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.
Overall, The Selection was a quick, mindlessly and mildly entertaining read. I was hoping that it would be a bit more Bachelor-esque, with challenges and contests, cat fights between the contestants, and heart-stopping eliminations, but the story focused more on the love triangle between America, Aspen, and Prince Maxon.
Meh. “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor”? I think not.
In fact, I’m not sure why this book was even remotely compared to The Hunger Games, or why it was shelved under Dystopian. There are small elements of a Dystopian setting, with caste systems that divide the “common folk” being the most obvious, but the focus of this book is most decidedly on the romance. There is very little action and only brief commentary on the societial and political infrastructure.
While it took it me a good bit to get into this book, I began to really pay attention a little more than halfway through, because Prince Maxon was a breath of fresh air in comparison to all the other characters. I couldn’t really figure out why America clung so tightly to her love for Aspen, especially after being romanced by Prince Maxon. I feel like there wasn’t enough emphasis on the connection between America and Aspen for me to care whether or not she stayed faithful or continued loving him while she was at the palace. I mean, all he did was stare at her a lot, proclaim her beauty, and ask her to sing for him. Boring! Aspen, who???
The other girls who were part of “The Selection” were not heavily focused upon, which I think is a good thing, given that there were initially thirty-five of them. There were a couple girls who showed a small spark of personality, but not enough to make me care for them or their future in “The Selection”. I really enjoyed Prince Maxon’s character and feel he experienced the most growth throughout the story. As a Prince, he had never been truly exposed to the suffering of those in the lower caste systems, but as his eyes were opened to what people in “the real world” were really enduring, he became much more compassionate and understanding. America Singer, the main character, had me on the fence for most of the book. I admire that all of the riches of the palace didn’t really turn her head. She was generous and kind to her assigned maids and didn’t participate in any contestant bashing, even when one contestant in particular was just a plan ol’ witch. Her little sister and brother really captured my heart, too, but I have an admitted soft spot for kids, even in books 🙂
The Selection ended on a weak cliff-hanger, which kind of irritated me, because I feel the story could have been a bit longer, written better, and wrapped up in a nice little bow by the end. I can’t imagine what will happen in the next two books, though if I’m correct in my assumptions, there should be more of a focus on the Dystopian elements. I think The Selection suffers from First Book Syndrome, moreso than other “firsts” in a series. Hopefully Kiera Cass can do a better job with the other books in the series. I’m sure I’ll read the next one, but I won’t be anxiously awaiting its debut.
Have you read The Selection?
Do you think its fair for it to be compared toThe Hunger Games, or even The Bachelor?
What did you love and/or hate about the book? Think the next one will be better?
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