The Selection

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The Selection
(Updated: July 16, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
“One can never help being born into perfection.”

World’s worst character name goes to...*Drumroll*…America Singer! Congratulations Mer, you earned it. It took me pretty much the whole book to adjust to her name. And FINALLY around 60% they give a reason for why she was named America. Makes it much easier for me to deal with, even though it didn’t make me hate her name any less. Of course there’s much more to a book than character names.

The banter and conversations between America and Maxon felt fun to me. They sound like countless conversations I’ve had in my life. I read a few reviews that called the dialogue unrealistic and I just laughed. Maybe to you, but not to me.

My guilty pleasure has always been reality tv. I have a habit of saying oh goodness that show looks stupid, then proceeding to put it on and bingewatch the whole season. When I heard what this was about I was so excited, reality tv in a book? Count me in! I can see why people may have found the book unlikable or annoying but it was fun for me. It was my guilty pleasure in a whole new form. The contestants you root for and the ones you want to stab are in the book. And with the setting being a competition you always wonder if you can really trust the others.

My only big complaint about the book was how long it took to get a real description of how the world came into being. I believe it was at 63% before they explained everything that had happened to create the new world Illea. Up until that point I was like I love this, but how the heck did it come to this caste system and monarchy in what used to be the USA?

Even if I hated every other aspect of the book, which I didn’t, I would have still loved Maxon. He’s sweet, clueless, funny, and next in line to rule the country. I felt like another contestant who was unnoticed by the prince and was jealous of all the attention he gave to America. NOTICE ME MAXON, PLEASE!

Yes a lot of people stated that this is a book that’s all fluff, no substance. Sometimes that’s what I want. I had a terribleweek and wanted to enjoy a book, get lost in a world where I’m not cleaning floors and having back pain. And this book did that. I don’t generally pick up a YA reality tv-esque book when I want substance. Though I wouldn’t be upset if it offered that as well. So to sum up, this book brought me the relaxing evening away from my worries that I was hoping for when I opened it up.
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Great book!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This review can be found on my blog https://booksnacksblog.wordpress.com/

The Selection had one of those qualities where you pick up a book, read a few chapters, then tell yourself you will stop after a few more. And a few more. And a few more. And a few more, just until you’re finished. I can’t pinpoint exactly the ‘why’ this happens, it just does. But it could definitely be attributed to (for me, anyway):

-Plot. This book is categorized as a dystopia and romance, but other than the caste system, and a government/royalty ruling over a country, and rebels, The Selection is not as much a dystopia as a romance. But that was all right with me. The romance part of it was just so sweet, and the story was written in such a way I just got wrapped up in it.

-Love triangle. I really enjoyed the love triangle. Say what you will about love triangles, the love triangle in The Selection really worked for the good here. It added more complexity to the plot and characters, not to mention that the love interests in the love triangle are swoon-worthy characters! Maxon’s sweet and caring nature is really cute, and Aspen’s ‘protecting the damsel’ thing works for him too (although I’m Team Maxon).

-Characters. America was a strong female lead, though she has her faults. She comes off as a bit whiny in some parts, and her confusion between Aspen and Maxon was also a bit annoying some times, but overall she was a good protagonist.

At the end of the book, I was dying to know more. Luckily for me, the second book, The Elite was released by the time I started reading The Selection, so I didn’t have to wait long to jump on the next book! If you like romance in a dystopian setting, love triangles, and an unputadownable (even though that’s not a word) book, The Selection is definitely a recommended read!
Good Points
-Sweet romance
-Good characters
-Great plot
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The Selection by Keira Cass
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
First of all I love the cover of this book series. I knew once I read what this book was about that it was a book for me. Princes, princesses and love stories just a few of my favorite things. I also am a huge a fan of reality TV so I really enjoyed the whole selection process (similar to The Bachelor).

I really fell in love with the characters in this story. America is a fiery girl who doesn't take any nonsense from anyone. I really commend her for being a straight shooting girl who stands up for what she believes in. Then there is Prince Maxon who doesn't like a prince? I instantly fell in love with him. I really loved the relationship between Prince Maxon and America. America taking part in the selection to help her family out and Maxon is there to find his wife and future princess of Illea. America is hoping to not be selected by the Prince and she has no problem making that point known to him. Seeing there relationship develop just made me sigh and wish upon a star for a Prince of my own.

I do love Dystopian novels. However this book isn't so much about Dystopia as it about the love story and the selection of the new princess. They live in a world where America(USA) has fallen to China. But the story is about so much more. I would recommend this book even if you aren't a fan of Dystopian novels. If you love a good love story then this one is for you.
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Ohh
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Can't wait for the sequel.
Good Points
OMG! I think "How could she end it like that?" then I'm like "Great ending" one of those books that may put readers off because of "The Bachelor-esque" theme, but I liked it. Not as cheesy as the show, which I'm still wondering how it's on the air.

*Can't wait for the sequel
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Nice mix of fairy tale and dystopian world!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I’m team Maxon all the way!
Good Points
First off, thinking that this has a mix of fairy tale and dystopia is also what made the whole story interesting. Fairy tale that it gave me what I felt for most fairy tales finding their beloved princess or princess-to-be, marrying a handsome prince like Prince Maxon then ruling a kingdom this lady never thought she’ll ever be – and dystopia for living in a futuristic world of wars against the Northern and Southern rebels mostly from the lower castes who are hungry for wealth and survival. The dystopian world however hasn’t been explored much aside from the warring of the rebels in the palace since it’s focused on The Selection itself.

The Selection, as the title says, is about the grandest event in the kingdom of Illea (the new USA after the world wars) where the prince will choose among the 35 Selected his soon-to-be-wife-and-princess of Illea. These ladies go through stages of etiquette and historical classes with co-Selected ladies, public appearances and sweetest bonding with Prince Maxon to get to know him and prove to him that one of them is going to be a worthy princess to win his heart and support him in ruling the country.

Then as one of the Selected, we meet America Singer, our lady protagonist who’s a Five (next to average caste Four; Fives belong to people who work to entertain through music and art) is the Selected’s crowd favorite despite her stubbornness, mood swings and temper which made her way to the top and to Prince’s heart.

It’s great that I’ve also read The Prince before this that I’ve come to know Prince Maxon’s POV about The Selection, The Selected and how he felt about them especially America. It made me like him more when he stood by his decision as a man to accept her request despite the circumstances. In saying this, I knew The Selection won’t just be a simple choosing and survival of the most educated and beautiful but an almost real life heartwarming experience. :)
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The Selection
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I know there was a lot of drama surrounding The Selection, but I wanted to read it, so I read it. I was intrigued by the “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor” comparisons, although the only similarity to The Hunger Games was that the people are defined by a number. Instead of that number representing their district, it was their caste level. America’s number is 5, so she’s closer to poverty than to royalty.

I’d say that The Selection is more of Dystopia-lite. There’s too much glitz and glamor, and it’s quite fluffy and fun. The cattiness of the girls in the competition is entertaining, and I had a great time reading it. I did find myself questioning the world that this is set in though, but it didn’t bother me too much. By the end there was more excitement and danger, so I’m looking forward to the next one.

America is a bit of an inconsistent character, constantly contradicting herself. One page she’ll say that she’s plain, then two pages later she “feels pretty” in her pajamas! One moment she’s perfectly sweet, and the next she’s kneeing the Prince in the crotch! She was just every back and forth with everything. She did grow on me a bit as the book moved on, but I would rather her have been either sickeningly sweet, or super feisty, not a flip-flopper.

I know a lot of people hate love triangles, but I’ll admit that I mostly love them. Sure, the one in The Selection is the definition of forced, it was at least unique. America has a boyfriend at the start of the novel, Aspen, who she hopes to marry despite him being a caste below her. Unfortunately, like most men, he has a hero complex and can’t stand the idea of her providing for him rather than the other way around. Then of course, she’s selected for the Selection and is in the running to marry Prince Maxon. She may claim to hate him in the beginning, but it’s obvious she’ll grow to care for him. Their interactions were very sweet.

Prince Maxon is very stiff. Everything he says feels very scripted and rehearsed, even when he’s off camera and in private. It was hard to get a sense of who he was, other than just the Prince and the token of 35 girls affections. I did like his vulnerable side that came out with America though. It was kind of cute.

Basically, I loved this book despite its flaws. It was fun, highly entertaining, and had just the right amount of Dystopia-ness to not be overly fluffy. I flew through The Selection in one day and now I’m eager to get my hands on The Elite!
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Ignore The Controversy
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A good start to a series. I admit I'm one of those people that hate reality TV shows, especially "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette". I abhor those shows and I go out of my way to avoid them. So, when I was attracted to this cover (look how pretty it is) I hesitated when I read the synopsis. It did sound remotely like one of those TV shows but I gave it a chance.

I'm glad that I read it because I ended up really enjoying it. Some people say that it's too much like "The Bachelor". Yes, it does have similarities, but I wouldn't go as far as saying they're the same thing.

America Singer is apposed to the idea of becoming a princess. She is in love with a boy from her neighborhood so she doesn't see the point of trying to fall in love with Prince Maxon. She only ends up going to the "competition" because in doing so, her family will be compensated in money and status. What unfolds between all the competitors and the Prince, I'll let you find out for yourself, but I will tell you that America's reason for staying close to the Prince changes with time.

With all the controversy surrounding this book, it's bound to get very good and very bad ratings. Before joining one camp, read the book and make up your own mind. We live in a free world, not a dystopian one like in "The Selection", so try to think for yourself and give your OWN opinion.
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Where Can I Sign Up?
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
My first thought: this is just like The Hunger Games. My second thought: this is so much better than The Hunger Games. Yes, better, but still hauntingly similar. It's no secret that this book is a Bachelor and Hunger Games mash up, but it was done very well.

Plot: The ever present love-triangle. Usually, I'm really decisive on who I like better, but this book made it really hard. At the beginning, when she and Aspen (her current boyfriend) are together, I was thinking, there's no way I could ever want her to be with that stupid prince. Now, I 'm not so sure.

But there is a major difference from The Hunger Games that I am very pleased with. We don't know if she's going to win. If you've read HG you can't tell me that you didn't know Katniss was going to win. It was obvious. If she died we wouldn't know who won. But here, I honestly have no idea because she says flat out from the beginning, she's not there to win. It ends in a major cliff hanger and I'm dying to read The Elite (which comes out next spring).

Characters: Remember how I said it was just like The Hunger Games? Well it is, even down to the characters. Aspen is just like Gale, the brooding best friend left behind. There's the guy who does all of the interviews (Gavril/Caesar), the slightly or overly peppy coach (Silvia/Effie), and you could even say the mean girl from a higher class (Celeste/Clove). I wasn't really drawn to any of the characters because I'd read them all before. Prince Maxon is quite charming though. America is a great main character and I often found myself giggling at her name in context. (I love you, America! and What am I to do, America?)

Genre: So I wanted to bring up a point about the way this book was written. It's a dystopia, but there was a major difference from all the other dystopias I've read. We all know Katniss as the fiery leader of the rebellion against Snow/Coin. You may know Cassia and how she stumbled up the rebellion with Ky.

But America has no part in the rebellion. She has no problem with her country Illea, sometimes talking about the parts she likes. There is a rebellion though. Unlike all of the others, its threatening her, and she's not the heroine that saves the country. I thought that was a nice twist a stereotype of the genre.

Overall: I finished it in a matter of hours. I got it from the library when I was done for the day and I was done before I went to sleep last night. (I do this quite often though...) I'm a sucker for chick lit and this had a healthy dose of romance in it. I've also been on a dystopic kick right now, so I found this book absolutely charming, despite the ever present thought of HG there.
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The Selection by Kiera Cass
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

I enjoyed reading this book but was really miffed with the ending....I wanted to know and read more! The book reminded me a little of Matched by Ally Condie though I can't put my finger on exactly why. I enjoyed the whole love triangle, though I have the guy in mind who I hope America will end up with in the end.
The concept of the different castes was a great idea, though nowadays we don't have numbers that tell us where we are in our class/caste system it still exists.
The relationship between america and her little sister May is great and provides the book with some humour too.
America goes into the selection very reluctantly, and not interested in Prince Maxon and the crown at all. America literally joins the selection to put food on her families table. america thinks Prince Maxon must be a spoilt arrogant man, but her opinion rapidly changes when she meets Maxon and gets to spend some time with him.
So basically as the byline on the book says there are 35 girls, and 1 crown that they are competing for....let the fun and games begin! Of course there is lots of jealousy and bitchiness among the girls, regarding who the Prince will finally choose., though Maxon seems blind to these goings on. Some of the girls are there for the romantic element of falling in love with a Prince, some are there to gain themselves a better caste number, as all those who take part in the Selection leave as number 3's. Other girls are there for the crown and the power they think it will give them.
The girl who wins will become a 1 the highest caste number possible, her family will also be lifted up the caste system.
So for a girl like america that would mean her family would never be hungry. Her brother Gerad could choose to do whatever he wished, he wouldn't have to be an artist just because his caste number dictates he should be.
I love the cover as I would say it represents America in a beautiful blue gown
The book is well written with good descriptions of the palace and the surroundings as well as descriptions of the beautiful dressers that the Selection girls are provided with to wear whilst at the palace.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes Would I recommend it? Yes Would I read more by this Author/in this series? Yes I have to read books 2 to see what happens to America, and to see who becomes Maxon's Princess.
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Light-Hearted & Fun
(Updated: May 24, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Of all the cheesy, eye-rolling and slightly heart-warming releases so far in 2012, The Selection is most definitely my favourite! Though it's not a literary masterpiece - it should be read with the expectation that you will be entertained, and nothing more - it is a LOT of fun!

While there's no rose ceremony, the resemblances to The Bachelor in The Selection are striking! There's elaborate dresses, priceless jewels, a bunch of girls all vying for the love and affection (or money and crown!) of the same Prince, and the tension that only comes with fierce competition. There are definitely some over-the-top cheesy girl-bonding moments, but there is also a lot of suspicion and cattiness. I loved watching the tension reach boiling points, and how quickly the girls were sneaking furtive glances at one another and switching from friends to competitors.

America is an absolute sweetheart who's full of spunk. She's stubborn and opinionated and unafraid to show it. Her interactions with Prince Maxon made for some of my favourite scenes, as I never knew what to expect from her!

"I'm not fighting. My plan is to enjoy the food until you kick me out."

I kept waiting for her to change who she was, in order to both avoid hurting Maxon's feelings and to stay in the competition longer, but she stayed true to herself. It was easy to admire her tenacity and refusal to let her circumstances dictate her actions. Even though she made it clear to Maxon that their relationship was to be merely platonic, as she was still dealing with her feelings for Aspen, I couldn't help but hope for her to let her guard down and let Maxon in.

The dystopian elements are quite light - a futuristic North America wherein everyone is divided into a different caste based on their ancestor's ability to contribute to society - but the light world-building was a non-issue for me. I wasn't interested in how North America came to be Illea (though we are leaked information throughout the book about it's formation), or how everyone was divided into a caste (though, again, the answer is hinted at) because it didn't matter: I was so caught up in America's story, and how much I hoped that she would return Maxon's affections, that I didn't care about how they had gotten to where they were at. I am interested to see what part the rebels will have to play later in the series though!

The Selection is a light-hearted, fun and entertaining read. It's got a little bit of everything - the hope for a fairytale ever-after, a spunky protagonist, two boys to swoon over and a frosting of dystopian-like elements. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, but would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a little mindless entertainment!
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