Title: The Selection
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Goodreads Rating: 4.1 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Content Rating: PG (Some kissing, but that’s about it)
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, I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I finally got around to reading The Selection. (I’ll be reading The Elite soon.) The book is an upper crust take on The Bachelor, where the prince chooses his future queen via a reality-TV-style competition. America Singer wants nothing to do with the Selection (she is already in love), but she is pressured on all sides to submit her name and, sure enough, is selected. What she thinks is going to be a miserable experience actually turns out to be quite eye-opening and America finds that she may be falling for the prince after all. The story was fun and intriguing – the perfect summer read!
- The setting. I was a bit confused by the setting of this book. It seemed to be set in a modern (or slightly futuristic) time period, but then there were parts of the book that felt like they took place in a more medieval time period. For instance, the fact that all of the women in the castle wear fancy dresses at all times. I just couldn’t quite grasp the world that America lived in and I wanted to understand a little bit more.
- America’s choice to lie. Up until the end of the book, America is pretty honest and up-front with Prince Maxon, but at the end she starts lying to him. I was bothered by this. An explanation was given for it, but I didn’t really buy her explanation. Of course, in real life we sometimes come up with excuses for the choices we make when really it just makes it more convenient for us, so I guess this is realistic. Still, I wished that she hadn’t started hiding things from Maxon – you know it’s just going to end up causing her (and him) pain in the next book!
What I loved:
- The romances. At the beginning of the book, Cass did a great job of making us fall for Aspen quickly. She needed to really establish that relationship well before America went off to the castle – we needed to feel America’s pain and understand why she was so set against the Selection. Well, it worked. I was thoroughly smitten with Aspen by the time that America met Prince Maxon and I felt true sympathy for her when she thought that things were over with Aspen (although I do think she jumped to a few unreasonable conclusions – I chalk that up to young love). Then, America met Maxon and I was slowly won over to him, just as she was. I love that he accepted her friendship before it turned into anything else and that he accepted America for who she was – even when she was being whiny and ungrateful! I also loved that America ended up being Maxon’s closest confidante. By the end of the book, I was Team Maxon all the way! I’m now just wondering who the next book will have us rooting for…
- The caste system. I thought that the caste system in the book was really interesting and added dimension to the story. It made the stakes that much higher for America because of her family’s struggles and the possible rewards that would come with being a part of the Selection. I wished that there had been even more details given on the castes.
- “The Bachelor”-esque storyline. I’ve never really been a big fan of The Bachelor, but I have seen a few episodes, and The Selection seems to do a great job capturing what it would be like to be on this sort of reality TV show. I love that there are sweet girls that America sees as possible friends and snarky girls who just want to get their hands on the crown.
I definitely enjoyed The Selection and am looking forward to reading The Elite. I wished that there had been a little more world building and explanation of the castes, but it was a very enjoyable read. 4/5 Stars.