Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Selection by Kiera Cass [Review]

The Selection (The Selection, #1) 4 out of 5 Robots!

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release: JApril 24, 2012
Hardcover: 327 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:
This book is like a can of Coca-Cola.  There is no real substance or nutritional value and isn't all that good for you.  But yet it is fizzy, sweet and addicting. The Selection is a Bachelor send up where girls vie for the hand of the Prince.  Set in the future people adhere to a strict caste system.  Marrying the prince would greatly increase the girls' statuses and wealth.  But, of course, our protagonist America wants nothing to do with it.  She already has a boyfriend (Aspen) and wants to marry him.  But she is coerced into applying for The Selection and is shocked when she is chosen.  But after meeting Prince Maxon and getting to know him (despite her being fairly awful to him), she is starting to wonder if she has feelings for the Prince after all.

There are some things that bothered me.  America is not a great protagonist.  While the author tries to make her seem brave and smart, I think she just came across as a total brat.  She overacts to situations completely.  I think authors would do well to remember that being rude and yelling at people is not the same as being witty or assertive.  The love interests are equally problematic.  Aspen is in a lower caste than America and this presents a real problem for them.  America doesn't care, but Aspen is really hung up on it.  After America tries to fix him a nice dinner, Aspen throws a hissy fit because he's the man, dammit!  No woman of his is going to provide for him!  Sigh.  Prince Maxon is nice.  Too nice.  Perfectly nice.  You know the (arche)type.  But he is also naive and sometimes...kind of stupid.  And what he would see in a girl who is utterly rude to him, I don't know.  I guess some guys like the chase?  Add in the "dystopian" element...which is tenuous at best and, as I warned, you end up with a lot of fluff. 

But yet, there is something oddly compelling about this book.  I was always interested to see where it was going. And much like the tv show it is modelled after, it is highly entertaining.   I think this book is best enjoyed if you just read it for what it is.  Don't look to hard at it and you'll have fun.

Books in the series in the order they should be read:
1. The Selection
2. The Elite

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