Book Review: The Selection (The Selection #1)

Book Review # 3: The Selection (The Selection # 1) by Kiera Cass
Number of pages: 
Copy: Trade Paperback
Date Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating:  Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

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.

Let’s talk about first impressions first. When I saw that cover, I thought “Oh this is going to be one of those sappy novels.” I didn’t plan on reading The Selection at all but the hype in the young adult community was overwhelming that I’m quite sure all my efforts of remaining ignorant will be in vain. Ergo, this review.

There are a lot more books that I need to review. This one I just finished last week but I would probably forget the story if I don’t review it already. Too negative? No, no. Not really.

Our protagonist is America Singer who lives in the country of Illéa. Illéa abides by the caste system, a class structure that divides societies into the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor (1 – royalty, 8- slavery). America is a five. Aspen, introduced as her first love interest, is a six and I’m sure you’ll very well be able to deduce the conflicts based on those numbers but the problems don’t end there. Shortly after being selected, America meets Prince Maxon and let’s just say he isn’t as snotty as she thought he was. The story goes on as America adjusts to life with one foot in the palace and the other in her life as a five. What happened to Aspen? Well, you have to read the book to find out.

To be honest, there are only a few things that I liked about this book. The story is simple  and easy understand. The novel does not attempt to be wordy and was not as sappy as I thought it would be. I won’t deny it, the first few chapters got me hooked.

Despite major and minor events happening here and there, it quickly returns to its focus. I liked Maxon’s character a little. He’s not entirely all “princely” but there’s that awkwardness and gentleness which I tried to assume was genuine else I would feel nothing but irritation towards any of the characters. If there’s something else I enjoyed, it’s probably the conversations between Maxon and America. Their exchanges were quite amusing.

But one lovable character and an interesting premise do not make the sole ingredients of a good novel. Readers have varying opinions. I for one, like reading novels which are direct and consistent. I am always astounded by novels that I cannot put down because I get so caught up in the pace and the story.

To me, The Selection tries to be a lot of things and fails. It doesn’t adhere to one atmosphere. It attempts to be something other than plain romance but falls short of the changes it tries to bring upon itself (Illustration: History lesson re Illéa ; read it if you insist).

I’m not so much a fan of the other characters, even America. I found myself agonizing over her overly repetitive thoughts and complaints about her life. As for the other characters, If I were to not hate them, I would completely forget about them.

Furthermore, there is just something about the romance between the characters that appear forced but let’s leave it at that. Don’t worry. It’s not entirely bad. I did find myself engaged during certain parts of the story. I’ll definitely still give the rest of the series a chance.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Selection (The Selection #1)

  1. I am interested in reading this book purely because everyone else seems to have a strong opinion on it- whether positive or negative. I’m glad you found some enjoyable aspect even though you ultimately thought it tried to be too many things. Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very much. I’ve seen extreme scores (either a 1 or a 5 in most cases) from readers’ ratings as well. Thank you! I’ll wait for your review on this book. 🙂


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