Why I'm Reading It: I was in the mood to delve into the dystopian genre and read up on some The Hunger Games -esque novels. Somewhere it was described as a combo The Hunger Games/Bachelor book, which a really weird and intriguing combination. I will admit I first heard about the book in an article about reader/writer relationships on Publishers Weekly, "Should Authors and Agents Weigh in on Citizen Reviews?"I, at the time, was more interested in the books mentioned then in the contents of the article, but it really is worth the read as an article. Furthermore, the cover is stunning. I'm a sucker for pretty dresses, and the way the mirror reflects it is absolutely dazzling!
Summary:In a world that I think was a couple hundred years from now, the US and the surrounding nations have been united under a monarchy as a nation now called "Ilea." Society is ruled by a strict caste system that is slightly hard to follow at first but eventually you catch on to.
Each heir to the throne, to show unity with the people, hosts thirty-five girls (chosen from a raffle) in his palace as they compete to win his heart and eventually become a princess of Ilea. America Singer is chosen for her province's representative in the competition. America, a Five, is a musician in a family of musicians. All she wants to do is settle down with her Six boyfriend, Aspen, but her mother (and him!) coax her into signing up for the competition.
America doesn't want to go to the Selection, and yet she can't help being attracted to Prince Maxon. Throw in a mess of rebels from the South and North, some crazy ladies who will do just about anything for the crown, and you get The Selection.
Review: First off, the title is kind of boring. I mean, most novels are sort of like that anymore, but who can complain when you have that dress to look at on the cover. It sort of reminds me of a bubbling pond or lake or something, anyone seeing it? Well, either way, I'm obsessed with this dress You have to understand that this book isn't particularly good, yet it is still really enticing. I can't really put my fingers on why I liked it, but I can tell you why I didn't. The writing is kind of childish, the names make me roll my eyes, and I'm really confused by why life is supposed to suck. Sure, the family is a little hungry, but I don't see them downright suffering or anything. Kiera Cass doesn't normally have bad writing. I read The Siren, and I actually really enjoyed her language. Here, however, she just sort of gives us a bare plot and some words to go with it. If you do decide to read this, you have to go in with an empty head. It's like some of those fluffy novels- there isn't much going on, but people like to read them anyway. The Selection made for a very good escape on a rainy Saturday when I needed a book to read, but wouldn't become too attached to. I have to say, the main rival for Maxon's affections-Celeste- is probably one of my favorite characters in the novel. She's a little bit too obvious with her hatred of anyone else, but I really like the Bachelor and she reminds me of a lot of people who have shown up on the show (a comparison for the current season of Bachelorette is Ben, who got kicked off a week or two ago). She's entirely there for him and mostly the crown, not to even try and make friends like some of the other girls. Her forwardness and openness to not particularly caring about anyone else kind of made me roll my eyes, but at the same time it was actually (sadly) real behavior. I am totally Team Maxon. There was something very off putting about Aspen's almost forceful, definitely selfish personality. Maxon, on the other hand, is a bit reserved yet caring, and adorably innocent. He kind of reminds me of a puppy, but there is something strong about the way he is written. If anyone is Team Aspen, do speak up! Lots of people seem to not care for him much.
If you are interested, you can buy this book on Amazon. Plus, there's some fun "deleted scenes" on the author's website. I'll be adding other reviews over the next month, but I will also be re-reading and publish reviews for the other books in this series. Happy Reading!