The Selection by Kiera Cass
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
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.
With all the drama and buzz around this book, I knew I had to pick this book up to see what I thought for myself. And while I do not support this author’s decisions at all I still picked this book up, just to see what I honestly thought about it. And I can see why people disliked it so strongly, and why people loved it so much. I find myself in the middle group, however. The Selection has tons of problems, yet, I still found myself somewhat enjoying the book itself.
The thing about The Selection is that it has lots of problems, which I’ll talk about a little later in this review. But, somehow, I still managed to enjoy this one. There was just some things that made me smile, even though my inner critic was saying things like “That’s SO cliché!” or “She’s so hypocritical!”. Sometimes you just have to shut off that inner critic and let yourself enjoy the ride, and that’s what you have to do with this book if you want to enjoy it.
That being said, I actually had a long, long list of problems with this book. The number one thing being America, or main character. She was like a walking contradiction, a total hypocrite. She said one thing, then the next thing, she was saying the exact opposite. It would have been fine if this only happened a couple of times, I get it, sometimes you don’t know what you want. But she just kept doing this over and over and over again to the point where it drove me nuts. I just couldn’t understand what this girl wanted! As the book progressed, I found myself growing more and more annoyed with her.
The love triangle in this book was also not something I was fond of. I actually ended up liking Prince Maxon, although we didn’t get too much character development with him (for that matter, we didn’t get too much character development for any character). But it was, frankly, annoying. I feel like the love triangle was put in as an after thought almost, it was completely unnecessary and pretty unlikely for that matter.
Also, The Selection was filled with clichés. There was that petty drama thing with the girls, the love triangle, the cliffhanger, and even America herself, who was one of those girls that thought she wasn’t pretty yet was told by everyone that she was gorgeous (one of my pet peeves, I believe, in books). So yes, this book was filled to the brim with clichés.
Overall, even with the many, many problems with The Selection somehow I found myself really enjoying the book. If you’re able to turn off your inner reading critic, and let yourself enjoy the ride, then you may be able to enjoy this book. I can definitely see some teenagers in my grade liking this book, so I’d recommend it to them, but if you’re a picky reader, then I would definitely pass this one up if I were you. I’ll be picking up the sequel when it comes out, just out of curiosity to see what happens, but I definitely won’t be pining for it.