Friday, 9 November 2012
Review: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 24th, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian Romance
When Prince Maxon is ready to find a wife, the country of Illea allows all girls between the ages of 16 and 20 to put their names forward to be selected. One girl from each of the 35 provinces will be chosen to live in the palace and vie for the prince’s affections, allowing him to eventually select his wife with all the world watching. Illea is part of a caste system, and America Singer belongs to the 5th caste, for artists. While she could be worst off, America’s family is often hungry. Being selected means never having to starve, even if you aren’t chosen to be Princess. While entering the competition means half of her worries would be gone, America is in love with Aspen, a servant of the 6th caste. When he insists that she enter, she can’t imagine being randomly chosen; what are the odds? But the selection process proves to be less random than she thought, and America is whisked away to the palace to compete for the affections of the stiff looking Prince Maxon. America wants nothing more than to stay in the competition just long enough to keep her family comfortable, but she soon sparks a friendship with the prince, who she initially misjudged. Just as America might be starting to feel something real for Maxon, Aspen comes back into the picture, bringing with him all of America’s old feelings. While Maxon still has to make his selection, with his feelings and the good of his country playing a role, America has a selection of her own to make.
You can’t say the cover for The Selection isn’t beautiful! I wasn’t going to read this book until my friend and I were trying to decide whether it would be good or not, since we couldn’t help but scoff a little at the name America Singer. I decided to read it and find out for the both of us. This book will appeal more to fans of romance than fans of dystopia. I’ve heard it described as ‘fluff,’ which is fair. This book is sort of The Bachelor with a dystopian backdrop. Not to say that it is exactly like The Bachelor; while the girls to interviews, cameras do not follow them everywhere. However, comparisons between the two are inevitable.
To me, this book was really just entertaining. There wasn’t a lot of depth and the world building was very flawed, since a lot of history was piled in a history lesson midway through the novel. We don’t know a lot about America’s world. Dystopian literature really should be thought provoking and make you examine the world you read about and the world you live in, which The Selection didn’t do. At the heart of the novel, this is a romance, with a love triangle to boot. America enters the selection thinking things are over with Aspen, but doesn’t believe she could love Maxon. For this reason she is different from all the other girls, being honest and even mean to the Prince. This, of course, wins his affection, but soon Aspen reappears. The whole thing was a bit predictable, but it was fun. There were a lot of cheesy moments, especially with Maxon’s dialogue. At the same time, The Selection was entertaining and enjoyable. If you’re the kind of person who likes books with love triangles and good looking characters, then you’ll find in The Selection a book that will make you swoon.
“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”