Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass.


Product details:
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books.
Release date:  June 7th 2012.
Paperback, 327 pages.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 13+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.


In a world where society is divided by numbers, America Singer is a five.  It’s nothing that marks her out as special, but nothing so bad either that she has to work as a servant, always going hungry, never having enough, like her secret boyfriend Aspen, who is a six.  America’s mother wants great things for her pretty daughter. She wants her to move up the world.  She’d like America to marry a four, maybe even a three.  And so, when an unbelievable opportunity  presents itself in the form of The Selection, whereby pretty girls compete for the heart of Prince Maxon and the crown of Illéa, America’s mother is all for it.  At first, America is not interested, but then when her relationship with Aspen takes an unexpected and heart-breaking turn, she sees The Selection as her escape from reality. After all, living it up in a palace for a couple weeks can’t be so bad, right?

Billed as The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games, The Selection has been heavily marketed as a work of dystopian fiction.  However, if you’re expecting a hard-hitting read featuring a brutal regime and a caste system that has rules and regulations that are almost impossible to adhere to, then this isn’t the book for you.  Essentially, The Selection is a dark fairytale, or dystopian-lite, if you like. There’s a lack of world building and background information here, which will annoy some readers, and the only thing that might disrupt the order of America's society, a rebellion that is supposedly rising, is talked about, but never actually seen.   I have my own theories on that particular plot point, but it’s not something that really bothers America and the rest of the girls who have been chosen for The Selection. After all, they have their pretty dresses and their fine jewels to keep them occupied.

The Selection is a light, fluffy read that mostly deals with America’s new life at the palace and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon, who turns out to be not as dull as he might first seem. Okay, he is a little dull, at times but he’s a nice guy too, and he likes America right from the start.  It’s not all plain sailing though, because, while Aspen may no longer be a part of her everyday life, he still occupies a special place in America’s heart. Soon, America will have to decide if she should give the Prince a chance, or if her heart truly belongs to the servant boy she loved so dearly once upon a time.

The Selection is perfect for those days when you are looking for a read that’s light and fun, and not too taxing.  I enjoyed it enough that I’ll continue with the series, although I would like to find out much more about what’s going on outside the walls of the gilded world America now inhabits.

19 comments :

  1. Becky @ Stories & Sweeties12 June 2012 at 09:08

    I was almost scared off from this one because of it's comparison to The Bachelor, but I'm glad I tried it out---it was definitely a fun, fast read. It did bother me that we didn't find out why the world was divided into castes like that---maybe in the following books?   We'll see, I guess!  Glad you enjoyed it enough to continue the series! :)

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  2. Vivienne_dacosta12 June 2012 at 09:27

    I worried about this one after all the bad publicity, but I am still going to give it a go. 

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  3. Great review, Leanna! I didn't love this, but the idea behind it was pretty cool!

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  4. daisychainbooks12 June 2012 at 17:48

     A lot more world building/background explanation is required, for sure! I hope that'll happen in the next book! :)

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  5. daisychainbooks12 June 2012 at 17:49

     I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it more than I thought I would, but I read it at a time when I was looking for something light and fun, which is just what this one is!

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  6. daisychainbooks12 June 2012 at 17:49

     Yeah, I didn't love it either, but it was better than I expected it to be. :)

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  7. Dystopian-lite is a good way to describe this one Leanna! I really enjoyed it for all the reasons you listed - it's fun and not too taxing. I read it quickly and easily and sometimes that's enough for me! Glad you enjoyed it for the most part, and I'm with you in hoping for a bit more of the world building in the next book.

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  8. I've heard a lot about this for a while now and I think it sounds interesting, and like an alright read, but it doesn't really feel as though it's worth the effort of actually reading, when I could read something else instead?

      Cait 

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  9. I've heard really mixed reviews of this one, and the Bachelor comparison is definitely off-putting! Thanks for the review. :)

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  10. It goes wrong in being billed a certain way when it's clearly something else. When I went into this with almost no expectations I enjoyed the crap out of it. It's the kind of book that gets me all smiley and warm. :D

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  11. Thank you for the honest review, Leanna. I was considering buying this one for the summer, but I may skip it now. There are so many other books that are awesome that I want to read--this one sounds too middle of the road.  

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  12. I'm glad you liked this one Leanna! I've seen mixed things about it but it sounds like a cute and fun read and if I read it in the right mood I think I'll really enjoy it :) Thanks for a fab review! - Jess Hearts Books

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  13. daisychainbooks13 June 2012 at 23:32

     It's a good filler book when you're looking for something not too taxing. I read this one when I was struggling through Alyson Noel's Fated and it was just what I needed!

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  14. daisychainbooks13 June 2012 at 23:33

     Yeah, it's pretty much light and fluffy, just like reality TV!

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  15. daisychainbooks13 June 2012 at 23:37

     I know! I feel like it's really being pushed as a dystopian when it's not really at all. At times I felt like the dystopian elements were tacked on. They weren't developed really well. If this one had been marketed as a Cinderella for the 21st Century or some such, I think people would feel warmer towards it. Instead a lot of readers are expecting  a full on dystopian and it's just not that!

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  16. daisychainbooks13 June 2012 at 23:37

     It is a bit. I was sent a review copy. It's not one I would have gone out and purchased myself.

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  17. daisychainbooks13 June 2012 at 23:37

     It is cute and fun for sure! :)

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  18. In every single review I read for this, I see the exact same thing mentioned about the dystopian aspect. I don't really understand why they'd market it as that, since it sounds like it would only disappoint. But I'm glad to be going into this with my expectations in the right place now. Every now and again I NEED a fun, light book that I can just breeze through over the weekend and this sounds like it fulfills that. With the mixed reaction among readers, it actually makes me more curious just to see if I'll like it. Fabulous review, Leanna!

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  19. This one sounds interesting, it sounds like something I would like but with a lack of world building - I'm umming and ahhing over it lol

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