The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

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Book: The Selection, (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 24, 2012 by HarperTeen
Hardcover, 327 Pages

B.O.S.SF Review: 4 stars

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Read October 2012, Listened to Audiobook in March 2013 (so I can be ready for The Elite! woo hoo!)
*****
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.

*****

The Selection is a great Young Adult Dystopian style trilogy!  It features so many aspects of this highly popular genre – beautiful cover, uniquely down to Earth, strong willed heroine, the love triangle, and underlying society and political problems… all the while, the Selected girls are competing for Prince Maxon’s hand in marriage (for those who love The Bachelor, this might be the book for you).  It’s campy and predictable, yet cute and fun.  In some ways, I think that The Selection is the closest to The Hunger Games.  Obviously, competing to be the Queen in fancy clothes is different than being thrown into a death match… but the world that the Selection has created (look up world) is similar. 

People of Illea are born into different castes, and that determines yours and your family’s jobs, which in turn determines how successful you will be.  America, our red headed, heroine, is a ‘5’ which is one of the poorer castes (8 being the poorest).  She and her family are artists, and America is a talented musician.  She has given her heart away to a local boy, Aspen, but he is a 6.  Aspen is a servant, and he will always struggle financially.  For that reason, Aspen ends their two year relationship, because he wants America to do better for herself.  A heart broken America’s luck turns around when she is chosen for The Selection.  She wasn’t excited for the chance to meet the Prince, but she WAS exited to put distance between herself and the boy that broke her heart.

Once America met Prince Maxon, she accused him of being spoiled and boring and several other pointed words.  Maxon seemed to find her refreshing (a YA staple), and they decided they could be friends.  Since America didn’t think she had anything to prove to Maxon, she was completely open and honest with him.  I think everyone can see where this is going………  Maxon has fallen for Lady America, and although her heart is still with Aspen, she allows herself to care for Maxon.

Is this an original storyline?  Of course not!  But I did SO enjoy reading about how America starts to fall for The Prince (he’s adorable…. Team Maxon over here!).  The love story between America and the Prince is very sweet.  Basically, all of the scenes when America and Maxon are left alone leave me smiling.  After her first outburst and then when she kneed him in the groin… it’s pretty hilarious.  His reactions to when she says something seem very naive, but in a lovable kind of way.  America is honest about her past relationship back at home, and his reaction is very angry, not at her, but at a man for breaking her heart!  My favorite interactions are when she teaches Maxon how to console girls, because duh, she’s so spot on,

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and when Maxon makes a major budgeting change due to America’s life back at home.  Maxon’s sheltered life at the palace leave him a bit naive, but he knows that America is special.  America is smart, witty, and beautiful – he wants her to stand beside him as his Queen.. but of course, their love story has complications (besides the whole 34 other girls and training to be a King thing goin’ on…). 

First, there are two groups of rebels that seem to be constantly searching for ways to attack the palace.  One group, the North, just wants to make a statement, while the South is out for blood.  These attacks will become increasingly more of an issue as the trilogy progresses – looking forward to seeing Prince Maxon come into his own and help save the country (with Lady America’s help, of course).  Another key aspect of the story is the Love Triangle….. yes, I know -another love triangle.  This isn’t my favorite love triangle, because we don’t have as much invested in Aspen.  The Love Triangle reminds me of Katniss/Peeta/Gale, although not a perfect comparison.  While we all love Hot Gale/Aspen, it’s the sweet Peeta/Maxon that has the best intentions for our beloved heroine.

The end is a bit cheesy: I choose ME.  Isn’t that from old school 90210???  However, I get where she’s going with this.  Like I said, it’s a cheesy, campy, and all sorts of YA awesomeness. 
I am SO excited for the release of The Elite, Book 2, at the end of this month.  I think we’ll get a better picture as to what will happen with these rebel attacks.  I think that Maxon will find out that Aspen is the boy who broke America’s heart.  That will be awkward……
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5 thoughts on “The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

  1. Pingback: The Selection | What Raina Reads

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