Review: The Selection – Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1 Genre: Young Adult Dystopia Published: April 2012 Links: Amazon Book Depository
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.
Lately I have come across The Selection on several best of lists. Spurred on by the many recommendations I decided to read The Selection although I’d initially decided based upon the book synopsis that this wasn’t a book for me. I’m not a fan of The Bachelor. I kinda abhor the idea, and the plot of The Selection is almost a spin on the idea of the bachelor. But I was won over by the recommendations and the pretty cover.
The Selection is a Young Adult Dystopian novel following our reluctant heroine America Singer, who unexpectedly finds herself participating in a bachelor style competition to win the hand and heart of her nation’s crown prince, Prince Maxom. America was resistant to even entering the competition but because of the benefits her family would reap from her inclusion, she reluctantly agreed to enter confident that she would never be chosen. Of course, America is one of the 35 girls selected and departs for the palace to win the hand of the prince or perhaps not.
The Selection was an easy read. The story was entertaining but lacked substance, a little fluffy to be honest. I thought the idea of the story was interesting and some of the world building was intriguing if a little under developed. The dystopian society is created upon social caste levels, the upper crust being 1 and the homeless being 8, with a ruling monarchy. But I was left with many questions about how the world and society operated.
The characterisation was a little problematic. America is a likable if passive heroine and a little whiny. America is level 5, a member of a lower caste but her initial boyfriend Aspen, a member of an even lower caste was basically a servant. She didn’t really understand his position and was a little self obsessed. Her vision of their future was on the whole rose tinted. I liked America’s family. I enjoyed the dynamic between American and her father and younger siblings. Mum was a little pushy and one dimensional but overall I liked her family.
Once at the palace, I felt the other girls in the contest were superficial. Their characters were under developed and essentially either good or bad. Although I did enjoy the descriptions of the pretty dresses. Also, a love triangle develops but I just didn’t feel the chemistry. There was no spark between the heroine America and the two male leads. Perhaps I was little thrown by Prince Maxom dating and kissing so many women at once. With regard to Prince Maxom, I wasn’t really a fan. I thought he was bland.
So, to all intents and purposes I thought The Selection was okay. I had no strong feeling either good or bad for this story, and I don’t suppose that I will read the next book in the series.
My Rating: 5/10