Review: The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

Book Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Dystopaian/Romance
Series: Book 1 in Selection series
Book Link: Goodreads
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 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.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

I really was not sure what to expect with this book. I had heard a lot things about it. Some good, some bad, but it was definitely intriguing me. Two blogging buddies of mine pushed it continuously, one even going as far as to call it crack. So I took Andi and Jana’s advice and purchased the book as part of my February book buy.This book was said to be a cross between The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. From the moment I found that out, I knew I had to have it. I am obsessed with The Bachelor and I loved The Hunger Games so I was totally excited for this book and waited anxiously for it to arrive in my mailbox.

Well this book was an entertaining and fun ride. I read the entire thing in one sitting which basically means 3 hours. I could see the resemblance to The Bachelor & to The Hunger Games quite easily. With The Bachelor there’s usually 25 ladies (sometimes more) vying for one guy. Of course there is more to it but I am not going to go into all of it. With The Hunger Games, there are 24, two from each of the 12 districts. Always a boy & a girl.

I loved America. I loved how she was stubborn,but kindhearted. She clearly loved her family but of course she loved another as well. She loved Aspen so much that she was willing to “marry down” or go down one level on the caste system that their world operates on. I am not sure how I feel about Aspen at this point. He pushes her to enter the competition despite the fact that he insists he wants to marry her. So he’s a bit contradictory there.I mean I get that he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her, but that’s her decision to make.He does not get to make the decision unilaterally. 

When America is chosen to be part of the Selected, in other words, one of the thirty-five women, she’s shocked and confused. She clearly honestly didn’t expect to be picked. Actually, I expected one of Aspen’s sisters, either Kamber or Celia to be picked as well and was really startled that they weren’t. I think it could have added another interesting element if either of them had been picked along with America.

Meeting Prince Maxon and getting to know him forces America to realize that he is unlike anything she ever expected. She had expected him to be snobby, abrasive and even demanding. But what she finds is that Maxon is a good guy, a respectful guy and even his parents are kind, interesting people.There’s definitely some jealousy going on towards the end of the book, when the field of ladies has been cut down to only 6, but America is insistent on remaining herself and looking like herself.

I don’t feel like I got to know Aspen all that well and his insistence on America entering the competition didn’t sit right with me. I was hoping for the same amount of character development that Maxon and America had. I realize that Aspen wasn’t in the book a whole lot, but I wanted to actually like him enough to be genuinely torn about who America should choose in the end. I didn’t feel torn though, which disappointed me. I am hoping that we’ll get to see more of him in the next two books and maybe my opinion of him will change. I did enjoy this book, a lot, but I didn’t love it like I wanted to. So I’m giving it 4 stars.