Sunday 5 January 2014

Book Review - The Selection

The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Genres: Dystopian, Romance | Young Adult
Release Date: 24th April 2012
Publishers: Harper Teen
No. Pages: 336
Source: Borrowed
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.
Before I start let me just say this, is this cover not just beautiful? I'll be honest enough to say it was my main reason for wanting to read it, part of me thought that a book with a cover like that couldn't be all that bad right? well I was glad to find I wasn't wrong. This book wasn't one that I would say blew me away, but it was an easy read and I really enjoyed it.

This book will remind you a lot of The Hunger Games, although obviously they aren't fighting for their life, instead they are just competing for the hand and heart of Prince Maxon. Just like the districts of Panem we have the 8 caste's of Illea, first being the the most important and 8th being the lowest of the low. Just like in Panem, the caste's are each good at something or in charge of certain responsibilities, like the 6th being cleaners/the help and the 5th, the caste that America Singer is born in to, are talented in art (like music & painting). America Singer has never known what is is like to not be hunger, to not struggle everyday because of the lack of food and money that anyone below 4th caste has. Pressured by her mother and her secret lover Aspen (a 6) to enter, she is shocked to be picked to be one of 35 girls out of all the girls that applied.

Aspen, her boyfriend, decides to break up before she enters the competition. As a 6 there isn't much that he can offer America, and despite all their plans of one day getting married, he takes the other way out. American is absolutely heartbroken, but sees it as an opportunity to focus on winning the competition for her family, if not anything else. Only one problem, she isn't there for the right reason's, and after her first chance meeting with Maxon she strikes up a deal with him, she'll be his insider and let him know what the girls are like behind the scenes as long as he lets her stay for as long as possible so she can continue to receive the money for participating.

Through out the book America never truly forgets about Aspen, which gets harder to handle when her friendship with Maxon is starting to turn into something more each day and as more and more girls are sent home America has to make a choice. Question is which one will she chose? go with Aspen and marry her childhood friend/lover or become the next queen or Illea, if Maxon's dad allows it that is. 

All in all I liked this book, it was an easy read and even though I couldn't connect with the characters and found the way Maxon spoke sometimes highly annoying, it was a fun idea. When I think back to the book maybe I shouldn't have given it a 5, because I have rated other books that were better less stars for the points I just stated, but because I couldn't put the book down I feel that in a way it should still have the 5.

Although saying that I just read about a fellow reviewer has had her review taken down off goodreads on more than one occasion, and where as I agree that sometimes she could come across as too critical, I trust her judgement when it comes to books and I think it was bad of Kiera Cass to have it removed just because she didn't like what she was saying.

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