in my mind. I am not sure if my standards are set too high, but when I read a book, I want to be immersed in the story, and I just wasn’t.
I’m starting to think maybe I should give up on reading YA… I am wondering if these books are falling flat because this genre just doesn’t appeal to me? I would hate to keep writing “negative” reviews for books if this is simply an issue of preference…
My Rating: 2/5 stars
About the Author:
Kiera Cass graduated from Radford University with a degree in History. She grew up in South Carolina and currently lives in Blacksburg, Virginia with her family. In her spare time, Kiera enjoys reading, dancing, making videos, and eating unhealthy amounts of cake.