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 line in the book: “When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.”
Title: The Selection (#1)
Author: Kiera Cass
My Edition: Published by Harper Teen in 2012, with 336 pages.
Age: Young Adult (14+)
Series: The Selection (5 books)
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit, Futuristic
WHY THIS BOOK
The Selection is a series that’s been all over bookstagram with amazing reviews and I’ve been dying to start them – I just couldn’t find a time for it. The other day I finished Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, and I was kind of sad because I was having so much anticipation for the Shatter Me series, that I just walked to my bookshelf, looked it over and pulled out The Selection by Kiera Cass to be my next read. I’m so happy I did.
When I first heard about the book I was kind of torn between the fact that it just sounded like any other dystopian book, and that I wouldn’t find it as amazing as Legend by Marie Lu, Divergent by Veronica Roth or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Because these three trilogies have been like my number 1 recommendations to my friends who’s been wanting to jump into the dystopian genre.
The plot is pretty much like if you would combine The Hunger Games, India’s caste system and the Bachelor in one plot. It sounds so hysterical, I know, but it works so well. The Hunger Games because of the districts and the games; In the Selection you kind of get this feeling that this place isn’t just all about caste, but it’s also about what you’re born into. Like Katniss and District 12, and America as a five.
What’s interesting though, is the fact that I can’t stand the bachelor on TV, it feels so fake that I just never saw it as anything realistic or interesting at all, but this book, it’s interesting because of the Bachelor similarities. I mean, if you put thirty-something girls in a house expecting them to behave and fight for a prince at the same time, you would kind of expect the worst. And it does get crazy, but it’s just a so interesting plot in the first place, that I was sold just a few pages into the book.
For me, this book was close to perfect when it comes to the style Cass is writing in. I don’t particularly like the fact that she writes the longest chapters because I’m a sucker for short one’s. Makes it easier to go to sleep every night without having to finish the whole damn thing because you keep telling yourself “just one more chapter”.
Like a lot of books in this genre I feel like it’s easy to pin point the exact way the author connects the happenings to the length of the book. First there’s the introduction, which in my opinion was a bit long, but I didn’t mind that much – we needed it to get to know our characters. Then there’s the part where they’re off to do something, in this case America goes to the castle; she’s introduced to it and its perks. Then we move on to the main content; the “contest” where girls are being dolled up and fixed so that the prince can meet them and judge them by their cover. And then there’s the small things happening throughout that main content that makes this book so easy to read.
But I like it, it’s descriptive, but not too much, making room for my own imagination to just go crazy. I also like the fact that it’s in the written form that it is; books written from the main character’s perspective makes me feel like I’m the main character and it often makes me smile, laugh, cry or curse more.
The characters I really want to talk about is of course America, Maxon and Aspen. But I also want to bring up Marlee and Celeste.
America isn’t special, that’s why this book is different from what I’ve previously have read in the dystopia genre. She’s not special in the way where she’s divergent, rebellious, magic powers or just famous or something. No, America is like every other girl on the streets of Ilia, but she’s a chosen one. Chosen to become part of the Selection, and what makes her special is that she just tells things the way they are. I like her, and there’s not many times I actually like a character as a whole, but America is one of those few. So far she hasn’t done something really stupid that made me want to shake her to her senses, she’s just human, and I love humanity in it’s own shape through books.
Maxon seems like this humble, kind and pretty romantic guy even though he has no idea he is. I also like him a lot because he kind of wants to do this propper, he doesn’t want to marry someone just based on their looks. He want that extra spark, that little extra that makes someone extra special to us. And I like that about him. He’s probably one of the lesser sexist characters I’ve read about in books ever.
Aspen is the kind of character that kind of annoys you, because you know he’s going to be in the way of everyone’s happy ending. He’s America’s first love, and I don’t blame her, when I first met him I fell in love a little too; but he annoys me so much, and I think he’s supposed to.
Marlee, which is so close to my name, is this character that I really don’t want to let go of, but I know she’s going to bring some trouble to the table throughout the series. I just know that to be true. She and Celeste are two lesser evils that I just know will do something that’ll cause trouble. Celeste is probably one of the least likable people in this book, and it’s pretty much because I just hate them mean girls.
ALL IN ALL
I absolutely love it. I have the next book, The Elite waiting by my side, and I can’t wait to start it later today. It’s so much fun when you find a series that you like, and especially when you can just continue right away and not wait for each book to come out every year or so.
I would seriously recommend this to anyone who found the main plot interesting, who likes dystopia with a twist, and someone’s who’s into a little bit of romance – because that’s pretty much what this whole book is about, falling in love. I think this probably is one of the longest reviews I’ve ever written, but I just love this book so much and I want to share that excitement with you!
Favorite quote: “I hope you find someone you can’t live without.I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it’s like to have to try and live without them.”