The Selection has been quite a popular book a (very long) while ago, but it’s never too late to review it.
The Selection (The Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass
Published by Harper Collins
Publication date: June 2012
Genre: YA, Romance, Fantasy
Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…
It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.
Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.
Quote: “True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”
The Worst: The stereotypes.
The Best: Easy to read, accessible & entertaining enough.
Who should read it? Anyone in the mood for a quick YA read, and who doesn’t mind stereotypes.
Would I recommend it? This is a tricky one. Considering I found this book entertaining, I would recommend it to anyone expecting sort of the same: a few hours of guilty entertainment.
I’d say the plot is pretty much a fictional version of The Bachelor, which kind of qualifies this book as a light, fluffy, perfect guilty pleasure. Thirty-five girls, one prince, one contest (the Selection). Of course, our main character America is the only one who doesn’t seem remotely interested in winning this contest. Predictable? Maybe. But for someone who didn’t have any expectations, I confess the story did manage to entertain me. Now, don’t go ahead and expect this book to be a major masterpiece or to go into deep and complex topics. You get a hint of wold-building, and a long list of archetypes and tropes. But if you want to be entertained, then definitely give The Selection a go.
The characters’ attitudes fit their age range (young adult) and for that, I can forgive their immature, often frustrating actions and decisions. The main character, America, is relatable enough if you are an young adult. Even if you are not, you can still understand the typical fears and doubts of a young woman who doesn’t know how to chose between love, money, stability, family, or wonder whether it’s even possible to have it all. This is a character that seems to grow through the narrative, even if slowly and subtly. With that being said, it doesn’t mean the character is done perfectly well. America doesn’t break the Mary Sue trends of YA these days, and she does seem to be too good / too desirable / too humble / too dreamy to be true.
Aspen is that sort of character that seems to be there just for the sake of a love triangle; he doesn’t bring much to the narrative, even if I felt for him at some point in the beginning. Then I lost any compassion towards him, and I think he deserves America’s reluctance. Maybe I’m outdated, but I don’t think the ultimate proof of love is to send your soul-mate to ‘The Bachelor’ contest. Yes, I’m calling it ‘The Bachelor’ again.
Maxon, well, he’s the perfect prince, not much to say about him; of course he has to be handsome and kind, and of course he has to gain an interest in the only girl that is seemingly unavailable – our main character America.
The Writing Style
The story is narrated from the main character’s PoV (America) and the writing style is suitable enough considering her young age and context. This of course, makes this book light and very easy to read. Somehow the narrative manages you to feel something for the main character (even when she simply annoys you) so something was done right.
Overall, The Selection is a predictable read. It failed to impress, but it succeeded in entertaining.