Title: The Selection (The Selection, #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Rating: ★★★ (3/5 Stars)
Paperback, 327 Pages
Published April 2012
Book #1 of 3 in The Selection Series]
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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.
Amber read this book awhile ago and recommended it to me, and I'm glad that I finally got the chance to read this book! The Selection was equal parts romance, drama, and heartbreak. Plus, it's only the first book in the trilogy (although, however, Kiera Cass recently announced that two more books will be added to The Selection series!), and I'm eager to get my hands on the next one to find out who America chooses.
America Singer is in love with a boy named Aspen, but he is a caste below her and marrying him would only upset him (for bringing her down a caste) and her family and society (for lowering herself). From what I gathered, the woman takes the man's caste when they get married--so, marrying Aspen, her absolute dream, would be marrying down...and her family just wouldn't accept that.
Through a series of twists and turns, America gets wheedled by her family (and Aspen) into entering her application for the Selection. Prince Maxon is ready to marry, and therefore 35 girls will be living in the royal palace until he falls in love with one of them.
Hmm. Sounds a bit like forced, fake love to me. I was naturally curious about what would happen with this book, which is why I decided to pick it up, and it definitely drew me in. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cass is definitely creative when it comes to names for characters in her book, and I also was drawn in by the fact that even though this story technically takes place after the "Fourth World War" (yikes) and is, in a way, a semi-post-apocalyptic story (although there wasn't really an apocalypse--just a deconstruction of the countries as we know them), society was still running along smoothly, for the most part.
Very interesting. (Kiera Cass's acknowledgements page even made me chuckle. She's pretty funny.)
The ending of this book left me in wonder--and I need to get the next one, stat! I don't know for sure whose side I'm on yet, but I feel like I'm definitely leaning towards Prince Maxon. There's something about Aspen that I just don't like, although I can't quite put my finger on it yet.
All in all, The Selection was an interesting read that I enjoyed and was sad to finish. However, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Elite as soon as I possibly can!