The Selection by Kiera Cass
Release Date – April 24, 2012
Publisher Website – Harper Collins
Pages - 327 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Selection is it’s oh so pretty cover. It really is one of the more beautiful covers of 2012 and I am sure it’s going to draw a lot of people in.
The best way to describe this novel is fun. It’s been touted as Cinderella meets The Bachelor and that’s not far off. It’s filled with pretty gowns, catty girl drama, and sweet romance. It’s the perfect fit if you’re looking for this kind of novel.
I surprised myself with how quickly I become engrossed in this novel. I wasn’t expecting it, and honestly, I can see how it may not be the book for everyone. It has a specific genre and appeal but it’s clearly stated.
The writing style reflects the tone of the novel. Light, airy and it will keep you turning the pages. Kiera Cass packs a lot of start up plot details into the novel that will set up the sequels. There is the hint of them being taken in some (hopefully) intriguing directions.
This has been called a dystopian. Not sure I agree and I think it may set some expectations on this novel that will cause people to end up not enjoying it. The only dystopian aspect is a caste system based on numbers with the higher number reflecting a higher status. It reads more like a fairytale than anything else.
The character of America did infuriate me at times. She couldn’t make a decision at all. I did like that she finally decides to make herself happy and realizes that she may need time to figure some things about before she can fully commit to what that is. There are times she shows herself as being smart and inquisitive and I hope her character continues to change and grow. Her realization that the life she always wanted may not be the life she ends up with rings true to her journey, as does her realization that she may be ok with this. I did like that she treated everyone the same, regardless of their class.
Maxon is adorable. Patient, kind, a little awkward and seemingly very genuine. He made me enjoy the book so much more. He is under a lot of pressure, not just from the task of choosing a bride, but the rebel attacks that seem to be escalating. He’s got a lot of responsibility and just wants to make his parents and his country proud. It’s hard not to like him.
Aspen is equally likeable. He cares about America a lot, but understands their situation. I may end up liking him more in book two if we get to know him more, but the connection isn’t there yet.
The romances in the book are very different. Aspen and America come from different caste levels in society and therefore have a forbidden romance of sorts. Their romance is filled with sneaked kissing, passion, longing and a hope for the future. Maxon and America, on the other hand, begin as friends. America has no desire to compete at first but quickly realizes that Maxon isn’t so bad and they start to build something that could be real. I liked the Maxon/American pairing so much more because you can see the trust, and genuine feelings being built. It’s not instant, not even instant attraction. They each break down barriers and misconceptions for each other. Aspen and America’s relationship comes pre-developed and I didn’t feel the spark as much as I did with Maxon.
There are teases of unrest, rebels, and a larger political agenda storyline that I hope plays a larger part to the sequels in the series. The depth the story needs is added with this storyline. America proves herself quite perceptive in these situations and as a result she is beginning to ask questions, think logically and has a desire to find out more. The secrets being kept from numerous people will hopefully come to light and could change everything.
This will be one of those titles that people will either really enjoy or dislike. I think a lot of it will come down to expectations the reader has going in. For me The Selection was a fun, romantic, sweet read that I’ll compare to eating a delicious treat. You’ll enjoy it, and immediately look for the another.