Book: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Published: April 24th, 2012
The SYNOPSIS (back cover)
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.
“He stood and went to read my pin as I approached. “America, is it?” he said, a smile playing on his lips.
“Yes, it is. And I know I’ve heard your name before, but could you remind me?”
The Selection was such a surprise to me, and a great book to read! I’m not quite sure what I expected, but as soon as I flipped through the first page, I couldn’t stop. (I sucked these books in, in a matter of hours. Whoops.)
To set the scene, the country has become a “seemingly organized” (yet unorganized) place where the people revolve around a caste system. The system ranks people and families from one to eight–one being very rich (the royal family) and eight being very poor (usually having jobs as house cleaners, etc.). The Selection is an event where the Prince gets to choose his future bride. Women all over the country submit their applications and 35 are chosen (Yes, it is basically The Bachelor, rewritten).
America Singer, our heroine of the story, is a five in the caste system. She’s smart, witty, feisty and most importantly, wants nothing to do with The Selection. She’s found true love, she has a talent and provides support to her family, and she sees no reason for anything to change. Her mother begs her to enter her name, as entering and winning would not only mean a status change for America, but for her family as well. Any girls in The Selection also receive checks sent to their families to help out while they are away.
America, however, would rather be with her true love, Aspen (who is a six in the caste system). Forbidden to be together, they have kept their relationship a secret from family and friends. However, Aspen wants more for her and wills her to give The Selection a try, to submit her application as a “what if”.
SURPRISE. America gets chosen to be one of the thirty-five girls selection for The Selection. (Didn’t see that coming did you?) She has to adjust to new lifestyles, new friends (and enemies), and to what her heart is trying to tell her to do. Of course, being her feisty self, her and the Prince, Maxon, don’t always hit it off in the best of ways, but where would be the fun if they did?
AMERICA : I loved America. I felt like she was a very strong-willed heroine. She’s also kind and unselfish, wanting to stay in The Selection as long as possible to help provide for her family and get some distance from Aspen, who’s back in her home town. Her feelings and emotions felt real and connected and she seemed so strong, yet she was struggling with things I felt like I’d be struggling with too if I was in her shoes.
MAXON : Prince Maxon is a heartthrob, of course. He seems genuinely nice, well-rounded and just as confused from the whole event as the rest of the girls are. With hidden secrets of his own, he’s a character I’m sure we will see growing as the series carries on. I found myself routing for America to just fall in love with him already, since his feelings towards her are quite clear from the beginning.
The questions of the book are what really kept me interested and wanting to know more. Is America interested in Maxon? Is she over Aspen? Will she go back to Aspen? Will she leave The Selection without giving it a fighting chance? Will her words send her on her way home?
Why couldn’t this book just be three rolled into one! It left me needing to know more as the competition narrowed down to six girls. I thought this was a great read and I’d recommend it to anyone trying to find something new.
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Check out The Selection on GoodReads