This book was everything I hoped… and less.
Title: The Selection (The Selection #1) Author: Kiera Cass Publisher: HarperTeen Publish Date: Apr 24, 2012 Goodreads: 4.2/5 Barnes and Noble: 4.6/5
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.
WHAT I LIKE:
I liked the dialogue most of all. And to be honest, it was the only thing I liked in the book. The narrative was fair and despite how much I hated the characters as individuals (which I will discuss below), I liked them collectively in dialogue. In all fairness, there was chemistry to them.
I was looking for cheesy romantic shit and I that’s what I got. That was the only redeeming quality I can tell.
The lines were plain but good so it was a fairly easy read and I finished this in one seating. I even noted a few quotes from this book. I got a good kick out of their exchanges as well.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE:
The characters are completely archetypal.
The names are horrible. They are all weak. They are all annoying.
Here is America Singer and guess what her talent is – singing! Duh. I don’t know if the author just loves USA but why would you name your child the place where she was born, much less name a character the same as the place she hailed from? It becomes slightly confusing and plainly ridiculous. Oh France, and he lives in France. That girl’s name is Philippines, and she lives in Philippines. And then Cass suddenly decides to combine the two, America + Singer = overly introvert girl who can sing but doesn’t acknowledge her beauty despite other people telling her that she is and has a very sharp and emotional tongue. What a drama queen this girl!
Prince Maxon Schreave. Oh dear God. Other than having a not-so-royal sounding name, this was the least hot Prince I have ever encountered. He tells that he has no experience whatsoever with women but he goes around making them swoon and calls everyone “my dear.” Again, another “I’m-hot-but-i-don’t-know-I’m-hot” kind of person. Jesus.
Then here’s Aspen Leger. You can literally find his character in every book. That guy in the first part of the book, the girl loses him in the middle but then he comes back at the end to confuse the girl and remind her of her old life. Think of Gale in The Hunger Games, Mal in Shadow and Bone.
The World: No originality at all.
This book was like The Bachelor meets Divergent minus the action. (There was no action at all really.)
I had hope that there was going to be a bit of action when the rebels attacked the palace. But wait. WTF?! They just hide inside a safe hall in the palace while they let the soldiers sacrifice themselves. And the “exciting” part of that is the Prince talking to the girls. *facepalm*
Cass gives us a world after many wars where the Caste system has been implemented and thus the rise of Kings and Queens again in America, or in the book is now called Illea.
The world building was just poor. The caste system was fine. But to root from the present America and turn it into a dystopian world where America Singer’s province is called Carolina? I can sense the author’s creativity.
And Cass even put the effort of putting in a history of this world where America had so much debt to China that China decided to conquer it. One, countries don’t borrow money from another country. They borrow it from supranational organizations if not the World Bank. Two, a country doesn’t invade another country out of debt. What is this? Civil collateral? No sense at all.
OVERALL: 2 Stars
But all in all, I liked it. No, seriously. I liked it enough.
Will I read it again? No.
Will I recommend it to other people? No.
Will I read the rest of the series? Yes.
“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”
“It’s always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome.”
“No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.”
Hope you guys found my review entertaining and informative.
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