Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1) 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.
My Review:

This book is an interesting story about a dystopian society.  Much of the story was pretty light, with some moments thrown in there that were a bit darker.  I have seen many comparisons of this book to The Bachelor, and while I haven't seen very much of The Bachelor, I agree with this.  If you put The Bachelor in a dystopian world and made the guy who has to pick a girl the prince, The Selection would be the result.


One thing that is showcased in this book is the nature of the relationships between the Selected girls.  In a way, it seems like they might be friends since they're all in the same situation.  They're all strangers to the palace, and this experience is new to them.  Yet, at the same time, they are competitors.  One girl doesn't want to necessarily become friends with another girl who Prince Maxon might like better, because that could cause all kinds of jealousy problems.  Marlee is an example of a girl who doesn't just think of all the others as competitors.  She connects with America near the beginning, and they remain friends throughout the book, no matter what happens between Maxon and them.  I hope to find out more about Marlee in the next book, since it seems like she's hiding something from America.  Celeste is one of the girls who is super-competitive.  She does some rather mean stuff to America, since America gets some attention from Maxon.

Maxon's character is well-developed, and there is so much more to him than meets the eye.  At first, America thinks he will be some snobby prince, but, though he is a prince, he isn't snobby.  He looks to the Selection as his only way of finding a bride because he doesn't get the chance to meet girls in his everyday life in the palace.  The first meeting between Maxon and America was...interesting.  If he had been a different type of guy, he probably would've sent her away then, because she kind of insulted him.  But instead, the two of them actually became friends.  America was upfront with him about the fact that she didn't really want to try to win his affections.  She told him she needed to stay so her family could get money, so they struck up a deal.  I feel like America really helped to open Maxon's eyes to many of the problems within Illea.  He was rather unaware that things were so bad, especially food-wise.

America's family plays a role in the story, though they aren't with her for the majority of the book, since she is in the palace and they are back at home.  America's mom puts a lot of pressure on her to join the Selection.  America doesn't really want to, and I feel like her mom pressured her too much.  She seemed too focused on the castes.  She seems to really want America to marry Prince Maxon, and she would never want her daughter to marry down a caste.  America's younger sister, May, also really wants America to win the Selection.  I find her focus on it more excusable than her mother's, since May is young and is just fascinated by the idea of America being a princess, and then later a queen.

At the beginning of the book, America is in a relationship, though the relationship is a secret.  The relationship is with Aspen, a boy who is one caste below America.  I didn't like him for most of the book.  At first, I liked him okay, but then he overreacted to some things that America did that weren't meant to hurt him at all.  For example, she made food for him, and he was mad because it made him think about how he wasn't able to provide for her.  Then some things happened later in the book that made me dislike Aspen even more.  I am not rooting for a relationship between America and Aspen at all.

If you like YA dystopian or The Bachelor, read this book.


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