Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

publisher: HarperTeen

release date: April 24th, 2012

hardcover, 327 pages

intended audience: Young adult

series: The Selection, book 1


source: from publisher for honest review

description: 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.

Review: Along with most of my fellow cover-obsessed YA readers, The Selection initially grabbed me with that completely gorgeous cover: the beautiful over-the-top dress is such a perfect eye-catching color, the crown worked into the title art, the hypnotic hall-of-mirrors effect. I was in love. I do have to admit though, the description did not grab me, and I was even more put out by the many reviews that I saw that compared this to the TV show, The Bachelor, which I am completely disgusted by. So needless to say, despite my adoration of the cover, I went in fully expecting to really not enjoy this one. I can't tell you how wrong I was. I loved this book.

There are so many surprising elements here; there are strong themes of family, friendship,
loyalty, love and the unexpected turns that it takes. In the beginning, I was a little confused by the caste system. It was sprung on the reader without much explanation at first, and I wish a little more world building and set up had been included to show how the world has ended up this way. However, once I caught on, the story flew by. I wasn't sure I liked America in the was made so clear how she wanted to help her family and what a struggle it was to be sure they were all fed, but then when her mother has to bribe her to join the The Selection by offering to let her keep half her work earnings for her own personal use instead of helping to feed the family, and she happily accepts---it kind of grated on my nerves. But other than that one instance, she really grew on me. She was determined to hold onto who she was, determined to push forth despite a shattered heart, she spoke her mind with bravery and heart. She stood up for those below her station and stood by those whom she had become friends with. Prince Maxon was also an amazing character, so admirable and surprising. I loved the friendship that grew between America and Maxon---it developed in such a perfect way, with complete honesty, mutual respect and just a great natural connection. He seemed to have such a great heart, and you just have to feel for his conflict between following his own heart and doing what he must for his kingdom.

There is a love triangle here, so a warning to those who dislike them! I, myself, don't mind them at all, and thought this one really had some great emotional conflict behind it. There were some amazingly romantic moments that took my breathe away.
But I have to admit, I'm Team Maxon all the way. We'll see how that pans out in the upcoming books!

What I really feared about reading The Selection was the relationship between the other girls---the cattiness, the ugly competitiveness, and trashy actions that you see in shows like The Bachelor. I was so glad to realize there was almost none of this going on here (except from one particular character) and that the friendships that developed between America and some of the other girls were some of my favorite parts of the story.

Such a fun read, with a completely unexpected amount of emotion and depth. For those who have seen all the mixed reviews or, like me, hesitate to pick this up because you hate things like the Bachelor---I say, give this one a chance! You may end up loving it as much as I did!

Visit Kiera Cass's site:

Purchase The Selection at: BookDepository Indiebound


  1. Believe it or not, when I first heard about The Selection, I had no interest at all! But once I took the time to read a couple reviews and an interview with the author, I couldn't wait to read it! Sadly I still haven't had the chance to read it, but your review definitely makes me want to run to the bookstore and pick up a copy!

    Debz @ Debz Bookshelf

  2. I loved this one, too, and I am totally with you...Team Maxon all the way! I was surprised how much depth this book had and I *can't* wait fir the next one!! So sad the show didn't work out.

    1. The show didn't work out? Last I'd heard, they'd just delayed it because they were unsatisfied with how the first pilot they filmed turned out--but that they were going to redo it. Actually, I'm a bit wary about it being turned into a show anyhow---I'm worried that all the cattiness and ugly competitiveness that I was so happy was NOT in the book will find its way in there to add drama to the TV show. :(

  3. I'm glad to hear that there is more to this than just a pretty cover! I will have to go and pick this one up! Thanks for the review :)

  4. Hmmm, I was looking forward to this, but when it finally came all the mixed reviews where published...I just didn't feel excited anymore. But since you said it had a surprising depth, I just might pick it up soon =).

    Thanks for the review and happy reading,
    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  5. I completely agree with your review! I wasn't expecting much when I picked it up, but like you, I ended up really liking it! Great review!

  6. Every time I see a positive review for this book, I kind of want to jump with joy -- Kiera is such a nice author and her book deserves all the positive buzz it gets. And this was a wonderful review! I actually don't mind love triangles either even though I know a lot of people hate them, so that won't be a problem for me at all! ;)

    Awesome review, Becky! :) Can't wait for the TV show!

  7. Eeeeee! I JUST finished this last night and LOVED it. I don't know what I expected, but I was kind of hesitant to give it it a go... I. Just. Loved. I couldn't put it down. I DREAMED about it. It's fun and addictive, and JAHFKJA! WHAT YOU SAID!

    FAB review!

  8. I so want to read this book - it sounds really amazing and that cover is absolutely GORGEOUS x100! I'm glad you enjoyed it and your review has really got me interested in reading it soon! And I adore love triangles in books so it's great you liked that aspect too!

    New follower here, your blog is deliciously cute <3 And I really agree with your tagline :) Look forward to reading more sweet reviews and posts from you x

    Beverley @ A Reading Daydreamer