The Selection #1
by Kiera Cass
genre: dystopian, YA
‘I want that dress. I have to read that book.’ That was the extent of my selection process though it’s been sitting in my TBR pile for a while. I’m so glad it had a pretty cover! In all fairness though, I did eventually decide to read it because I needed something lighthearted to pick me up after wallowing in the depression that is The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Don’t get me wrong, great book but soooo depressing. But I digress. The Selection is amazing and I recommend it to just about anyone who likes YA, romance, and oddly enough, The Hunger Games.
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
If Brave New World and ABC’s The Bachelor had an affair, The Selection would be their love child. The world Cass paints is so beautifully repulsive. I was audibly disgusted. I have a bookmark titled “Excuse him?!” Instead of Alpha through Epsilon test tube babies being pushed out of a baby-farm, people are born into a one through eight rank, one being royalty and eights being the homeless. Quite a few people marked it as science fiction and some marked it fantasy, but so far it’s just a dystopian novel based in America (80% sure) after WWIV.
Prince Maxon is the perfect man. I hope I don’t regret those word as I’m only a third of the way through the series, but I love him. He’s made me melt and sigh on a number of occasions. I’d describe him more but for one, I can’t do him justice and for another, you just have to get to know him yourself.
Regarding my initial thoughts, I was correct that The Selection is set in what used to be America. Apparently the United States had quite an interesting history between 2014 and whatever year it is in the novel. As you can tell from what I’ve marked the book, it is neither science fiction nor fantasy. While some might have labeled it fantasy because there’s a royal family, I’m not sure why so many people think it’s science fiction other than that it’s set in the future. The rebels literally attack the castle with bricks and Maxon mentions photography as a hobby. There were no great leaps in science, technology, or the environment.
This isn’t the type of love story that has you on the edge of your feet wondering, “will they?” “won’t they?” The titles themselves pretty much spell out how it’s going to go, but that is entirely speculation. I haven’t read any of the other summaries convinced there will be a spoiler.
I’m in love with America. She’s willful, strong, smart, and humble. She’s the perfect girl to win in the end (second only to me if I was a character). Though she has some reckless and stupid moments, I don’t hate her the way I hated the Timetraveler’s wife. I sympathize with what she’s going through, she’s not married, and she’s only sixteen. She’s had her heart broken and there’s really no one she can talk to about it.
I still hate the world, but again, it’s a good hate. It’s the typical dystopian you’re not supposed to like what the world has become kind of hate. I’m a little surprised that a story set in the future would have slid back to customs from earlier centuries, but it worked. Probably one of the best books I’ll read this year. The only reason I’m not immediately jumping into the second book is that the third isn’t out yet and heaven forbid there be a cliffhanger.
5 out of 5 stars.
- You liked Matched by Ally Condie
- You liked Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- You’re a hopeless romantic
- You watch The Bachelor
- You smile at the idea of trying to date in a downgraded version of The Hunger Games
You might not like this book if…
- You don’t appreciate a good love-triangle
- You like your love interests dark and brooding
- You looked on Goodreads and thought you were getting a sci-fi novel
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