Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

 The Selection
Author- Kiera Cass
Published- April 24th, 2012
Obtained from PBS

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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.--Goodreads

I should probably start this review with a disclaimer. As many of you have probably heard, there is a lot of controversy surrounding this book and the people that represent it. I in no way approve of the way Mrs. Cass' agent dealt with a bad review and I really didn't want to be involved in the controversy at all. Hello, I am fourteen and I could have acted more civilised than a 30 year old woman. I see that as an issue. Nevertheless, I already had The Selection on my shelf and decided I would try it anyway since I had already spent my money.

Almost a week after finishing this book, I am still trying to come to terms with my true feelings about it. In some respects I loved The Selection, and others that I hated it. Mrs. Cass, you did a fantastic job with making me utterly confused by my own feelings.

The first feature that attracted me to this book was the cover. Holy-gorgeous! This cover is awesome. I love the dress and the font and the crown. Yep, summed up this cover rocks!

I had a hard time with the fact that this book was a copy cat version of The Bachelor. I LOVE The Bachelor, and it's counterpart, The Bachelorette (and no, you aren't allowed to judge that I enjoy crappy TV.) To me, there will never be another show like the Bachelor that will ever match up, so to have a book that is very similar to The Bachelor kind of bothered me a bit. I will admit that having the lovey dovey atmosphere like The Bachelor in a book did lighten the mood of the story. I think that if there had been no romantic aspect, the book would have been way too dark and dull.

The world the story was built in was a no-go for me also. Nothing about the world was really explained, and when they were explained very few made sense. I understood the caste system, but really it was like every other caste in every other dystopian book. Nothing really stood out or was very special.

Now we get to America Singer who, ironically, is a singer. Haha. Very creative. She wasn't really all that interesting to get to know. She never did anything special, she was whiny and immature, and just blah. Quite honestly, I think the supporting characters may have been more interesting than America, as horrible as that sounds. The only character I really had a connection with was Maxon. LOVED him! He was sweet and charming and so naive, which I loved. I was totally on his side of the love triangle!

Oh, did I forget to mention that there is a love triangle? So before America got accepted for the Selection, she had this jerk of a boyfriend named Aspen. What a tool he was. America was involved in this secret relationship with him and thought she would live the rest of her life with him. She thought wrong. He dumped her and she got on on with her life at the Palace. But then he had the balls to approach her at the palace months later and ask for her back. Now you see why I hate him? Desperate boys make terrible books.

Then the ending. I don't know how it is possible to screw up an ending, but it happened. Endings are supposed to leave you wanting more, make you want to continue reading, die of excitement for the next book. Yeah, not happening for me. The book ended so oddly. Mrs. Cass, you do know the point of a selection is to actually, you know, SELECT SOMEONE! I guess she is just trying to continue on into the next book, but it could have been done better.

But you know, once I got over all of that mush I actually really enjoyed the story. It was quick and light (for a dystopian).  There was enough romance and conflict to make the story interesting. And, I love the princess after her prince storyline. I still think you should try it out, because it seems that everyone either loves it or hates it. I just happened to be the one oddball that was inbetween.

Overall, I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved the concept, but the story fell flat due to static characters, shoddy world-building and the odd ending. I am going to continue with the series, but just because I do need occasional fluff and I still want to find out who ultimately wins.

I will be giving The Selection 3 stars.

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