The Selection – Kiera Cass
Release Date: 7th June 2012
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
In a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels THE SELECTION is the chance of a lifetime to compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s heart. But for America Singer it means turning her back on a secret love, and leaving home for a prize she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Maxon and all her plans start to crumble. Can the life she’s always dreamed of compare to a future she never imagined?
I had mixed feelings about The Selection before I’d even started reading it because there was a little bit of drama surrounding the author and I’d read some rather mixed reviews, but I ended up enjoying it.
For the first half of Kiera Cass’s debut I wasn’t very impressed. I thought the whole idea was rather sexist and old-fashioned: girls competing to marry a prince and sometimes sold off into doing so and being chosen on their level of attractiveness. Add into that a rather uninspiring heroine and I trudged through the first one hundred and fifty pages with a bit of a judgemental and sour expression on my face. And then America had her first encounter with Maxon...
I have to admit that while I was right about The Selection being sexist, America wasn’t a bad heroine at all. I actually ended up really loving her. She’s honest, brave, loyal and not afraid to make a stand which turned the whole sexist regime of The Selection on its head a little bit. Oh, and Maxon. I swooned nearly every time he spoke. He’s a proper prince; a Disney prince and I fell for him. And when they were together it was perfect in the way it was anything but – I loved it.
Other than the sexism, my major criticism of The Selection was that America’s world, Illéa, felt like a rip off of Panem from The Hunger Games. You have the country divided into castes instead of disctricts all dedicated to providing one service for everyone else, a contest where young people compete for a life-changing prize and a society riddled with poverty and strict rules and regulations with severe punishments for stepping out of line. It was a little too close for me. But unlike Panem, Kiera Cass’s world wasn’t nearly as developed as it had the potential to be. Even though during America’s lessons at the palace more information was revealed, I didn’t really feel like I properly discovered this new version of the US.
As I said earlier on, I had read some reviews of The Selection prior to starting it and I was fully prepared for what quite a few bloggers had proclaimed an evil cliffhanger. That’s not quite what it felt like to me, though. Although there was a conclusion, it didn’t seem big enough or final enough to end a book and I felt like the story kind of just stopped. I realise that Kiera Cass was just clearly setting up the sequel, but it just didn’t sit right with me.
Even though I had some major issues with The Selection, I did end up enjoying it in an ‘I really shouldn’t be enjoying this’ kind of way and I will read the sequel, The Elite.
Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with a review copy.