The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Selection, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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.

First off, can we take a small moment to appreciate the sheer gorgeousness of this cover? I mean, when this first arrived that's all I did: stare at the cover. The dress, the hues of blue– certainly made me spend ages just looking over it!

Hands down, one of the best dystopians I've ever read. There's a certain Hunger Games-iness to this book, because it had me flipping pages from start to finish. I read it on the bus to school, I read it on the bus ride home. I read it on the bus ride on our geography field trip, I read it when I was supposed to be working on a case study. That's shows you how into this book I was. How enrapturing it was, and how I simply just couldn't let it go for days on end.
As a new rule (inspired by Laura Lascarso's from my interview with her), I tend to not read a series until all the books have come out. Yes, that means I haven't read Divergent, and a bunch of other hot-right-now series. BUT that does mean when the last book finally comes out, there's no waiting. However, totally broke the rule with this one. When I was asked if I wanted to review this one along with The Elite, I was all HECK YEAH. Totally worth the rule breaking!

❝I looked radiant, hopeful, beautiful. I looked like I was in love. And some idiot thought that love was for Prince Maxon.
Mom screamed in my ear, and May jumped up, sending popcorn everywhere. Gerad got excited too and started dancing. Dad... it's hard to say, but I think he was secretly smiling behind his book.
I missed what Maxon's expression was.
The phone rang.
And it didn't stop for days.❞
–p. 56

Seriously, capturing the whole idea of a beauty pageant for the next queen in a dystopian society? Really original. Yes, it completely follows the dystopian archetypes– rebels against the ruling power, a society divided up into factions, something happening years before which caused this new-founded government to form– we've definitely seen this trend across YA literature and beyond. However, I liked how the focus wasn't completely on that in this book, and more on the actual Selection, with snippets of each of the components of the above to add to the plot, and it totally worked.
If you don't know me, let me tell you something: I'm all about YA romance in a book. I'm sorry, but if there isn't any romance (not even a little hint) I will not enjoy the story, unless it's been superbly written. That's just the sad fact of my adolescent life. But this was the main reason why I was so enamoured with The Selection for the fact that it was romance, romance, romance, and there was me just gleefully eating it all up.

Speaking of romance, there's only once in a blue moon where there comes a love triangle that makes it a tough decision for me to choose. An example of this would be The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, because for the first two books I was agonising over whether to be on Team Puck or Team Ash. Of course, eventually I managed to pick a side, and that's because the story tended to work in that particular guy's favour. However, this book was like a constant conflict between Aspen and Maxon for me. I obviously made my choice during this book, but I know for sure that it's going to change during The Elite.
Prince Maxon was the guy I was leaning more towards. I loved his charm, his wish to be normal, and how much he enjoys America's humour. I don't know– I think it might be the inner princess in me that's rooting for Maxon, but I loved their relationship throughout the book.
Aspen provided to be a tough competitor in this game of love. Looking through America's eyes, I can see the love she truly has for him, and how he makes her happy. Plus, he's gorgeous. Both of them are, but Aspen seriously seems to have some killer looks apparently. This is seriously one that's going to have me flipping back and forth between teams until the final book comes out...

America was a great character. Loved her humour, her easy-going manner, and her refusal to stick to the formal rules. Kind of reminds me of Katniss in some ways– minus the fast-paced action, of course.
I found all the other girls in the Selection to be amazing characters as well, whether I loved to love them, or loved to hate them! Of course we come across a wide variety of characters in this book and it's interesting to see the stock character types, and how they fare during this game.

Clearly, just by looking at the size of this review, you can tell that I'm completely sold on this book. Kiera Cass has my eyes glued to the pages of this magnificent first in a series, and clearly, I can't wait to get into The Elite! Terrific, spectacular, and breathtaking, truly a book not to miss.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sarah at Harper Collins for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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  1. I enjoyed this book a lot too-the romance and competition aspects really appealed to me. However unlike you I was always Maxon as soon as we met him-Aspen doesn't stand a chance!

  2. I enjoyed it too, but I did get annoyed though with America's ambivalence. I don't like how she instills hope on the guys....


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