Friday, December 28, 2012

The Selection: a review

By Kiera Cass
3.5 / 5 Gnomes

A review in 10 words or less:  The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games meets Pride and Prejudice.

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.

~Amazon Description~

The Breakdown:

Sometime in the future, the United States ceases to exist and is now known as Illea.  The country is organized into castes and run by monarchy.  Royal daughters are married off to other countries for peacemaking, while royal sons end up on The Bachelor.  Thirty-five girls are selected to move into the palace and attempt to woo the Prince.  America Singer wants nothing of the charade, but her family is desperate and the boy she loves insists so that he doesn't have a guilty conscience that just maybe she could have more out of life.  So America travels to the palace, and everything unfolds exactly the way you would expect.

The Awesome

I didn't want to like this book.  The cover was beautiful, but the story didn't seem like anything original.  But then I met the characters, and I just couldn't help myself.  Prince Maxon is dreamy.  He kind, compassionate, intelligent, and a friend anyone would be fortunate to have.  America is a bit whiny, but she has a strength that I'm excited to see grow.

I'm not a huge fan of The Bachelor television show, but cat fights sure are fun.  There are the sweet girls that you are rooting for (Marlee, Tiny, and Ashley) and the really nasty girls that you kind of hope get hit by a bus (Celeste and Bariel ).  Cass did an excellent job of putting you there in the battle.  I would have liked to get to know s ome of the girls a little better, but with world building and character development, that would have been difficult.

This book isn't all fluff.  Something terribly is brewing, and the royal family and remaining candidates seem to have their hands full just staying alive.  That's right, this book is also a dystopia!  It's rather cleverly wound throughout, building for a crescendo in the books to come.

The Not So Awesome

Have I mentioned that America is whiny?  She's suffering from a severe case of "I love you...I hate you...I love you...I hate you," which is not one of my favorite plot lines.  It seemed pretty obvious to me who she should pick, and not just because he's a Prince.  Much like The Bachelor, our rather naive  husband to be fall pretty quickly which is a bit annoying as well.

The Selection was a pleasant surprise.  Light, romantic, but leading toward excitement, a perfect vacation read.  If you liked Matched by Ally Condie or Delirium by Lauren Oliver, definitely give The Selection a read.

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