by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Publication date: 24 April 2012
HarperTeen, Hardcover, 327 pages
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 man, 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 first impression of The Selection was a girly, fairy-tale version of The Hunger Games without the killing. However, after finishing it, the only similarity between these two books are:
1. Both are dystopian YA novels set in future North America.
2. Both ave a competition of sorts with eliminations. (Though for The Hunger Games it’s death.)
Moving on, The Selection was a refreshing new sort of dystopian society novel. Unlike many other of the genre, the society in the story, Illéa (futuristic North America), only seem to have the normal political problems of today’s society on the surface. There was nothing glaringly obvious that made Illéa dystopian. That is, until the part where America Singer, the protagonist, gets Selected and was sent to live in the royal palace.
Firstly, a little about Illéa. It is basically a futuristic North America, that after having gone through two wars, became a brand new young country with a hereditary monarchy. The citizens are born into castes, One being royalty and Eight being beggars and criminals. The technology did not seem very advanced as compared to other futuristic books though.
Next, characters. America was a nice girl in general. Very generous, selfless but courageous too. She was slightly too perfect but I really didn’t mind because the gorgeous cover of the book got me in a ‘fairy-tale & princesses’ mood. As for Aspen, I’m not a fan but I don’t have anything against him either. I understand that America and him have a history together and will definitely respect that. Then comes along Maxon… He is completely adorable but charming too. I love how he is with girls (no further details, I don’t want to give spoilers) and how although he appears calm and collected to the nation, he really is just a normal guy on the inside.
America’s initial impression of Maxon was pretty predictable. However, that’s about the only predictable part in the book. Honestly, it’s hard to foresee what will happen next with The Selection because I’ve never come across a girly dystopian book before. I obviously adored it though because in the end, I’m a girly girl and girly girls do love ourselves some delicious girly reads!
The conclusion of the story was also satisfying. There wasn’t a kill-me-now cliffhanger but it still promised more to come as many things were still untold. So thank heavens I’m not ripping my hair off like I was after reading Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver or Cinder by Marissa Meyers (though I loved both authors’ books). Nonetheless, I’m anticipating the second installment of the trilogy, The Elite, coming 23rd April. As for now, I’ll end off with my favourite quote in the book.
No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.