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Through the Looking Glass: Review: The Selection by: Kiera Cass

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: The Selection by: Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 327
Format: Hardcover
Series: The Selection #1
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Contemporary
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Author Website: Kiera Cass
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:
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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.
My Review:
I’ve heard many sources say that this book is a mash-up of the Hunger Games and the Bachelor. No kidding! I wasn’t sure at first if I would like the pairing, but it turned out to be an ingenious mix.
America Singer (Love that name!) is a Five in a 1-8 caste system. One being royalty and Eight being homeless. Her family are all artists in some form. She plays the violin. Her family gets a letter in the mail one day that says America may enter to be a part of the Selection, where 35 girls get chosen out of the entire country to compete for the love of Prince Maxon.
Her family, especially her mother, is trying to persuade and encourage America into entering. She, however, is already in love with Aspen, a gorgeous and hard-working Six. The only reason she would ever agree to enter would be to provide money for her family and later because Aspen asks her to.
So she gets her smiling photo taken and gets Selected to go to the palace and meet the other girls, and of course, Prince Maxon. Admittedly, around this point, I thought the book would be fairly predictable from then on. It was somewhat, but I still found myself surprised in parts.
There was a lot of fashion in the Selection. All the girls were always abuzz about who was wearing what and what the prince preferred. I liked America’s approach of minimal makeup and modest dresses.
At first, America finds herself surprised at Prince Maxon. He is nothing like she pictured him to be. He is remarkably likable, but could he be more?
While the girls are focused on winning Prince Maxon’s affections, he along with the King and Queen are dealing with a much greater issue. Rebels from the South and North have been invading certain areas in their country of Illea. This was a perfect foreshadowing to the next book in the series, I think.
One thing that bothered me about the Selection was the ending. It seemed very abrupt to me. There were a lot of loose ends that needed to be tied up, which made me grateful that this is the first of a series.
Official Rating:
Four Un-birthday cakes
Four Un-Birthday Cakes!
Other reviews:

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At May 14, 2012 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous Luxembourg said...

America Singer has been thrown into a reality television show to win the hand and heart of Prince Maxon. Living in a post third world war country that was once the United States. society has been divided between the haves and the have nots and broken down further into a caste system. This story is actually closer to truth than fiction right now. We have the class warfare, the war on women, and people who still go to bed hungry. It scares me. So throw in a bit of reality television like the Bachelor and it can get very intense quickly. America is exactly the sort of anti hero that I have come to adore. She is outspoken, tells the truth (mostly) and is trying to find her way in a society where she has limited options. Her family will be paid for her entering this game show where she might end up with the prince and thus her family will be able to eat and have warmth. So in a Survivor like fashion, she wants to stay in the game as long as possible.


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