Series: The Selection #1
Published by HarperTEEN on April 24, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
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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.
If you’ve paid attention to reviews of The Selection in the blog world, you know the kind of love hate relationship people have with this book. They love it, or they hate it. I haven’t really seen a middle ground. I’m not sure why, but I’m intrigued. I’m always intrigued by books who get received this way, but I’m also leery of them at the same time. It took me a long time to finally get to this book, but I really enjoyed it! As always my main points are bolded. :)
1. I’m just going to throw it out there and say that I LOVE The Bachelor. It is one of my favorite TV shows, and Mondays are much less dread-worthy when a season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette is running. I was immediately in love with the idea of this book for that reason. The girls apply, they get selected to be a part of this crazy dating game, there’s girl drama, there’s a handsome prince. I mean, come ON.
2. America applies to be selected because she promises her love, Aspen, that she will. She is of higher class than he is, so marrying him means literally marrying down. And Aspen does not have the heart to let America do that when she could easily avoid it. So he makes her apply, because then he knows she did everything she could and he does not have to feel bad for holding her back. And of course, she is selected. She goes into this game for the money, and the money alone. She flat-out TELLS the prince this. They agree to be secret friends. I love that this happens. I have so much respect for America for being upfront and honest with Prince Maxon. I love that he likes her enough to be her friend. In the midst of an out of this world game in a dystopian society, a sense of normalcy rises from these two. It’s realistic. And I love that America chooses to hold on to Aspen. But that prince is cute… and sweet… and oh, crap. Is she falling for him? That is the question. And surprises happen.
3. The relationships tear me in both directions. I like Maxon and I like Aspen. I like who America is with both of them. Maxon is understanding and caring. And he has no clue about girls, which makes him so endearing. I love watching him try. And Aspen is honorable and so concerned and unselfish. I don’t know how to feel! I love it when a book does this to me.
4. This totally read like a first book, which was a bit disappointing. What I mean is that the stage was set, but not a lot happened. It’s like the first episode of The Bachelor when we’re introduced to the girls, we decide who we hate and love, and nothing really happens because there’s so many people involved. Relationships are not really happening yet. I feel like nobody is really attached to anyone, and there’s not much dating or deciding on Maxon’s part. The other girls are just background scenery. Meh. That’s ok, though, because there are more books. I just would have loved a little more meat to this first one.
5. The society of this world is really interesting. I like the caste system and all the political stuff behind the game… and the rules… the attacks against the kingdom… and the culture. I hope to learn more about this world in the next book.
All in all, this was a great read! I’m excited to continue the series, and I am hoping for more drama and confusion from the characters. If you like dystopian novels, definitely give this one a shot!