Authors: Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 4th, 2012 (originally January 1st, 2012)
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA | Dystopia | Fantasy
Series: The Selection #1
Read: on June 17 to 21, 2015
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9780062059932 (Hardcover)
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.
Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Selection was a rather nice surprise. My expectations for this book weren’t that high but I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this book more than what I expected.
This book tells the story of 35 young girls in a competition to become Prince Maxon’s bride and future Princess. America Singer, a simple girl from a lower caste, becomes of the Selected and soon one of the favourites. She rapidly develops a friendship with the Prince and her feelings become divided between her ex-boyfriend and this charming future king.
The system of this book is quite interesting. There are several caste, from the richer class to the poorer but each girl from each caste has an opportunity to participate in this competition. I found that quite amazing since it gives these girls a chance to show that even the lower class can be part of a higher society. And you can see that women in The Selection have a great role. They can be themselves and even be part of the councils.
The dystopia part of the book was a bit lacking for me but I’m hopeful that the next books will explore that a little bit better. I found this universe pretty much like ours but instead of a Republic, it has a Monarchy. I guess that was one of the main reasons I was so interested in reading this book.
America was a simple character and she was quite enjoyable. There were a few things I didn’t really understand but overall she had a great personality. Though the love-triangle between her ex-boyfriend Aspen (who, I have to say this but I detested the moment he broke-up with her and then tried to win her back) and the Prince sounded so far-stretched and a bit annoying. I mean, she spent most of the book saying she would move on from Aspen and focus on her new friendship with Maxon but as soon as aspen re-appears in her life she’s all swooning and melting into his kisses. No, America, simply no! After what he did to you, you can’t be stupid enough to simply accept him back! That was the most annoying part of America. But then she had this compassion towards her maids that made up for that stupid side of her. I really liked the fact that she always treated her maids as equals. And when there was the attacks by the rebels, she literally stomp her foot and said her maids were to stay with her or else!
As for Maxon… I liked him straight away. I mean, I became almost immediately Team Maxon. He was too charming, too gentle and too adorable not to like. The fact that he has to deal with the rebels, the competition and his deeds as Prince and future King just made me want to cuddle him.
Aspen! I admit that I immediately disliked him when he broke-up with America. I mean, he asks her to sign-up to be part of the competition and then he does what he did. And then he has the audacity to try to win her back after everything he did? Nope, that doesn’t work for me.
There were moments in the book I felt like I was reading The Hunger Games but without the games. Especially the whole make-over thing. I was only missing Cinna but everything felt exactly when Katniss was going over her make-over. Silvia reminded me of Effie and Gavril Ceasar! The reality-TV aspect of it felt slightly like a rip-off Suzanne Collins books. That was one of the thumbs down regarding this book.
But overall The Selection was a fast and entertaining reading. Though it felt like it could have been a bit more apart from the competition (like, more rebels thrown into it), it gave us an insight on what The Selection is all about, introduced us to the characters and to this new universe.
Just a small note to those who are reading this book (or The Elite or The One) or are going to start this series: DO NOT READ THE HEIR SYNOPSIS!!!! For everything that is sacred, if you don’t like spoilers, do not even consider reading the synopsis. There’s a HUGE spoiler in it since The Heir is set AFTER The Selection trilogy though it has the same series name. Yes, I was stupid enough to read it and now I know something that I didn’t want to know before finishing the series :S