by Kiera Cass
Pub. Date: April 24, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
Genre: YA Dystopian/ Romance
Series: The Selection #1
Cover: Just gorgeous and perfect- and that dress!
Characters: Likable and catty at the same time, but with reason
Tagline: 35 girls. 1 crown. The competition of a lifetime.
Quote: “You get confused by crying women, I get confused by walks with princes.”
For Fans Of: She’s All That, The Bachelor, Princess Diaries, Pretty Little Liars
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Worth the read? Absolutely. It was wonderful brain candy, with just enough depth and story.
From the Cover: 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.
The Short & Sweet of It: I really enjoyed this book a lot more than I had thought I would. It was beautiful brain candy on hand, and a well done romance and dystopian on the other. America was the perfect leading lady for this story, as she still maintains her sense of self and values, even though there are glittery temptations all around her. In fact, she becomes better friends with her maids than with the other girls in the competition, who are all seemingly plotting her downfall. I mean, I knew immediately that she was going to be a great character- the fiery ginger that she is. However, she really wound up having a lot more depth and scruples than I had imagined, although she also learned how to use the competition to her advantage.
I really would like to get to know Prince Maxon better, as he is pretty one dimensional thus far. He is still rather lovely and likable, but one would expect that from a prince, after all. As far as the love triangle, I would love to see that thrown out the window. Aspen, America’s secret ex-boyfriend from before the competition works his way into the castle and tries to win her back. He really just annoyed me through the whole book. I kind of feel like ‘you snooze, you loose, buddy’ would be great advice for that guy.
As far as the other girls in the competition, they are mostly peripheral characters who are standing in the way and muddling up the works. Then again, it is a competition, and their presence is very necessary and their personalities expected. I imagine there will be growth in that department in future books. I do have to say my favorite part of the whole book is kind of a girly one, when all the girls are preparing for a TV interview and decide to wear blue, which is America’s signature color. However, America’s advisers dress her in red, and she stuns and infuriates most of the others. It was kind of like:
Of course I’m gorgeous in blue.
But *BOOM* check me out in RED, bitches! Challenge. Accepted.
The thing is, that there really is plenty of depth to The Selection. Amid the lovely fun, there is a lot of attention on social and economic issues, class issues, and trying to find out what makes other who they are. There is plenty of depth to the frilled and corseted world that is apparent in nearly every social interaction. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel in a couple weeks, and am just full of glittery-girlish glee with this series. It is a sort of guilty pleasure read that is fast and still has enough depth. But, oh, the dresses! And the Prince! And she’s SO nice about it all! *SWOON*
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