Series: The Selection #1
Also in this series: The Elite, The One
Released by HarperTeen on 24 April 2012
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.
It’s not much fun reading a book series when you already know how it’s going to end. Or at least, when you think you know how it’s going to end. Of course, that’s the problem with stalling to read several book series because you feel like reading other books instead. This was my problem with The Selection. I think I added this book to my to-read list a long time ago, but never really picked it up at a bookstore. Until a couple of days ago, when I decided to just go for it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really convinced by this book.
I immediately was confused by the whole ‘Caste’ thing, with people being ‘Fives’ and ‘Sixes’ and ‘Twos’, I had no idea what it meant, except that apparently Fives are artists and Sixes are cleaners. Eventually, I read in someone else’s review that the author had made a page on her website explaining what each ‘Caste’ did; which in my opinion is not a good world building. You need to do the world building in your BOOK, not on your website as an afterthought.
Then, I started to realise this book felt a lot like the Hunger Games, which I had been expecting already because loads of people called it ‘The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor’. But seriously, the girls get chosen and taken away from their families to travel to the palace. There, they get greeted by a lot of people who are already rooting for several of the girls; and then they get a make-over. There is also a guy who interviews the girls and reminded me a lot of Caesar Flickerman. But hey, at least these girls aren’t fighting in an arena but instead they are fighting over a boy. Pff.
I didn’t like America very much (seriously, her name is America Singer, and what does she do for a living? Take a guess. That’s right. She sings). She was very unkind to the prince from the beginning, screaming at him and kneeing him between the legs. Seriously, that is not going to get you bonus points girl. And then there’s Aspen. Her one true love. I swear, she’s what, sixteen? And you are already convinced you are going to spend the rest of your life with this guy? Nah bro. I liked her friendship with Marlee and some of the other Selection girls, and eventually her friendship with the Prince as well; but yeah I’m not really a fan of her.
And let’s talk about the romance. Okay. America and Aspen. I liked them at first, until Aspen started acting weird right before she went to the Selection. Then, there was Prince Maxon of course – and I was really hoping at first that they would just stay at being friends and that neither of them would start having feelings for each other. Eventually, I think I can say I kind of ship it, though I am not 100% convinced yet. Maybe something nice will happen in The Elite. Yes, I’m hoping for that.
The writing was very quick and very easy to read, and I think I read the majority of the book in one day, so that wasn’t really a problem. My problem was the lack of action, actually. There were two scenes where rebels attacked the castle, but we didn’t really see much of that because the first time the girls and the royal family were in the Great Room hiding and it was mostly America talking to Prince Maxon; and the second time they were hiding in some cellar and there was more of America talking to Maxon. Yeah it was a bit boring. But hey can we talk about how GORGEOUS that cover is? I love gorgeous covers and this one is just beautiful wow wow wow I want to frame it and hang it in my room!
In the end, I found The Selection nice, but lacking action and world building. And nice characters (okay I liked Marlee and Maxon, and perhaps May (it’s the M, I swear); but other than that, nah). But yeah, if you are into the Bachelor and the Hunger Games, you should give this book a try!
My opinion in one gif: