Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Acquired Via: Local Library
The Selection is the Big Six debut of young adult author, Kiera Cass. In a national lottery to choose the next queen of Illea in a post-apocalyptic United States, teenaged America Singer is chosen as one of the 35 contenders for Prince Maxon's heart and the crown.
One of the things I loved best about The Selection was the Writing. It is the literary equivalent of cotton candy - delicious, sweet, and gone in no time. (Cotton candy is NOT a bad thing in Kayla Land.) It is written in such a way that it is accessible to pre-teens all the way to older adults. Dystopias and post-apocalyptic books have saturated the YA [non]genre, so it is difficult to stand apart. However, Kiera Cass accomplished this by writing a clean book with characters who weren't that bad (except for jerk-face Aspen). I do have to say that I don't consider the book to be a truly dystopian novel because the government is not horribly corrupt from what I've seen so far, and the girls chosen in the lottery don't have to stay. Yes, the caste system sucked, too, but it's something American teens can relate to in the present economic situation. Not many people move out of their social class despite the (now lessening) opportunities to do so. I won't go too far into that because it would take away from the essence of the book. (I don't believe it was written to be much of a political statement.) We can discuss this in the comments if you like.
I've been including characters in the writing portion, and I'll continue that for now. America is probably one of my favorite heroines in 2012. She was easy to relate to, and I never found myself questioning any decisions she made, except a really stupid one at the end of the novel. (I still want to shake her.) On the other hand, the love of her life, Aspen, really pissed me off almost immediately. He made the decision for her to put her name in the lottery, and he was so crappy to her for being chosen. In my opinion, he's just as bad as Vampire Bill (who I would gladly stake). The other person in the "love triangle", Prince Maxon, is an A-plus sort of fellow, and he definitely left me feeling cougarish. *growls* 5/5 Stars
The World-Weaving really worked for me. The futuristic society was more believable than that in other books *cough*Divergent*cough*, and I really didn't challenge the way Cass built the world too much. I would like to know more about the rebellion, but I'm sure more will come along later in the trilogy. 4.5/5 Stars
The Pacing of the novel was perfect - as I touched upon in the Writing portion. I read the book in less than twenty-four hours, as have my library patrons to whom I've recommended this book. If you like princesses, frillery, and just a twinge of suspense and romance, you will be able to breeze through this book. 5/5 Stars
I suppose it goes without saying that my Attention Span was completely in tune with the the novel through its entirety. I found myself so deeply absorbed in America's time at the castle that I did not ever want to come back to reality. I could have read this book in just a few hours if not for work, a five year old, and other annoying responsibilities. ;-) 5/5 Stars
The Extra Magic of The Selection was how easy it was to read, in addition to what the book was not. It has been compared to The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. I found it to be neither as it lacked the darkness, ugliness, and horrible, wretched women (like in The Bachelor). Sure, there was a mean girl, but she wasn't nearly as disgusting as many women on the reality show. It was a good clean story and exactly what I needed when I read it. 5/5 Stars
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a signed ARC of The Selection via a giveaway from the author. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. The copy of the book I reviewed was a finished copy checked out from the local library.
This book counts toward my completion of the Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.