Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Tagline: 35 girls. 1 crown. The competition of a lifetime.
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.
I can’t help it, but whenever I read a dystopian novel I end up comparing it with The Hunger Games. After reading The Selection I was okay with it-as in yes you can continue with life without having to read it. If however you do pick up the book because of its alluring cover (like me) or just want to know what the fuss is about here’s a little of what you should expect.
America Singer – A feisty red head who’s not like other girls
I guess that’s what Kiera Cass was aiming for, but personally in addition to that I found her some what annoying. For someone who doesn’t believe in the caste system she sure does think about everyone according to it.
‘A group of threes – Kayleigh, Elizabeth and Emily- all turned and waved.’
In trying to be so different from the other girls, America’s character became a bit cliché, as in everybody’s similar so Maxon is obviously going to pick her right? It would’ve been nice to know what was so great about America that she attracted the boys-looks, manner, confidence? She's a girl who speaks her mind. I must say that is one quality I like in characters, especially girls - if they're willing to say what they think then they are automatically okay. At times though this made America seem a bit too self-confident and nobody likes cockiness.
Aspen – Pride comes before a fall
He was meant to be the loving boyfriend. A caste below America and poorer than her meant he had to rely upon her and in the end their whole relationship was worth less than his pride. Okay so he pushed her away because he didn’t want to make her like him, but did it ever occur to him what she wanted? Aspen didn’t like America providing for him, but in all this did he think about whether them being together was more important than the financial side of things? He picked money over love and so Aspen wasn’t an easy to love kind of guy and I tried, boy did I try.
Maxon – The
For each and every girl there, Maxon is a prize not a person and you kind of end up feeling sorry for the poor guy. No real friends, no girlfriend (ever) and he’s supposed to pick out a wife? Awww c’mon give the guy a break. However at times I felt he came across as fragile, when he was meant to be kind. He’s the next king – he shouldn’t be weak. When America accuses him of rape he walks off. The next minute he’s all buddy with her. Then when America talks of another girl sabotaging peoples’ chances we see a change in him.
‘For all intents and purposes, I am the lord and master of this country, and I’ll be damned if you think you can treat me like this in my own home’
Now what’s more offensive, a girl falsely accusing you of rape, or a girl telling the truth about another persons actions? Hmmm...not a difficult choice.
Overall (and here comes my Hunger Game comparison again) this book has nothing more to offer than a love triangle, if you want to even call it that. Maybe it was just the author’s writing style that didn’t suit my taste, but it took a while to draw me in. I quite liked the idea and more could’ve been done with it. I don’t think there was ever a need to make it a ‘dystopian’ novel as the only thing dystopian about it is the caste system. Instead it could have just been based on something else, like typical rich city girls and country girls. And how did it matter to me if another girl was taken out? There were so many characters (35 girls plus royals) and we never were introduced to all of them in depth, so if one left it didn’t really affect the storyline greatly.