Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Genre: Teen Fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: 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.
I picked this one up expecting a light, romantic read and that’s exactly what I got. I knew this would be the perfect book for me because #1 I love competitions (which oddly really was the number one draw) #2 I’m in a dystopian phase #3 my guilty pleasure is The Bachelor (don’t tell anyone, I’ll lose my street cred) and #4 I love sweet love stories. The Selection satiated all those cravings and more… I also really liked the writing style and overall voice.
Interestingly enough, there were lots of elements that evoked images of a watered-down Hunger Games. Something along the lines of “the life and times of the people in the Capitol,” only in this version, the fight to the death is figurative… And over a boy. I found the comparisons fascinating and delighted in the fact that Cass managed to flip it into a lighthearted romance – and as that’s what I was in the mood for, it was perfect.
There wasn’t a whole lot of complexity in the story. Everything was pretty straightforward. So if you’re looking for a well-developed dystopian society where secrets are revealed around every corner, this may not be the novel for you. While I actually liked the hierarchal systems and the post-America histories here, there were a few too many implausibilities for me to take it seriously. That’s okay though, because I didn’t expect it to be profound – I just went with it.
Recommendations: I would mention it in passing to dystopian fans, but would probably hand this to someone looking for more of a romance. Unlike some of the more intense dystopians, I would feel comfortable recommending this to younger teens. This definitely made my “Top 10 Books When you Need Something Light & Fun” list and I liked it so much I’ve already devoured the second book.
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