The Selection (The Selection #1) – Kiera Cass

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10507293For 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 literally just finished this book, and I need to share all of my feelings right away. Before I get into all that, though, let’s start out with a brief introduction of The Selection by Kiera Cass. The Selection is set in sort of a dystopian world where everyone is classified by numbers. If you’re a 1-3, then you’re living pretty well. You never go hungry or have to work too hard. If you’re a 4-5, things are a little different. You work a little harder, and you’ve probably experienced hunger every now and then. And then you have 6-8 (I’m assuming that’s where it stops…I didn’t hear anything about 9 or 10.) These people experience starvation, work really hard only to receive barely any money, and they are basically treated as the lowest of the low.

America Singer and her family are 5’s. They work as artists, singing and playing music to people who can afford their services. America has been in love with Aspen (a 6) for the last two years. But when she receives a letter in the mail for a chance to become one of the selected, Aspen jumps at the chance for her to receive a better life.

Every time a prince is ready to get married, there is a (supposedly) random drawing of 35 girls to come into the palace and fight to win over the prince’s heart. And this is where a broken hearted America ends up after Aspen decides to let her go. America has it set in her head that she is just there for the money and the food, and she has absolutely no intention of marrying Prince Maxon. But unwanted feelings start to develop once she realizes that Prince Maxon is not the pompous ass that she once thought him to be. Now America must battle her feelings for both Aspen and Prince Maxon and thing about her wants and needs for a change.

 

The Selection had a very Hunger Games type of feel to it that I really enjoyed. No, there’s no killing or bloodshed of teenagers, but there are 35 girls in one palace who are fighting for the attention and love (not the mention the title) of Prince Maxon. You can only imagine the entertainment that this brings. Only a girl can truly appreciate how vicious girls are to other girls, and I just loved the whole concept.

It did take me a little bit to really get in to The Selection. There were a few moments that I found myself a little bored. Once America goes to the palace, though, things start to pick up and the energy starts to increase. I adored the relationship between America and Prince Maxon. She was snarky, untrained, and just herself really, while he was regal, properly trained, a true gentleman, and really confused on how to be an individual and communicate his true feelings. I felt that they blended very well together, and I’m rooting for him to eventually steal her heart.

I did have a few moments where I was honestly confused about the era of the books setting. There was a big chunk of the book that made me think it was historical fiction, but there were also parts of the book that made me think it was set in the future. I mean….the book was obviously set in the future, but a lot of the mannerism reminded me of something you would see in like the 1800’s. This did not really take away from the book, but I was pretty confused about where we were at.

I feel like The Selection is something that the YA community hasn’t really seen before. It’s not your typical dystopia book. I also never ( and still don’t) knew what was going to happen. I liked the fact that Kiera Cass kept me on my toes, and I am absolutely dying to see what is going to happen in the next book, The Elite.

The ending of The Selection was a bit of let down for my taste. I was expecting something a little bit more actiony or scandalous. I also was a little let down that there were not very many “aha!” moments in the book. The writing made up for it, but that’s why I have to dock a star from the rating. Overally, the book was really good. It kept my on my toes, and I am ecstatic for the next book to come out. The Selection is definitely a book to get your hands on.

 

Pages: 327

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: April 24th, 2012

Rating: [rating: 4]

 

Teaser Quote: “What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I’ll be lucky if I can just find someone who’ll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I’ve already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn’t feel? What if she’s waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don’t find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?”