Book Review: The Selection

Selection Edit

10507293The Selection by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection Series #1

Published by Harper Teen on April 24, 2012

Genres: Chick Lit, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Pages: 336

Rating: ★★★

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS:

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.

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RATINGS:

Critical Rating: 

Entertainment Rating: 

Overall Rating: ★.5

Plot:  Medium paced | No action | Rather predictable | Entertaining | Addictive

Characters: Mostly underdeveloped | Annoying | Fell flat | Immature

World Building: Doesn’t make sense | Not developed | Unclear

Writing: First person | Simple | Cheesy | Easy to read

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MY REVIEW: 

Oh, The Selection… Where to start? Where to start? This book was a very interesting combination of half dystopian (I say that with all of the doubt in the world XD) and half contemporary all thrown into this weird but addictive mess. All I can really say is that I was expecting the events to happen exactly the way they did, and that my response was similar to the majority of other reviewers.

I know! Let’s start with the bad stuff. And boy oh boy were there so many terribly executed aspects of the story. First off, the atrocious world building. The Selection series was first promoted as the lovechild of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. Hmm… What do I think about that? Nope. Just nope. Please don’t compare this to my beloved The Hunger Games… To me, dystopian = fantastic world building and if that is the case, The Selection should definitely not be classified as a dystopian. We get absolutely no world building, and the little world building that we do get is covered in a rather sketchy history lesson that doesn’t make any logical sense. So what’s the explanation for the creation of Illea? Well, if you really want to know, it was because WWIV broke out and China invaded the United States when they couldn’t repay their massive debt. Of course, that didn’t work out to China’s benefit because the US was too poor to even have money. And guess what? Of course, the situation heightened when the expansionist Russian decided to invade the United States too… (Seriously? What is this even??) Just thinking about this explanation makes my head hurt so let’s just move on to the next topic.

Even if we all close our eyes and ignore the terrible world building Kiera Cass created, there are other obstacles that we must overcome in order to fully enjoy The Selection. The names for one just doesn’t cut it for me. I knew before reading the book that the main character was America Singer, but I didn’t know she was actually a singer! *Insert face palm* Not only do we have the Singers, we also have a Tiny, a Kriss, a Bariel, a Clarkson, an Amberly, a Gavril and a Sosie. And even if we look past the names, we also have the random groups of barbarians that just casually decide to invade the kingdom. Somehow, the King and his guards aren’t able to prevent the attacks from happening and everyone within the palace cowers in fear. Something about this just doesn’t work. I feel as if Kiera Cass added these rebellions in order for The Selection to seem like a dystopian and it still doesn’t seem like one.

The characters. Otherwise known as the most important part of books. (At least for me) America Singer was possibly the most annoying character I have ever read from. For the first couple of chapters I was fine with her, unsure why everybody else seemed to hate her guts. When she started contradicting everything she was saying though, the lightbulb in my head flickered on. She was complaining about being poor yet her family regularly had “chicken, apple slices, pasta, and ice tea”, she didn’t want to become a traitor like her older brother Kota yet she took care of her secret lover before her own family, and she complained about being “too pretty”?! Like seriously America? You’re complaining about being too beautiful??? Just in case you don’t believe me, here is a direct quote from the book.

“Please don’t call me gorgeous. First my mom, then May, now you. It’s getting on my nerves.” By the way Aspen was looking at me, I could tell I wasn’t helping my “I’m not pretty” case.

Yep. She actually said that… And to make matters worse, let’s insert one of my worst bookish pet peeves… There is a clear love triangle from the very beginning of the novel! On one side we have Aspen, “the love of America’s life” who is a caste beneath her, and Maxon, the swoon worthy prince of Illea. Aspen was an extremely boring and frustrating character. I wanted him completely out of the picture, but every couple of chapters or so he managed to crawl back in. He was all in all a terrible love interest, and as interesting as a piece of cardboard. On the other side, we have Maxon and he was the only decent character that we get. Unlike what we typical imagine royalty to be like, Maxon was extremely innocent and naive. He never had the opportunity to be around girls, and his attitude was hilariously awkward. I also really appreciated the fact that America and Maxon first developed a friendship before anything else, as it made the chemistry that much more natural. As you can see, I am clearly Team Maxon though I am starting to wonder if America even deserves him at all…

Before I receive all of the hate for negatively reviewing some peoples’s favourite series, I do have one positive point about The Selection. For one, it was an extremely addictive read. I could hardly put it down, and although I knew what was going to happen, I still wanted to watch the story unfold. It was like a book adaptation of The Bachelor and for what it was, it occupied my time fairly well.

Overall, The Selection is a book that you will either hate or love. While it is a good slump breaker, the cast of characters are underdeveloped, the world building non existent, and the writing immature. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to recommend this series, but if the synopsis interests you, feel free to pick it up! 

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Have you read The Selection or are you planning to? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Guys, I just want to apologize for not regularly posting these couple of weeks 😦 I was drowning in homework and I unfortunately didn’t have the time to sit down and read, much less blog… It is Spring Break now, so I PROMISE I will be popping on your reader more often!

Thanks for reading xoxo,

-Jenna <3-

Find me here!

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: The Selection

  1. Poppy says:

    I’m reading ‘The Selection’ at the moment, and I only read a bit of your review, just in case of spoilers, but I agree with what you said. I think it’s a little badly written, but it does have a certain charm to it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Poppy says:

        Thanks! I enjoyed your review and I agreed with many of the things you said. I’ve finished reading the book now and I’ve reviewed it on my own blog. 🙂

        Like

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