Author: Kiera Cass
My rating: 4.7 hearts
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Romance
Release date: April 24th, 2012
Summary: 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. (summary from Goodreads)
My thoughts: This takes place in the future, a country called Illéa, which formed after the fourth World War. The society is built in castes (eight to one), where the so called Eights (people in the cast eight) are poor and basically have no home or food, and the higher casts live in luxury.
It’s about America Singer, a Six who gets picked for the Selection. She didn’t apply to the Selection because she wanted to. She doesn’t think too highly of Prince Maxon, and at first, she is very against the idea of becoming his wife and the princess of Illéa. America is not the biggest fan of the castes. Her mother wants her to marry someone from a higher cast than her own, preferably higher than four, and gets super excited when America gets a letter that says she can apply to the Selection and have a chance of becoming Maxon’s wife, but America is not as thrilled. She loves someone else, but can’t tell her parents, because he’s a Seven.
She tries to take care of her siblings as much as she can. America is a very thoughtful person, and does things she knows will make her unhappy if it will help the people she loves. She doesn’t like Maxon very much, because of the impression she’s gotten from watching the television. She’s kind and doesn’t see the Selection as much as a competition as the other girls, since she doesn’t want to be there.
I liked America. She’s just a genuinely nice girl, who tried to help her family in every way she could, even if it meant her own unhappiness. She’s also a strong, independent heroine who doesn’t accept getting pushed around, and you know how much I like those heroines. She doesn’t care much about physical appearances, either, or anything fake.
Then we have Prince Maxon. He has to pick one of the girls from the Selection to be his wife and the princess of Illéa, which, I suppose, cannot be a particularly easy task. He’s never had a girlfriend or his first kiss, since it was pretty hard to date while being the prince. He’s pretty different from how America first thought he’d be. It’s like he’s one person in front of the people of Illéa, and another in private.
I fell in love with Maxon the second he appeared in the book. It was love at first sight. It was obvious from the start that America was so wrong about him. He can be really sweet, which is proved very soon. He wants to find a girl he actually likes, not only someone who is fit for the throne. And he’s always so nice to America, which is exactly why I fell in love with him so quickly (why doesn’t guys like this exist in real life?).
Then we have Aspen, the Seven America loves. He hates being a Seven, because it means he can’t take care of America and give her the kind of life he wants her to have. He tries to take care of his family as good as he can, but it’s not easy being a Seven. He’s the reason America applies to the Selection in the first place, because he doesn’t want to hold her back.
I like Aspen. I do. But … well, I don’t know. I like Maxon better. I don’t really know what to say about Aspen. He doesn’t appear a lot in the first book, although America thinks about him a lot.
I liked The Selection. A lot. The only real minus was that the plot could be a little slow at times, but it was good otherwise. It was definitely different from the other books I’ve read, so that’s a big plus.
The writing is good, I liked the characters (except Celeste. I hated Celeste), they were relatable, even though they were put in situations that may not be part of my everyday life, the decisions they made and some of their problems felt relatable. I like when this happens; you take a fantasy novel, or dystopian, or any book that is about something that isn’t reality (yet. Maybe it will happen some day? No one knows, hehe), and still, the characters are relatable. Otherwise, it’s just too much fantasy, and boring to read.
I’m not sure what I felt about the ending. It was both surprising and expected, if that makes any sense. I mean, I knew it had to happen sooner or later, but I hadn’t expected it to be quite like that, but it made sense, so I liked it. Can’t wait to read The Elite.
So, if you think it’s a little slow in the beginning, keep reading, because it gets better, and in the end, it was definitely worth reading through the slow beginning.