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The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (edition 2012)

by Kiera Cass

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Title:The Selection
Authors:Kiera Cass
Info:HarperTeen (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Selection by Kiera Cass


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**Fair warning right now, this is a review(ish) or a review-lite because I'm not sure I'm able to get things together enough on this book for what I'd call a review with nothing stuck on the end of the word ;-) **

The Selection is probably the most talked about YA novel (aside from maybe Cassandra Clare's novels) outside of book sites, lately. In both positive and negative ways. Some of the talk has undoubtedly been started by things other than the content of the novel (some drama by the editor and/or author and the possible TV pilot) . . . but a lot has also been about the book.

I'll admit that seeing a lot of really positive early reviews got me really excited for this one . . . that and the super gorgeous cover (what can I say, I'm a sucker for a pretty cover).

. . . Then some of the 'I-hate-this-book' reviews started to show up (or they were always there and I just don't follow those people on Goodreads or didn't look hard enough).

Any book that can draw such mixed reviews had me intrigued (again, just my Goodreads friends/those I follow - Goodreads as a whole has pretty balanced reviews 5 stars - 37%, 4 stars - 33%, 3 stars - 18%, 2 stars - 6%, 1 star - 4%).

So, I gave it a shot.

Described as The Bachelor or Cinderella meets The Hunger Games by the editor or blogs, I actually didn't see much, if any of The Hunger Games in The Selection. The Bachelor? Sure. With the one guy dating thirty five girls, that's kind of a given. Cinderella? Yeah, with disadvantaged (singing, even) girl becoming like a princess overnight.

Actually, though, the book reminded me a lot more of Wither. The whole set up of Illea in the beginning of the novel reminded me of the world Rhine was living in. It only reminded me more of Wither more once the story got going.

Wither had the different girls all living in a house and married to the same man, The Selection had them dating him, in Wither Rhine promises to despise him, in The Selection America's going to hate Maxon and just play along for a bit, in both the girls wonder if their feelings are changing.

That's not to say The Selection copies Wither, at all, just that it's what it reminded me of . . . and why I can't quite figure out why The Selection didn't work for me. Something about America just rubbed me the wrong way throughout the book.

She didn't seem like a real character, one that you could connect with. In the beginning she seemed obstinate just for the point of being difficult . . . then she'd start to give some and being difficult would kick in again. She just didn't work for me.

If you want to give The Selection a shot - like I said, a lot of people did love it, I'm just not one of them - do know that this is very much an introduction-y Book I. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger, per se, but it's the most prequel-like first book in a series I've read lately.

(If you read all of that, or even most of it - I love you!)
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
To start off, I will say that I liked this book more that I thought I would. I was originally looking for a book for a reading challenge (needed blue covers) and just happened to see this at the library and figured it didn't look too bad and that I would just read it since nothing else was working.
I will admit, the concepts are not very original. The ideas that is is in between The Bachelor and Hunger Games (in the dystopia sense)is fairly accurate, with heavily leanings on The Bachelor. The love triangle setting adds a bit extra to character complexity.
I will not say much on what the books is about. The summary already does that in itself on this book. The book is written from America's perspective and what I will say otherwise is what I thought. First, I must admit, I dislike the character names. Yes I know the last names refer to what the person does, but the first names are horrid in my opinion. Yet the main thing is the writing style and pace. I literally laid down last night thinking I would read a few chapters. Next thing I knew, the sun would be rising soon and the book sat finished in my hands. I don't get that with many books anymore. This book made me giggle at times, and twitch in anticipation at others. It left me desperately craving the sequel. Wondering who she picks, or who Maxon picks,what is up with the other girls, etc.
So, while the concept is not original, the characters are interesting, and the story is written in a way that is easy to get wrapped up in it. I actually just put it back on hold at the library so I could skim through it once again before them next book comes out. I read it so fast I fear I might have missed things. I honestly had a hard time rating this. In the way in captured my attention once I started reading, and my desire to read it again I would normally say 5, but since it does lean SO heavily on the concept of The Bachelor. So, I give this a 4. ( )
  jljaina | May 16, 2015 |
I had to stay up all night to finish this book, but not for the reason you think. The plot does a good job of hooking you, but very little happens, and I was waiting for something exciting to happen. I didn't even realize when the climax of the book had occurred until I checked the page number. While it is a good premise, I did not feel that there was much risk being taken. The main character wasn't taken out of her comfort zone other than to leave home. In fact, she embraced leaving since she was angry at Aspen. Climaxes require the character to be knocked off balance, which America wasn't. She felt like a Mary-Sue with a slightly more developed range of interests. The world was not very developed, and the villains (Celeste and the rebels) remained either two-dimensional or faceless. It felt as though someone had taken the part of "The Hunger Games" where Katniss is made presentable in the Capitol and expanded it.
There was no meaning to the story. The only thing that comes close to showing a hidden depth is the classism between the girls. The rebels were fighting the government for some unknown cause, and America briefly wonders why there are no history books.
The part I found hardest to accept was that she determinedly says that no boy owns her and she is her own person, therefore rejecting the love triangle, but proceeds to agonize over her choice. I was tempted to buy the other two books because it didn't feel like the story had even come close to ending and I was curious about how the story would play out, but I changed my mind because of the plot holes and dramatization. ( )
1 vote furieous | May 11, 2015 |
I really enjoyed The Selection. To me, it was like a cross between The Hunger Games (without the fighting to the death) and Mean Girls with a bit of Cinderella mixed in. I felt there was a lot of similarities to The Hunger Games. Even the castes seemed very similar to the Districts of The Hunger Games. Even so, I couldn't help but really enjoy myself whilst reading and I couldn't stop turning pages. It was a nice, easy quick read.

The events of The Selection are told from the point of view of America Singer. I felt that the plot was somewhat predictable, i.e. the whole girl torn between two very different boys. However, despite this I felt that the plot moved forward at a nice pace and Kiera Cass dealt with a multitude of different characters very well. Of course, being part of a series the story didn't completely wrap up at the end but I'm definitely going to read The Elite.

I also liked most of the characters, the exception being Celeste and wish we got to know more about them all. But there is fairly a lot so I understand that wouldn't have been the easiest and many aren't actually featured in the story for very long.

I felt so sad for America when her heart is broken but she shows that she can be strong and work her way through the heartbreak. She is probably the nicest girl to be Selected, apart from Marlee. She doesn't speak down to her maids like the other girls and treats them as equals even though they are a caste below her. Unlike the majority of the other girls, she knows what hardship and being hungry is. However, I do find her name a bit silly. She is also quite whiny and immature but what teenage girl isn't at at least some point.

I also really liked Maxon. I think he has quite a naive quality to him due to probably having quite a sheltered life so far in regards to struggles of those in the lower castes. I also found him quite adorable as well as quite witty in places. I loved his interactions with America. It was sort of like he just wanted someone to talk to. There probably wasn't many other boys (or even girls) his age around the castle for him to interact with before.

I do like Aspen... BUT he is an idiot! For instance, he says to America:

"I'm supposed to be providing for you."

UGHH!! I mean I wanted to strangle him for having such an old-fashioned view. There is nothing wrong with a woman providing for a man.

I can't wait to read more of America, Maxon and Illia. I really want to find out what is in store for them next especially in regards to the rebels. So it's safe to say I will be reading The Elite as soon as I can.

Although The Selection is a dystopian novel, there is a lot of romance involved therefore I would recommend it to teenage girls who are fans of romantic novels. It is a really easy read and I believe it could potentially be enjoyed by older girls but the language is fairly simple and there is a lot of whining and bitchiness to the story. ( )
  MyExpandingBookshelf | May 4, 2015 |
An easy and entertaining read. The first love triangle where I'm rooting for the second love interest (Prince Maxon @_@). Nothing original, but definitely fun.

For my full review visit my blog here (but beware because there are some spoilers: http://brittanysbookrambles.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-selection-review-spoiler-al... ( )
  bpress | Apr 20, 2015 |
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When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.  She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever.  The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me.  I didn't think I was a particularly disobedient daughter, but this was where I drew the line.
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The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and pricelss 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, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
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"Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection--a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea's prince--but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her"--… (more)

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