Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass
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.
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When I first read the summary of The Selection, i'll be honest, I was not too impressed. I never really liked princesses or royalty, so I was not expecting to like this book very much at all. Kiera Cass definitely changed my mind about that, it was really good! I was in my local bookstore when I remembered my friend telling me about this "amazing," book that was "so much better than you'd think Madi!" I went in with my mind set on only buying one book, and obviously, I somehow left with three (that's how it always works right?). This was a fast read, I started on Monday and finished on Tuesday, but that was probably just because I was hooked!
The Selection is technically a dystopian novel set about 300 years in the future, in a country called Illea, but it didn't seem too much like a dystopian kind of book to me; more of a fairy tale or fantasy. It follows a caste system with levels from 1 to 8, with 1 being the most wealthy, and 8 being the least. America Singer, the main character, is a five. Fives are artists and musicians, which means that America plays the violin. She gets selected to be one of 35 girls to compete for the prince, but going in, she knows she doesn't want to be with him. Basically what happened before to make her come to that conclusion was that the guy she loved made her sign up the Selection so that he would know that he wasn't holding her back. He broke up with her that night because she was a five, and he was a six, and he knew that he couldn't afford to spoil her, but then she got picked for the contest, and she was still in love with him. Oh so much angst.
It followed a pretty basic plot line, so it was kind of easy to guess a lot of what was going to happen, but it still strayed enough off that path that it wasn't boring. The plot line was: mysterious lower-class girl in love with someone else meets upper-class guy, upper-class guy falls in love with girl, but the girl can't decide between her love triangle, with a little bit of fluff mixed in. The great thing about this story compared to others like it was that Prince Maxon had a lot of flaws. He wasn't a perfect porcelain doll that knew exactly what to do, but instead awkwardly asked the wrong questions and couldn't figure out how to comfort someone. Not to mention, he was also incredibly sweet and understanding, and the friendship that he had with America made me want to scream with giddiness.
“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.”
― Kiera Cass, The Selection
― Kiera Cass, The Selection
Aspen. Just to be clear, I am totally NOT team Aspen (I'm not really sure yet if i'm team Maxon either, but he is a heck of a lot better than Aspen). This boy, was a nightmare. First he forced this girl into entering the competition to save his conscience, knowing full well that she did not want to enter at all. Then he dumped her, who he had been dating for two years, and was in love with, because she made him a dinner. What? Then he did another thing, but i'm not about to spoil the book for you, so you'll just have to infer that it was completely not cool. Seriously, he doesn't even deserve America. Even a guy who's never even been around girls before knew how to treat her better than Aspen did.
The ending was cut off quite abruptly. It didn't really leave you with a cliffhanger or anything that makes you "NEED TO KNOW WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN," but i'm definitely going to read the next book to see how it continues. I was around 20 pages from the end when I realized that there was no way Maxon (the prince) could end the competition. There were still 6 girls left! And I was right, he didn't. Oh well I guess we'll find out in the next book, The Elite. I have to say, the ending left me a little bit disappointed, but it wasn't bad enough to make me want to quit the series.
I think this is really one of those books that you either will love or hate. I was surprised when I went onto Goodreads that there were so many negative reviews, but it just confirmed my suspicions. Personally, I really liked this book. I tend to read more sci-fi, actual dystopian novels, so this one was a step out of my comfort zone, but i'd say it was probably in my top 25. The writing style was very simple and straightforward, so it was easy to understand, but at times is could have been a little more intriguing. Props to Kiera Cass though; this was her first published book, and it was quite good!
*Sigh* Now I just have to wait for The Elite to come in the mail.