Being completely honest, I didn’t have high hopes for The Selection. I’d read some negative reviews but still felt drawn to the storyline, which really intrigued me. Instead, The Selection totally surprised me…
Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Title & Author: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Fantasy
Release Date: May 24, 2012
Series: 1st book in a trilogy
How I Got the Book: ARC via HarperTeen
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.”
I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends…
Negative reviews about a book I’m really excited about tend to bum me out. All the excitement and anticipation I had just flies out the window. Some of what the reviewers said I understand, BUT The Selection really surprised me in a good way.
Reasons I loved The Selection
1The storyline was addicting. In reading this book, there was never a “good place” to stop. Every chapter left me hanging and I HAD to start the new one to find out what was going on. From America’s journey to the palace to her meeting Maxon to the drama with the other girls, I was riveted.
2The Bachelor forumla works in books too. If you’ve seen one episode of The Bachelor, you’ve seen them all. So why is this franchise on its 16th season with two spin-off shows to boot? Because it works. The Selection is basically the YA book version of The Bachelor, but with people who I like better and actually care if they end up happy. It still bothers me that one guy can have his pick of all these women and kiss his way to the one he likes best, BUT in the book, it makes sense and Prince Maxon is a noob at dating. Awkward situations FTW!
3The world was interesting. This is where some of the criticism of the book comes in, but I have to say that it didn’t bother me too much. America lives in a post-apocalyptic U.S. (a 4th World War is mentioned) and a caste system has been set in place. She’s a 5 (a working class performer); the top tier is royalty, a 1, and the bottom is an 8, which are people who are essentially homeless. I think this whole system is really interesting, and I’m interested to see where Cass takes it in future books.
4The romance had the juiciness of being a love triangle without all the drama. If you’ve read my blog before you know that love triangles are wearing me thin. I mean I love the dynamic but this concept has seeped its way into EVERY YA book out there. The Selection subtly works in the excitement and mystery of love triangles but without the crazy drama and the annoying back and forth element.
A few people compared The Selection to The Hunger Games because the girls are interviewed by a TV host and the shows are aired across the Illea (the new U.S.). All I have to say to that is…what?? That is probably the only similarity between the two books, besides the fact that they’re both dystopians. I’m not saying that The Selection is incredibly original, but I think comparing it to The Hunger Games is a bit extreme.
Some people really didn’t like the world of Illea, and on that note I have to concede on a few points. It took me awhile to figure out that the world of Illea was not a fantasy-esque type of setting but a futuristic view of the America (the country, not the character). I think this could have been made more clear earlier on in the book, but for me that wasn’t a huge sticking point. To be fair, it may be later on in the series because a few things happen that make me think that background information may become more important moving forward.
Also, there’s this really weird Northerner/Southerner attack thing that happens in The Selection that was kinda confusing. I hope Cass explains that later on.
I really, really liked this book. I couldn’t put it down – it totally sucked me in. While some elements of this book don’t reinvent the wheel, there is something to be said for a story that you cannot stop reading. I definitely recommend The Selection, and hope you give it a chance like I did.