The Selection

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The Selection
(Updated: April 22, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Selection by Kiera Cass is unlike any book I’ve ever read. Reminiscent of The Bachelor in setup, but taking place in a post-war world, the novel follows a young woman named America whose life is suddenly uprooted when, after applying for what is perhaps the most prestigious event in the entire country, she is selected to be part of The Selection: a journey in which thirty-five young women will find not only themselves, but the man of their dreams.

For America, who goes into The Selection heartbroken from a recent breakup while at the same time hopeful for her future, she feels this may be a chance to give back to the family that has loved her so much. What she doesn’t realize is that her journey will change her, for what seems to be the better.

This book is incredibly hard to describe without going into intricate detail about the world-building and the methods at which Kiera Cass created it. For that reason, I will simply say that, at it’s heart, The Selection is a novel about one young woman coming to find what she wants rather than what the world expects of her. One line—I choose me—rings true in the darkest hours of the final pages, and though many would believe this novel to be a one-trick pony based simply on its pretense, its world-building and ability to inspire tension through events not relating to the romantic overtones is enough to immediately mark this as a contender among great young adult novels.

Addicting, harrowing, saddening at times and joyous at others, The Selection is an unstoppable novel, one which fans of romance and post-war worlds will instantly fall in love with.
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AMAZING BOOK
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The selection was an amazing read, heard a lot about it but didn't know it was this amazing. first of all the characters was well written, totally love prince maxon and aspen, can't decide which one I like best. and lots of drama happens in this book which makes it interesting and the love triangle is amazing, cant wait to read the next book in the series. A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR KIERA CASS, AMAZING
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A Must-read, can't-put-down, don't-want-to-end novel
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I did not expect to love this book. I mean, LOVE. I read both The Selection and The Elite within twelve hours. I couldn't put it down, and stayed up in the morning hours, just like Kiera Cass warned in her afterword.

America (protagonist) is living in the world after America (U.S.A) falls to China, regains its independence, and is ruled by a monarchy. In the new society, things are governed by a caste system. If you a one you are royalty. If you are a six you are servant. If you are an eight, you are considered criminal and an outcast. America is a five, which means her family are all artists, and dependent on the upper castes for income. Which also means they do not have a surplus to eat. Even worse, America is in love with a six named Aspen, who battles hunger to feed his younger siblings. There love seems almost impossible, because marrying a lower caste is highly unusual.

Then, a chance for a different kind of life is given to America. She could become a one, a princess, if she enters the selection. The Selection is where 35 girls are chosen, move to the palace, and one marries Prince Maxon. Although she does not want to answer, Aspen actually encourages her and her family would not worry about food anymore. She enters and is selected.

Upon arrival, America does not expect to bond with some of the other girls, and she definitely does not expect to like Prince Maxon. They agree to be friends, but the reader can clearly see their relationship blossoming, even when America can't. To make matters worse, Aspen is assigned to guard duty in the castle, and America becomes even more torn.

The novel ends with America being told that she makes "The Elite", which is the final eight.

Think I gave a lot away? This novel has so much more in it! I read a lot of books, and it has been a long time since I liked one this much. Definitely a must read!
Good Points
A smart, charismatic, caring heroine
A dystopia that shows there is still hope
No "I must fight like Katniss to save the world" theme
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Surprisingly Amazing
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Kiera Cass is brilliant writer! I highly recommend to pick her books! You love them!
Good Points
I really like this book. I will admit that I was a little skeptical at first because I heard many reviews saying that it was The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, which I wasn't sure if I wanted to pick it up. I'm glad I did, It was so different from what I that it was going to be. The plot and characters are so well developed that I'm excited to read the next book in the series.

TEAM MAXON! You will love him :)
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Breath taking romance with an underdog main character that I was cheering for with all my heart.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
The Selection drew me in from the beginning. I really connected with America. I could see similar character traits in her as myself, and then others that makes her stronger, others that I knew she had much room to grow and change. Character development and growth is really what gets me involved emotionally and otherwise in stories, and I knew that watching America would be a journey that I did not want to miss out on.
I feel like I have read this before. And I can't figure out where. Maybe it is just my readings of Ester or a christian fiction that was based on Ester... But anyways. The addition of Aspen and her loving a lower class definitely makes it unique and puts America, the main character in a more precarious position. I understand completely her choosing to participate in the selection to help her family because while she isn't the lowest class, they do struggle for food. She also decides to do it because Aspen doesn't want to live with the guilt of holding her back. There was a lot of tension going into making this decision, and that was just the beginning of what kept me reading this book.
The other girls in the competition were fun to read about. Some, like Marlee made me smile. She was so open and I loved the budding friendship between her and America. Others, like Celeste--well, let me just say that she made a perfect character to hate. There are others that I wished I could get a peek inside their mind and their time with Maxon.
And oh, Maxon. At first, I thought much like America, that he was stuck up and unreachable. But as she got to know him, my heart melted and I was pulling for her to be able to leave Aspen in her past and chose him. Ms. Cass did a great job writing this and set this up, because I was all prepared to pull for first love and forbidden romance, but I loved the interactions between America and Maxon. How their friendship formed, and their bantering and open, vulnerable moments together.
The ending completely took my breath away, and I can't wait for The Elite so I can figure out where America goes next in her journey, and figure out more to make my decision as well as find out hers.

Bottom Line: Breath taking romance with an underdog main character that I was cheering for with all my heart.
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Dystopian meets every girl's princess fantasy = brilliant!
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This was an amazing book. Light-hearted and fun, with some romance and a bit of action, the perfect protagonist, one forbidden love, a cute prince and 34 girls vying for his hand... what could go wrong?

Well, I am going to put it out there. What was Cass thinking when she chose the name America Singer? Who lives in America... and is a singer? Really. I mean, they are living in the future, but that's a bit pushing it. And the name Aspen reminded me of aspirin. Just putting it out there.

When I was reading the blurb, I was thinking something along the lines of "I think I'll read it first, to get it over and done with." It just sounded all a bit too fairy-tale like and fluffy princesses and spoilt girls and paparazzis and stuff. And of course, there was some of that, but it all worked beautifully, not annoyingly like I suspected it might. It had all the pretty dresses (I took special care to imagine the dresses :P), the spoilt girls (one in particular... grrrr you, Celeste), and the paparazzis, and the prince, with the shy romance, but it all worked.

I am definitely going for Maxon. He seems so sincere in his emotions, and friendly and nice (and of course it doesn't hurt that he is the Prince). I really hope that America chooses him. But she loves Aspen, who is right there in the palace as well, after he broke up with her just because he didn't want her to support him. So poor Maxon. He's so nice. But I can't believe he kept Celeste. But anyway.

America is a great protagonist. She doesn't even want to be queen, and she wanted to know about the rebels, she stood up for her maids, and was just generally outspoken and... just great. I burst out laughing (not that breathy sound you do when something's kind of funny, actual laughing), when she kneed His Royal Majesty The Prince in the groin. :D

If you're looking at the cover/blurb of this book, and thinking "Ummm... looks a little too princessy for my taste..." Don't exit this page. Trust me. America is not princessy at all.

I advise everyone to give this book a go, it is so good. I can't believe I have to wait until April for the next one!!!
Good Points
- America is a great protagonist
- Definitely not the fluffy princess drama I was expecting
- This is an amazing book
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Light-hearted and brilliant!!
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I loved the Selection, it was way better than I thought it would be. Sooooooooooooo much better. From the cover, it looked like it be very fancy and girly, which I hate, but it was very different from that, but still with touches of that girly magic, as well as humour and a tiny bit of action.

When I read the name America Singer, I was confused. It was such a weird name, since I think they were living in a future America, and that she sings. It was a really weird name, as with most characters in the book. But I guess the names give this book a certain charm to it.

I thought the plot would be all dresses, make up and paparazzi. But it was different, it did have the dresses and a bit of paparazzi, but it had shy romance, friendship and action. Yes, action. Rebels attack the palace regularly, which brings a little excitement into the story.

The Selection is so much better than expected, for everyone. I believe that everyone should give it a shot, and you will be blown away with this amazing book.
Good Points
-I laughed out loud when America kicked Maxon in the groin.
-I loved how America didn't want to be queen, and she wanted to know about the rebels, it made me like her a lot. She was a great protagonist.
-I wanted to get to know the other girls in the selection better.
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The Selection
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Loved this book!
Good Points
So, I had heard about this book a lot from people who really liked it, but I didn't think it was really a book that I would like. But I saw it at the library the other day and brought it home, and I LOVED THIS BOOK. I literally could not put it down. The idea and plot it so unlike anything I normally read. This book really pulled me in. As awful as the character's names are, I couldn't help but root for them. I cannot wait for the second book to find out what happens and who America ends up with. This was a very fast read that will keep you entertained!
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A Great Page-Turner!
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

My rating: 5 stars.

This book was AMAZING.

I initially got interested in it because it reminded me of something else that I read a couple of months ago. This book got me hooked almost instantly. The first few chapters were a bit slow, which may be due to my immediate dislike of Aspen, but once we got to the actual Selection I couldn't stop reading. The way Kiera Cass slowly evolved America and Maxon's relationship while creating character development for all the other characters was remarkable.

Yes, there is a love triangle aspect in this book, but I think it's done in a way that's different from other novels. We see both relationships develop and it's not something that came out of nowhere. The book is just really interesting. I finished it in two days and on the last day I just sat there reading it for about 3 hours straight. I can't wait for 'The Elite
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Fun, fluffy princess romance with just a hint of dystopia
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book was just fun. I really don’t understand the constant comparisons to The Hunger Games. Yes, they’re both dystopian, but The Selection is VASTLY different from The Hunger Games. America and Katniss are nothing alike, except that they’re both kind of socially awkward. There is no violence (except for a subplot involving rebels that keep attacking the castle for no reason the monarchy can understand). The families in the lower castes may go hungry, but the world doesn’t feel nearly as impoverished and depressing as the Districts of Panem. And while the losers of the Hunger Games die, the losers of the Selection go home to wed prominent businessmen and politicians.

So yeah. Not the same thing.

No, the pop culture phenomenon The Selection most closely resembles is The Bachelor. A bunch of pretty girls trying to win the hand/money (or in this case, crown) of a studly guy. There’s even camera crews and a weekly televised broadcast.

But whereas I can’t stand The Bachelor, I absolutely LOVED The Selection.

Beyond just the abundant prettiness (and there WAS abundant prettiness), this book just gave me happy fluttery feelings in my tummy. America was fun and feisty. Sometimes a bit dense, yes, but that’s when I had to remind myself (as I have to do often in YA books featuring female protagonists) that she is a teenage girl, and so it makes sense for her to be a bit dense.

Prince Maxon was sweet and charming and I’ve got to say, I know the whole point of the book was that America has two viable options in Aspen vs. Maxon, but I am Team Maxon all the way [I can't believe I just said that]. Aspen is stoic and intense and responsible and B-O-R-I-N-G. Granted, we don’t have nearly as much time to get to know him as Maxon, and most of our perception of him is through America’s lovesick and swoony eyes, so I will try not to be too disappointed if she runs back to him in Book 2. But I sincerely hope that Maxon is the victor.

There is a brief attempt to explain how the country of Illéa came to be, although the caste systems are never explained. Maybe in Book 2? I found the explanation reasonable enough. I know there are others out there saying they didn’t buy or understand it, but in the context of the story, and especially since America is narrating in first person and she herself doesn’t fully understand it all, I thought it was fine.

And while there’s very little action or nail-biting suspense in this book (unless you consider a will-they-or-won’t-they romance nail-biting suspense), I still found myself completely enthralled in the beauty of the Palace, the developing relationship between America and Maxon, and the tentative friendships between the girls in the Selection.

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the ending. I wanted there to be MORE. Even though I knew it was going to end without resolving a lot of things (since my friend who loaned me the book warned me of as much), I was still sad and surprised when I hit the last page and still had questions. There’s a lot of subplots (and main plots) left hanging at the end. Consider yourself warned.

I think The Selection isn’t so much for Hunger Games fans (although I am a Hunger Games fan) as it is for fans of stories like The Princess Diaries or anything by Jane Austen. Or, obviously, fans of The Bachelor. It’s a fun, sweet, and highly entertaining romance, and the future dystopian setting adds some interest and uniqueness. I enjoyed it immensely.
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