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.
Topics: Princesses, Dystopia, Dramatic, Royalty, Marriage, Princes, Love, Social Class, Social Status, Redheaded Characters, Female Protagonist, Rivals, Secret Lovers, and Enemies to Lovers
Be the first to review this title!
This book shows that standing up for what you believe in is worth wild and that it is truly better to be yourself most of the time, because even in everyday life people still pretend some days. The language and writing style is that of the teens this day and age which is not always correct but they are shaping the future and with it the English language as we know it. For examples please read a few of the reviews and comments which I had the pleasure of cringing at.
Needless to say I did enjoy this book, but won’t win the Pulitzer that’s for sure. It is a teen romance that embodies just that romance and the ideals of the young people today. I would recommend it to some teens I know.
Update. Finished this on May 25 but writing the review 2 days later, which is never a good thing. I forget so easily.
I liked the book in some parts, I liked the idea of 35 girls fighting for a prince. I guess I expected more reality TV like the Bachelorette.
What I did not like was that the girls that the prince did not pick, left by their own demise, or wanted to go themselves.
It would have been more fun to read why the prince did not like so and so girl.
What I also did not like was that it reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games. Since that book was such a hit, you see so many authors trying to write a dystopian based YA novel. The sad thing is that many of them use the same concept. A girl who loves two boys. I liked the book up until the other guy arrived. I thought it was weird he just walked into her room. If he loves her so much, why does he put her in so much danger? She could get the death penalty for treason.
In a way this book was very unrealistic but hey, many books in this category are. The girl is very offensive to the prince and he swallows it all up.lol. It was an easy quick read though. Not much dystopia, more romance.more
Ugh.....I can't believe the ending!!!! This was a light fun weekend read. I enjoyed the characters, meaning I liked most and loathed some. America was great, imo. I can't believe who came back in the end for the gut wrenching twist but am happy with the imperfect resolution/ending.more
Anyway, the description kind of made me laugh a little bit; I mean, it really does sound like a dystopian version of The Bachelor/Cinderella. As far as dystopias go, this definitely is pretty light fare. The society depicted here is a caste system as in olden days, with one's role in society determined by their occupation. Accordingly, women do not have much say in their lives and are required to remain virgins until marriage. Basically, this is a futuristic version of an ancient civilization, which is interesting, but, so far at least, the society really doesn't seem all that bad, although the attacks on the capital are worrisome.
The heroine, America Singer, is as one snarky reviewer pointed out a singer. Surprise. That reviewer deemed this a failure of originality by Cass, but clearly does not understand that historically many people, if they had a last name, had one that referred to their profession (i.e. the reason Smith is so common as a last name is because of blacksmiths, silversmiths, etc.). Research: it is a good thing.
Anywho, the writing definitely is pretty simplistic. Although I prefer complex sentences, I'm okay with Cass' writing. She can get away with it because the story is told from America's perspective. America, as a five (her caste), did not have a great education, so she might not think or speak in a particularly complex manner. Of course, I look forward to seeing Cass really show off her writing skills in later books.
Both Aspen and Maxon have their good points, and their moments that make me feel concerned. As yet, I am not declaring any sort of Team allegiance to either. So far, I suspect that Maxon would be better for America, but I'm not entirely sure that I like him better in general. Aspen definitely strikes me as more swoon-worthy, but Maxon's much nicer. Plus, he can afford to give her the tastiest food.
More than anything, The Selection actually reminds me of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, which I would definitely recommend to anyone. The Selection is a fun, absorbing read. Will you like it? Well, it's going to be made into a CW television show, and I think it will be a good one (which I know I'll be watching), so if that doesn't appeal to you, The Selection might not either. I, personally, will be looking forward to book two.
The one good thing about this novel is its protagonist, America, who unfortunately also falls into the not-so-good category. (We'll get to that in a second.) America is generally brave and loyal. She's talked into the reality show from hell because of the money her destitute family will receive if she's picked. Of course, America is already in love with a handsome and passionate boy from the Wrong Side of the Tracks who wants to marry her, but blah blah blah things don't work out and America ends up entering the competition. I was actually naive enough to think things were legitimately over with Emo Boy over there, but since he makes a half-hearted return in the last twenty pages or so, we've clearly got a Love Triangle brewing.
Now, on to the not-so-good part about America, which is that she's basically a walking, talking Mary Sue. America is a beautiful, talented singer who loves to spend time signing autographs for people she doesn't know, and is just spunky enough to keep it real with the prince, our Mr. Bachelor. Naturally, the prince is intrigued by her no-holds-barred attitude and, instead of throwing her into the dungeons or just kicking her off the damned show, he continually seeks her out.
The other big problem with this book is the decision to make it a dystopia. Ideally, the point of a dystopia is to compare and contrast it with our own, modern society. It may or may not be complimentary of the world we live in, but it pushes us into thinking about things we probably haven't considered before. There is absolutely NO REASON for this book to have the setting it does, which Ms. Cass seems to be aware of, since the book glosses over world building for 99% of the book. What we do know of America's society makes no sense, as NO COUNTRY EVER could possibly function this way. Families are assigned numbers based on the jobs their ancestors had, so if your parents were poor artists, you had better be, too, dammit. Of course, there's some way to marry up, which was vaguely mentioned more than once and never clearly explained. How far back does the government keep track of this, exactly? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to have SKILLED PEOPLE doing the jobs in your country? Poor families are also denied birth control, leading to massive overpopulation and starvation in the lower class. Which...is probably not how I would prevent a revolution if I ran a country, but that's me.
The fact that our protagonist is named America also ties into the messy world building, in that the explanation for her name is never really made clear. Our protagonist lives in a monarchy, and at one point states that her mother named her America because it means brave. Which might work, if the society saw the United States in a positive light. However, seeing as how this monarchy came into existence after the United States ran itself into the ground, it seems strange that everybody is OK with this kind of incendiary sounding name. Ideally, our protagonist might represent a democratic society, contrasting with the monarchy America currently lives in, but there is NO indication whatsoever of any symbolism here.
Basically, this isn't the kind of book for people who pay too much attention to details, which sounds more condescending then I'm intending. The Selection is pretty clearly Cinderella with a love triangle. And there's nothing wrong with that, if that's what you want. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole dystopia thing got added in after the book was written, since it has very little to do with anything.
It should probably go without saying that it's totally unnecessary to drag this thing out into a series. Considering the glacial pace at which this book moves, I can only imagine how the later books will turn out.