Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass Review (spoiler alert)

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published by HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Buy It: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | BAM
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Synopsis: 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.

This novel has the typical dystopian and love-triangle premise with a Flavor of Love twist. For some reason Cass' writing style reminded me a lot of Suzanne Collins' diction. Also, I thought that America's personality was very similar to Katniss. This book was easy to get into, an easy read,  but generally, I found that the plot and the characters were cliché. The only thing that I found unique about this novel is that for the first time I am rooting for the the heroine's second love interest.  

Strengths & Likes: 

1) There are many characters, but I didn't feel overwhelmed by trying to remember them all. Obviously, when writing any story or book for it to be at all realistic it has to be clear that there are other people in the world, but in a lot of cases authors take too many characters and make them part of the essential plot. Cass did a very good job at making sure the reader knew who to focus on. 

2) I appreciate how Prince Maxon is not the typical arrogant ladies man. It makes sense that he would not have a lot of contact with the outside world and other women. As a whole, I found that Maxon was a very well rounded character with a lot of depth. 

3) The chemistry between Maxon and America is very cute, I love how they start out as friends and their relationship develops further. I feel it is because they started out this way that it was really easy to see why the were attracted to one another and allowed their relationship to gradually unfold. 

4) I was happy that America didn't just jump back into her relationship with Aspen right away. It was clear that America has some pride and is not the type of girl to be dropped and picked back up again. She makes these guys work for her attention and feelings instead of desperately going after them. Of course her old feelings are there and she can't help but want to go back to how things were before she was picked in the Selection but that's now how life works. We make choices and we have to live with the consequences.  

Weaknesses & Dislikes: 

1) I thought Cass' explanation as to why the USA collapsed was unrealistic. Logically, it doesn't make any sense that because the United States owed a lot of money that the Chinese would start a war with us because war only brings on more financial problems, as we all know from experience. 

2) It's not enough that the main character's name is America, but her full name being America Singer and her occupation is a Singer? Really? 

3) It was obvious that Aspen was going to be selected into the draft and somehow he would find a way to be serving at the palace. How else could this love triangle keep going if America's first love was not present?

4) I didn't like Aspen's freak out to America making him dinner. I understand his feelings behind it but he could at least act grateful and then brood quietly after thanking his girlfriend for the meal. Instead of that overdramatic freak out. 

Favorite Quotes & Moments: 

1) "'So you’re choosing him over me?' He asked miserably.

'No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.' That was the truth at the core of everything. I didn’t know what I wanted yet, and I couldn’t let myself be swayed by what was easy or what someone else thought was right. I had to give myself time to decide what was best for me."

2) "'I hit your thigh!'

'Oh, please. A man doesn’t need that long to recover from a knee to the thigh.'"


3) “If you don’t want me to be in love with you, you’re going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I’m having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you.” 




4) "You’re too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we’ll have to send some of the guards with you. You’ll never survive on your own, poor thing.”







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