Em: The Selection by Kiera Cass – BOOK REVIEW

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
HarperTeen, 336 Pages
Sub-Genre: Dystopian
Source: Bought the book
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Selection #1

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 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 finally picked up The Selection (hesitantly), mainly because I wanted something interesting and easy to read at the airports on my flights back to Nashville. It was only $2.99 on Amazon for Kindle, so I gave it a shot.

It was entertaining, that is for sure. It is essentially The Bachelor + medieval dystopian future.

The caste system is an interesting aspect of the series and it took some time for me to understand the purpose of it (that comes later in The Elite, which I am reading now).

The main character, America Singer (I cringe at this name), is shallow, naive, and a bit frustrating. She DOES have some redeeming qualities, but her lack of character development makes it hard to see them through the flighty, indecisiveness. She WANTS to do something for her family (by becoming part of The Selection, she goes from a caste Five to a Three), she wants better living conditions for her country, but she is just TOO flaky to commit to anything. She goes into The Selection at the behest of her family and her (secret) boyfriend Aspen (who is a Six…and marrying down is a no-no), but she eventually has feelings for Maxon who is not as vapid as she expected. Her entire relationship with boys is as flaky as a homemade southern biscuit. America is petulant, but determined. Determined to do what…that remains to be seen. She essentially wants her cake and the rest of the cakes…and wants to eat them, too. It is really hard for me to even describe what is going on with her because it is incredibly confusing and ambiguous.

I know America wants to have love…and she can, but she also wants to make positive changes in her broken society…and she can. But at the same time, she is ALSO so caught up in her personal love life that it is really hard to parse out what she wants more. Frankly, I can tell you what I would do and it would be win The Selection, eventually become queen, and change the government for the better. Instead, America wants to whine about a boy whom she loves, but doesn’t want to sacrifice their relationship for the greater good. I can’t really see her as anything but selfish right now. Hopefully, that will change as the trilogy goes on. Aspen is a nice guy and all, but he is guilty of being more manipulative and controlling than Prince Maxon.

Honestly, this review is giving me a headache, so I’ll spare you. I will say America’s dad is my favorite character. His sweet words and support actually brought tears to my eyes. He is easily the most likeable character for me.

I recommend this book for anyone who is part of #BachelorNation/#BacheloretteNation like me and is looking for a quick, light read. The writing in general leaves something to be desired, but overall, I liked the book. [3 of 5 stars on Goodreads]

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