Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 24th 2012
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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

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  1. I've heard the world-building in this is severely lacking. I'm an easy to make emotional reader too, so if I don't have a reaction, that says a lot.
    Great review, Siiri!

  2. Like Andrea, I've hear that the world-building in this series doesn't work very well, I am happy to see that despite that you were able to enjoy it quite a bit. This series has always intrigued me because I absolutely adore the covers! Great review, Siiri!

  3. Aww, I'm sorry that you didn't love this. America sounds like a very boring character, and I bet that I would go for Aspen as well - too bad the world building wasn't all that fabulous. I hope that your next read is better! Awesome review. ;)

  4. I rated this 2 stars, so you enjoyed this more than I did. I couldn't stand America or Jaspen or their relationship. I haven't decided if I want to check out the sequel or not. Great review Siiri :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  5. I'm glad to see that you gave this book a try despite the not so praising reviews. I usually need a first book in a series to completely wow me in order for me to want to pick up the rest of the series, but I can understand the authors slow world building in this book. I am however intrigued by the characters and whose side you were on over this love triangle. I'm also glad to see that you're still excited about giving the rest of the series a go, I hope it lives up to your expectations. Lovely review!

  6. You're probably the only person I know who liked Aspen better than Maxon. That's why I have no interest in continuing this series because I'm 100% sure she's going to end up with Maxon. I was bored with him as well and I never understood the fascination with him. He is a nice guy though.
    Anyways, the world-building wasn't great, but I did like it better than a lot of other readers. If you read the next book, let me know how you feel about it.
    Lovely review, Siiri.

  7. I'm not going to pick this up, Siiri. And it's not because of the blowup on GRs. I could care less about the ridiculous drama. I won't be reading this because I've had my fill of the typical YA love triangle. I'm glad you gave it a go in spite of all the negativity because I don't think that should sway our choice in picking up a read or not. The story is what should matter, IMO. Wonderful review! :)

  8. I quite liked this one Siiri, but you do make some good points. I wasn't overly drawn to Maxon in the beginning, but he grew on me throughout and I was rooting for him in the end. I ran into a lot of trouble in The Elite though, so I'm definitely curious to see how that one works for you!

    Those covers though? *dies* So absurdly pretty. The cover of The One is definitely my favorite. Love that white dress!

  9. This one was light and fluffy for me. I agree that the world building was lacking. I had a lot of problem with how black and white the caste systems were, and the technology aspect confused me. I wasn't sure whether to picture something historical without toilets or something with tons of gadgetry (since, hey, they are filming the whole thing for a show). I was so Team Aspen too! I thought she had more sexual chemistry with him. Maxon seemed like a friend. I didn't read the sequel, but my sister LOVED this one and read The Elite. She was really, really disappointed with it. So I'm prob never going to read it. I figure, if she liked this one and hated the other one, there's no hope for me. But you may enjoy it more :) As always, great review, Siiri!

  10. Ah this one is one of books everyone has read except for me. I have heard great things about it and now I'm somehow not eager to read it. I have that problem with series that I should have started long ago. It sounds like a decent read, but not the one that will blow your mind. Too bad it lacks in world building, as it's the things I love the most in dystopia. Glad you enjoyed it overall. Great review Siiri :)

  11. A love triangle and simple world building is a bad combination for me. Plus I am not at all a fan of the bachelor. However, I do have a lot of friends who love this one and hope the series gets better for you! I'm definitely interested in your reaction to The Elite.

  12. I think I was hoping for a little more from this one too. I didn't actually get through it in the end, but I didn't think what I read of it was bad either (I ended up putting it to one side and forgetting about it!). I'm not too interested in continuing though, especially with the love triangle, but I look forward to seeing what you think of the rest of the series. I have to say, I'm so in love with the covers for these books! I'm not normally a dress person, but even these make me sigh. Great review, Siiri! :)

  13. Honestly, I think that there wouldn't be that much negative reviews if there hadn't been all that drama. It was okay read for me, nothing special but fun way to spend boring evening.

  14. These covers are gorgeous! Unfortunately, most of the reviews I've seen from trusted bloggers have been just meh. The fact that her name is America Singer is what makes me not want to read this...I'll just stare at the pretty covers.