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The Selection by Kiera Cass
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The Selection (edition 2012)

by Kiera Cass

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2,2212582,912 (3.84)66
Member:CAS2199
Title:The Selection
Authors:Kiera Cass
Info:HarperTeen (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Selection by Kiera Cass

  1. 10
    Matched by Ally Condie (Aleana, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these series have young teens involved in a rigorous selection process to be matched with their future spouse. Political intrigue and the darker side of these dystopian societies set on a future earth add intensity and action.
  2. 00
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Aleana)
  3. 00
    Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult (Pluederhausen)
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Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
I have to admit that I mainly picked up this book out of curiosity. The reviews I've read of it are so polarised that I wasn't sure if I'd love it or hate it. It turns out, I'm a bit on the fence. There are some things about the story that I thought were fantastic but others that made me want to hit my head against the wall.

Firstly, the concept is wonderfully original. While it shares some similarities with dystopian novels like The Hunger Games, it takes a much lighter tone. The novel is very easy to read and paints the picture of a caste system built on the ruins of a war-torn America. Although The Selection seems a little unfair, it's not mandatory and the girls who compete in it are in no real danger. It's more like The Batchelor than Battle Royale.

Yet the world building leaves a lot to be desired. The history of World War III is glossed over (the novel even states that there are no history books detailing what happened) and the rebels from the North and South don't really have any perceivable motives. They don't even come into direct contact with the protagonist as she's always whisked away into the hiding whenever they are nearby.

The plotting also feels a little insubstantial. While I loved the scenes that showed the gradual build of America and Maxom's friendship, the rest seemed a bit washed out. There is next to no drama between the contestants. I was expecting them to at least try to hobble each other but the worst that happens is one girl rips America's dress. All arguments between America and Maxom also seem shallow as, no matter what she says to him, you never get the sense that he will disqualify her.

Yet the worst thing for me was the love triangle. To the novel's credit, this does not appear until right near the end of the story. Up until this point, I found the lack of one to be quite refreshing but the story had to disappoint in its final moments. Aspen is just terrible. I hate him for shattering America's heart and then waltzing back into her life and expecting to pick up where they left off. No Aspen, no. You're a horrible person. Just go.

To make matters worse, America is happy about this. Up until this point, I was actually rooting for America. She seemed down to earth and generally a decent person. Instead, she turns into a Bella Swan - the bookish character who can't choose between two heartthrobs that relentless pursue her. I really just wanted her to tell Aspen to take a hike and stick with Maxom.

In terms of other characters, the book is distinctly lacking. With the exception of Marlee, the rest of the contestants are dull as dishwater. They're entirely two dimensional and just blend into one endless mass. The only decent character in the lot of them is Maxom. He's interestingly complex and the decisions he makes are all perfectly understandable for someone in his position. He's the character that I'm most interesting in seeing develop in the next instalment.

So yeah, I thought the novel had some problems but I didn't dislike it on the whole. I am curious to see what will happen next and will definitely pick up the sequel at some point in the future. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jun 25, 2016 |
I liked this book. I started reading it with the expectation that it would be a light easy read. and thats exactly what it is.

The love story is somewhat predictable (not a surprise), but is still interesting and I'll be reading the rest of the books in order to see the how the relationship develops.

I'm also curious to see how the world building goes as the established society is obviously about to face a revolution. ( )
  FionaBaylis | Jun 22, 2016 |
I liked The Selection. It reminded me of a cross between The Bachelorette and The Hunger Games with a little Twilight thrown in.
America is chosen to be one of 35 girls to compete for the affections of Prince Maxon to become the next princess in the kingdom of Illea. The Selection is great for America's family, giving them more money and a chance to move up from the caste of fives, but America is already in love with Aspen, who is a caste six and believes he will never be good enough for her. When Aspen is hired to work as a palace guard, it creates a love triangle that I assume will continue throughout the next book. Maxon likes America because she speaks her mind and is honest about her feelings, but she doesn't fit the mold of royalty and makes it clear that she doesn't think of the prince as more than a friend. It isn't long; however, before America realizes that Maxon is more than a shallow monarch and her feelings for him begin to deepen.
This story is a perfect young adult romance with lots of angst and a protagonist that most girls can identify with. ( )
  Mrslabraden | Jun 19, 2016 |
It's been so long since I read it that I thought I'd make a video. I love this series.


http://youtu.be/cImBCZf2hHk ( )
  ZetherBooks | Jun 15, 2016 |
I like America Singer--mostly. She feels like a genuine person, not at all the Barbie parody I watched on the EpicReads YouTube channel. She never wanted to be a part of the selection, but was pressured by her family, and the man she was in love with, who broke her heart. Her inability to realise that Maxon loves her is frustrating, but I liked their relationship better when she viewed him only as a friend. The only times when I really didn't like America was when she was with Aspen.

Maxon is another great character. He is stuck in this unfortunate position even more than the girls are, they at least got to choose whether or not to sign up for this game. Maxon is sweet and caring. He cares for the feelings of each of the girls, though his blindness toward Celeste is irritating to say the least.

Aspen is annoying. The idiot let his pride get in the way of his relationship with America, which, in my mind at least, proves that he does not love her. Plus, a lot of their relationship seems to be based on lust, which is a pretty poor comparison to love. There is nothing wrong with a family where the woman is the main source of income. There isn't anything wrong with a man being the main source of income either, but Aspen doesn't have a problem with that. Am I crazy to think that he might be part of the rebellion?

The other characters are pretty good. Most of America's family is sweet, her mother seems like a bit of a caricature. Celeste is the typical mean girl, hopefully she'll get some more character later in the story. Marlee was sweet at first, but by the end she was just confusing. She had such a character switch. Part of me wouldn't be surprised if th Marlee who is keeping secrets teamed up with Celeste later in the series, though that's weird because the Marlee we met at first would not do such a thing. Character consistency would be a good thing. The other girls are nice, but we don't get to know them very well.

I do find myself a bit skeptical that the U.S. could be ruled by a king. I can absolutely see it coming under a dictatorship, but I feel like the ruler of said dictatorship would have to continue calling himself president instead of king to maintain the pretense of American democracy. Still, I can see why the titles king, queen, prince and princess would be necessary for a book like this. Who doesn't like a good princess story?

The story itself is like somethin my sister and I would have played with our Barbies, but in a dystopic setting, rather than the fairytale setting we preferred. I enjoyed the story. ( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |
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Book description
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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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 cmpetition 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.… (more)

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