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.
I’d passed over this title many times because of the premise – a raffle for a Prince to choose his bride – sounds a little overdone and pretentious. Many have said it was The Bachelor meets The Apprentice (I didn’t get a feel for the Apprentice part until the end of the second instalment though). I must say I was pleasantly entertained by The Selection. Even though it rubs the wrong way against my ideals, and I felt there were some major plot holes in the world building, I was able to submerge myself in the narrative, and admit that Keira Cass has created a piece which has become a guilty pleasure to read.
The ick factor with this book came from the pomposity of the world – it did not feel believable for me. But if you can indulge the fantasy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the development of some of the characters. Plus there are some real mean girls in here that took me back to my high school experience; how I wish I could have dumped a bucket of fish guts over their heads!
Kiera Cass does a great job in using the narrators voice, in this case America Singer, as a tool for her storyline reveals. We discover the facts as she does. A real case of show, don’t tell. It ticked a big box for me. But the most annoying thing about this novel (and which continues throughout the series) is America’s indecisiveness. For such a strong willed character she flip-flops all over the place. At times I just about left dent marks in my e-reader from gripping onto the case in frustration.
It was refreshing to meet a character who started to enjoy the trappings of class. America begins to get more and more daring, putting on more make-up, choosing flashier clothes, getting comfortable with her maids, and made no apology for her excitement. Every girl likes to play dress up and feel pretty. We can’t be self-sacrificing martyrs all the time.
Other issues I had in the storytelling had to do with America not exploring her situation enough. Questioning why things were the way they were… but having said that, if Keira Cass had explored that train of thought The Selection series would have a much different, darker tone, and ultimately less enjoyable. So I’m chalking it up to America’s naivety to the world around her…
Keira’s writing style is like a warm breeze tickling your skin and waving through your hair: it’s effortless and unseen. I whipped through this book so quickly. Which attributes to the pacing as well, I did not feel the need to put the book down. I have to say, The Selection was a light romantic read very close to a Cinderella story.
If you are on the fence with this series by the end of The Selection, I will say – it gets better. There were a few unexpected twists that brutally surprised me throughout the subsequent editions that I feel totally redeem the collection. So, yes I picked up the next book in the series, The Elite to read straight away…
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