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.
When I first started The Selection, I had been afraid that it was going to let me down terribly. I had read so many reviews about the book, all claiming that this book was terrible and had nothing good going for it. I’m glad to say that I stuck through it to the end. While others may have thought it to be terrible, I believe I might have liked it a little bit more.
Now, I have to do a little mention here, because it is important. Half-way through reading this book, I learned about the controversy surrounding this book. I won’t go into details, but it just concerns the author, her agent, and a bad response on their behalf to a review that was posted on goodreads. I do not agree with the actions against the reviewer, but I’m not going to allow that to alter my own review of the book, merely because it does not concern me.
This book was a quick and easy read. I usually like to determine how well a book is written based on my imagination. I believe that an author should be adept in giving enough good details that I should be able to create a world within my imagination, if you will. I have to say, I think I had a little bit of trouble in imagining this world. I felt as though I was reading a historical fiction novel that was set in the far off future. As I’m sure, you’re just as confused as I am. I believe that this is due to the fact that I wasn’t given enough sufficient details in order to truly imagine the world that Cass was trying to create with this book. And once I’ve imagined a book this way, its very hard for me to un-see it. I’ve heard things like “this is a dystopian novel mixed with the Bachelor.” I do not entirely agree with that statement. While the caste system that was put into place created tension among the subjects, I feel as though I wasn’t able to get a good enough sense of the world outside of the palace walls. I know that there are other books to follow, and will probably provide more details regarding this particular area, but I felt that it was important for these details to be established deeply in the beginning so that the reader can have a good understanding of the circumstances that the characters are living in. I also do not agree that this was like the Bachelor. Yes, it had some of those elements with tv crews and one man picking one woman, but the tv crews eventually disappeared. Prince Maxon also has a lot more to consider than just a man trying to find a woman to share his life with. He has a country to run, and the politics of it all interfere with his relationships.
I also had an issue with the character of Aspen. From this point on in the series, I think I am going to be rooting for America to pick Maxon. I think it is interesting that the relationships in this book are somewhat complicated, that there really are two competitions here: One for the heart of Maxon, and one for the heart of America. Now, back to Aspen. I thought it was just too convenient that Aspen was included in the military draft and then stationed at the palace. I understand that he is trying to win the heart of America back again, but I feel as though he is only missing something that he lost, at his own hands, mind you. But alas, that is only something that can be answered in reading the remainder of the series.
So, the question remains is how I rate this book and whether I will continue on with the series. I will continue reading the series, out of curiosity for what happens to America and Maxon. As for a rating, I will give it a 3/5. This is purely based on the fact that I had trouble with some of the author’s writing and some plot holes. But with that said, I still think that the book still deserves a chance to be read. I think this is a book that you will either entirely hate, or a book that you will feel okay with and will continue reading the series.
In time, I hope to have developed a better rating system, one that is more visual. I’m in the talks with a friend who designs, and hopefully we can work together to create something that works. In the meantime, bear with me. Thanks!