The Selection by Kiera Cass
Published: April 2012 by HarperTeen
Format/Source: Purchased Kindle eBook
Genre: Young adult romance with few dystopian elements
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.
So let me explain first why I read this book. I had seen a lot of buzz around the sequel, The Elite. I remember seeing The Selection around before but had never really felt compelled to read the book. I’ll admit, I was judging the book by its cover: a girl wearing a fancy dress and something about princesses? Meh, sounds like chick lit and not the kind I typically enjoy. But with the buzz around The Elite, I entered into a Goodreads’ giveaway for the sequel. I won it, but now in order to really review the sequel, I needed to read The Selection. I explain all this because I believe my initial impression of the book was partly true.
The Selection is at its core a light teen romance read. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have been grappling with a week-long gross cold and I don’t think I could have chosen to read a more perfect book to help me get through it. I can easily equate the book with the show The Bachelor (a comparison everyone makes) in that it’s entertaining, stupid, and embarrassing, and it quickly becomes your guilty pleasure. You can’t wait to see what happens next, you stay up late to read more, but you’re horribly ashamed that you like something like this. I mean, it’s about girls trying to become the prince’s love.
If you cannot stand love triangles, this is certainly not the book or series for you. It’s a non-stop love triangle that both frustrates and compels you to keep going. America is incredibly fickle, and yet you can completely understand her indecisiveness. It’s not forced, just frustrating.
I will say that I think the whole dystopian element is almost superfluous. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t seem to add anything to the story. I can only hope that it takes a more important role in the future. It’s interesting and I’d like to know more about what’s going on in this world, but the focus is so clearly on the romance that it really doesn’t seem needed.
If you’re looking for great literature, look elsewhere. For a light read that will likely become a guilty pleasure read, this is the perfect book.
My rating: 3/5