Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: The Selection

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Synopsis (From Goodreads): 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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.

Life is hard for everyone who lives on the outer castes, and America (who is a five) knows all too well what it's like to watch families scramble to find food. When 'the Selection' begins, a chance for one lucky girl to be chosen by the Prince to marry, she knows this will be good for her family. While it will give her family money for food and other necessities, she also doesn't want to put her name in the lottery as she is in love with someone else. Aspen is a six who she has been sneaking around with, if the two want to be together America will have to become a six and Aspen doesn't want to see her become even more hungry and poor than her current situation so he encourages her to place her name in. America doesn't think she stands a chance of being selected since she is only a five and only 35 girls will be selected, so she agrees.

When her name is selected, and she is only one of the few fives, she has no desire to change herself for a guy that she doesn't want, or even think she has a chance of liking let alone loving. Then she meets Maxim, but it's hard for her to pretend to like Maxon and play the game when she's still in love with Aspen.

Okay, so when I read the catchphrase of "the hunger games meets the Bachelor" I instantly thought it was about girls being picked to fight to the death for the chance to marry the prince. So, I was wrong, and when I got over the fact that no one was going to die in this competition, it turned out to be an entertaining read. It's more like the Bachelor in a very distant future.

America was a strong lead who is torn between love and family. She knows this Selection will be good for her family and provide enough money for them to have enough food to live comfortably without struggling, but then she loves Aspen even though he is in a lower caste than herself. She doesn't care about breaking the rules to sneak out after curfew just to see him. Then there's Maxon. He is a bit of a naive prince who doesn't know about what happens to the lower castes and America would never have pictured being able to relate to him, but he is just a normal guy with a personality.

Keira Cass creates a compelling romance told through this messed up Cinderella story set in a dystopian world. But it doesn't stop there. There's growing tension from rebel threat, and even the strong competitive nature from the contestants you'd expect when watching the Bachelor and I look forward to seeing where the rest of this trilogy lead. I recommend this story for anyone who loves a good romance, or just want to cheer for the underdog.

Source: Audible
2012 Debut Author Challenge: #4 of 12
2012 YA Reading Challenge: #15 of 50


Libby said...

I only just heard about this book yesterday, from Amazon. :)

Callie Leuck said...

This sounds kind of totally awesome.

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