Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 24th 2012
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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 Selection in general is very talked about. Whether it’s in positive or negative light, most of the readers in YA fiction community know about it. All the drama aside, I was still a bit sceptical and I wasn’t sure I would like this piece of work. I’m still not sure if I entirely liked and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t a huge disappointment which I thought it would be.
“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”
On the premise. I found this novel to be decent and an okay-ish beginning to a trilogy. However, even though I wasn’t dying of boredom, I wasn’t that eager to pick it up every night and I didn’t get emotional or feel any amount of the promised swoon-worthiness. Plus, I’m an easy person to make emotional so.. Yeah. That says it all. I imagined it to be a Bachelorette vs. fairy tales of sorts, but there was very little of reality show stuff that seemed to be a huge deal at first sight. We basically only saw the camera crew when they were doing the weekly reports in the castle and on very, very few other occasions.
On characters. I love Aspen a lot! At first I was so bored with Maxon, but he grew on me and I’m kind of torn between the two, except Aspen is still the front runner for me. For now, at least. I get why he did that in the beginning of the novel since he wanted a better life for America. Did I agree with his actions? No! I do like his driven personality though and I feel like he gave life to America’s dull character. I did like the main idea, some of the relationship portrayals and America’s nobility and how she became almost friends with her maids. However, I didn’t find America’s humor or her personality to be very bright and all the other girls were pretty stereotypical, too.
On world-building. We got some of the backstory of the country in a history lesson and through America’s seldom thoughts about Illéa. In my opinion, first books in trilogies are for world building and I still don’t have the full grasp of what is going on in this world. I’m not a reader who favors details, but in this case, it would have been nice to have gotten some. For instance, there was this part where America said that girls have to be virgins to marry guys. Ok, fair enough. Why though? Because it helps to keep the castes intact. But... They have telephones, television, all these great resources and some castes like One, Two, Three are very rich and influential. How come no such thing as condoms and birth control to protect themselves or against unwanted pregnancy? Perhaps I’m just a weird person who found that ridiculous O.o
It seems more like a negative review, but don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad book, it was just too simple for me and I was looking forward to more conflicts, drama; a more complex society and some well-deserved explanations. I did get some, but not enough for me to fully invest myself in America’s story. The more towards the end, the more into it I got and them BAM!!! – it’s over. So even though I had a lot of flaws to point out, I’m still looking forward to finding out what happens next. As for the love triangle, it’s pretty obvious that one person is going win America’s heart and I have a feeling I know who it will be so I really ought to switch teams. At the end of the day, I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either so I’m going with a decent three star rating. Here's to hoping that The Elite will rock my socks off!
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars