Author: Kiera Cass
Publish Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian
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.
America’s interest in the Selection only went as far as wanting to help her family, which it would certainly do. She knew she’d never be selected to live in the mansion and fight for the affections of the prince, so she didn’t try in her audition video. It was a sad, last-ditch effort, if you will, to help her family elevate themselves. Little did America know, however, that she would be selected for the great honour, and she would have to go, regardless of the fact that she already had her boyfriend, Aspen. The Selection is about to become the biggest whirlwind of her life, and America has to decide, once and for all, what she really wants.
I’m not going to lie, kiddos, I’ve seen some pretty hideous reviews for this one and, having read the book, I’m going to guess it’s because of what it was touted as. The Selection by Kiera Cass has been consistently hailed as “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor.” In my entirely humble opinion, I think that’s been a bit crippling. If you’re expecting an epic death match dystopian, you will be sorely disappointed. If, on the other hand, you’re expecting a sweeter take on dystopian with a touch of fairy-tale romance, you might just get what you’re looking for. With a finer hand, a lot of tulle and a saccharine-sweet storyline (with all the backstabbing that comes with the girls), The Selection is the perfect futuristic fairy tale.
I’ll be perfectly honest. Because of the gorgeous cover, the hype and some very lackluster reviews, I wasn’t really expecting much from The Selection. I got a lot more than I bargained for though. America was the epitome of a lovable heroine. She wasn’t vain; she didn’t fight tooth and nail for prestige and power. Rather, she was a humbler, selfless girl who only wanted the best future for her whole family. She was both the beneficiary and victim of a situation that many would covet, but she was unsure of how to bear. Most of all…she was pretty clueless as to the envy that other girls felt for her status in the mansion vying for the affections of Prince Maxom who, by the way, lives up to his name. Holy hunk.
Yum. Lingering in the background, however, tethering her to reality, is Aspen. He’s genuine, he’s true and America isn’t sure that the Prince is the one for her. Her confusion, her self-sabotage and her utter realism was totally endearing. Were there a lot of frilly dresses and fluff in The Selection? Sure, but there’s also meat below the layers of fine fabrics and catty girls. America has a chance to make a difference, and the Selection is merely her first step towards it. I thought the writing was fun, eager and enticing and, heck, the book had well-rounded characters. While The Selection is the first book in the series, it comes somewhat full-circle, so it can stand alone, which is a testament to the writing style.
If you can put aside your reservations and pre-conceived notions, I think that readers will really enjoy The Selection. It’s fun, funny and sweet, and I’m so glad I gave it a shot. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy lighter dystopian and fairy tales.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.