The Selection (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Selection "Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection--a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea's prince--but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her"--
- Published: 24 April 2012
- Format: Hardback 336 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780062059932 ISBN 10: 0062059939
- Sales rank: 20,082
Reviews for The Selection
- Top review
I really did liked it!
I'm starting this review by stating the main reason why I bought this book - its cover. When I first saw it I just fell in love with it and after passing my eyes through the synopsis, I knew this was going to be a good reading. And it was.
I picked my copy up as soon as I got it in the mail. Read one chapter with the intention of killing the immense curiosity I had, and without even realizing it, I was already hooked by the end of the first couple of pages. I found the writing so simple, so straightforward, that I felt like I was having a conversation with a dear friend and that she was confiding me with all of her deepest secrets. Also, due to its easy prose, I couldn't help by reading the entire book in a matter of hours. Actually, it was already morning outside when my eyes started getting a bit blurry and I had to call it a day.
I'm not sure if I, personally, would classify this book as a dystopian novel but I do understand why many people see it that way. The world building the author created does capture that essence, you feel a mix of Divergent meets The Hunger Games when it comes to castes and social divisions but that is as far as the comparison goes. Unfortunately, what started by being something really cool and interesting seeing the action was never stopped for the new society to be presented to the reader, it ended falling a little short for me. I seriously hope we get to see this new world explored to its maximum in the following books since its foundation sounds truly promising, although I do believe the romance will be the true core of The Elite, but hey, I might be wrong! I hope I am.
About the characters, America Singer might have the most cliché name of the entire literary universe - even though it's possible to start liking it after a while. I did! -, but I do think she is a very compelling and passionate protagonist. She is strong and fragile at the same time, like all characters should be, and ultimately courageous seeing how much she has going on her life when she gets picked to be one of the Selected ladies in the run for Prince Maxon's hand. Plus, she's incredibly talented and super friendly and even when she feels like she doesn't want to be a part of such political games, she doest it anyway, for the more honoured reasons possible. What I kind of disliked about her was how sometimes she sounded a bit out of her edge for someone who is not accustomed on having close friends or any other people around her, so it looked like, at times, she was way too comfortable for hew own good, showing off a certain aggressive and hostile slashes of personality.
As for the boys, I was betting my money on Aspen, right in the beginning due to their love appear to be so truthful and special, but the way the relationship came to an end - or to a pause, I'm not really sure - it flushed away all my sympathy for the guy. I understand that it is his job to provide for his family - and now for Mer as well - but I don't think that was enough reason to terminate such a powerful love. So... my attentions moved to Prince Maxon, who is kind and well educated and totally worthy of my compassion once I understood all the pressure he had on his shoulders. Personally, I would give him a bit more salt, just to spice him a little, but I have a strong feeling that a lot is going to change in book two. A lot! And I can't wait for it!
The plot is really exciting, and once you get into the Selection show, it becomes a complete page-turner. In my opinion, I just think a couple of things were missing, such as more information regarding Maxon's interaction with the other contestants, more details about both the attacks and attackers - during the scenes where the palace was invaded - and, maybe, a little more tension in general, especially when it came to Celeste hating everybody and actually doing something about it.
The big finale, well... was a little nerve-wracking. I think the way Aspen reappeared in Mer's life was a bit too expected, a cliché that could have been solved - and avoid - if the author had decided to give a different twist in the story, but the way America dealt with it by the end was the more mature and correct possible way. It also left a lot of doors open for the following book, which is awesome because we, as readers, get into that state of mind where we don't really know what to expect - in a good way!
Overall, this was a great reading. The story was attention-grabbing, the characters were mysterious - and still have a lot to show! -, and the writing was just perfect for someone like me who is not very used to reading in English. And even though, initially, I was expecting something else in terms of storyline - don't ask me what exactly 'cause I don't know -, I truly loved this book. And now I'm anxiously waiting for the release of The Elite, which is to due out in mid April. Can't wait! by Patrícia Pilar Pecegueiro
Before I knew it, I'd finished the book in a blink of an eye... or so it seems.
Before I knew it, I'd finished the book in a blink of an eye... or so it seems. It was too good to keep down for long. The writing is light and imaginative as the author builds a world of castes, rebels and a government rearing against collapse. America is a wonderful character, in the young adult genre sense, because although she goes through the emotions of a typical girl, she knows how to keep them in check and take control of her situation. She's initially skeptical about Prince Maxon and the rest of the royal family, only because of outward perceptions, but she concedes to changing herself and her outlook on life, which in turn gives her strength.
"That was my great ambition. Not to be Illéa's princess. To be Aspen's." (15)
I'm an admirer of Prince Maxon and his charisma, and I wish that Aspen would just stay out of the picture. I'm not sure why, but he annoys me now. I'm not a fan of love triangles and Aspen creeping his way back into America's life, just when she's trying to change, feels overbearing. With America's prolonged love for Aspen and questioning emotions over Prince Maxon, it will be interesting to find out who she chooses... if she chooses anyone... and how. She made it a point, which could be a premise for the second book, to take care of herself first.
First Line: "When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic." (1)
Last Line: "I pulled back the covers and leaped into the morning." (327)
"I needed to keep up my appearances if I wanted to stay. And I did. I needed to stay." (237)
"This whole time, the power had been in my hands as to when I would leave. I was abruptly aware of how important it was to me to stay." (316) by Denee
light and fun
This cover is my favorite cover of 2012 so far. It is gorgeous and eye catching. The cover, premise, and genre as a dystopian might make you think this book is dark, edgy, and mysterious . . . not true. This book was very light, especially compared to other dystopian books. It's so light that you might even laugh out loud a few times; I sure did. :)
At first I didn't like the main character America. She didn't want to be part of the Selection, and was pretty upset about it. She had good reasons to be sad, but I would have been more like her friend Marlee, bubbly and excited to meet the prince. I grew to love America once she was in the palace. She was funny, strong, kind, and brave. I liked the way she interacted with her maids. The maids were fun. Prince Maxon was wonderful, and I liked the times America and Maxon were together.
The caste system was rigid, and the post- United States of America as we know it made this dystopian. The country in this book definitely had problems that will need to be taken care of for success and people's happiness. I'm going to guess that the next book in the series will be more action packed.
I was so upset with the ending! You can't leave me hanging like that! I expected more, but a lot was left for the next book in the series. I look forward to reading the next book. This was an enjoyable read. by Clean Teen Fiction
This ARC was provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Publish date: April 24th, 2012 Juvenile Fiction: Love & Romance, 336 pages
First love can be a beautiful thing; that's why it hurts so much to let go. America Singer is a Five, just like her family. Neither are they on the very bottom of the caste-system nor one of the privileged. Life is a struggle. Her mother has high hopes for America, and is delighted that she got picked to take part in "The Selection". Prince Maxon has come off age. He's ready to claim a bride, the future princess of Illéa. Competing against over thirty other young women is not what America wants. Then again, how can she disappoint the people she loves; keep them from a better life? Getting to know the supposedly arrogant Maxon for who he really is - anything but - only makes it harder.
Finally, thank you - a dystopian young adult novel that pretty much catered to my every whim. I'm aware of the Goodreads drama surrounding this release, but to be honest, I don't care. The blurb captured my interested and I'm so thankful I was provided with a review copy. That's what it should be about. The book, the story itself! It's such a fabulous one, too. I think you should expect to be entertained and thus not think about every little detail too hard. This book is fun and it has a fresh take on the dystopia genre. I loved the modern elements! It made it easier to relate to the characters and what was happening to them.
The writing was smooth and very teen-ish in an adequate way. Considering the heroines age, that most definitely is to be taken as a compliment. I liked America's voice. What I loved about the character? She was not bitter about being born a Five, instead, made the best out of her circumstances. It's truly awesome to see her smile, take joy in simple pleasantries. On the other hand, America was also a typical teenager wanting to break free of her confines. A lot of readers wrote about the heroine being stupid. I disagree. Being a teenager or a young woman for that matter entails (or excuses if you want) a certain degree of confusion. Everyone is entitled to make mistakes and be unreasonable. I didn't like her any less just because I found her actions questionable (at times).
High praise for the author: The world building was flawless. She included important information in such a way that it never, not even once, interrupted the development of the storyline. Same as with the heroine, several readers complained about the lack of world building. "It's not dystopian!", they say. Yup, you guessed right - I disagree. We have a mix between contemporary / modern and historical elements. Political structures? Check! The castes, the monarchy... The "nightmare" world? Check! The huge gap between the privileged (One, Two, Three), the less fortunate (Four, Five, Six) and the unfortunate (Seven, Eight) - I categorized them for you. Is something automatically without depth when it isn't overly complex? No, at least not in my humble opinion. The modern feel to it? Check! You'll notice that right away. No need to explain.
The secondary characters, even though the family didn't have a lot of screen page time, coaxed a smile out of me more often than not. Lovely family! America is a daddy's girl. Just like me. Her father was a gentle soul; a wise man. My biggest pre-reading concern was the introduction of the other candidates. I wondered how the author would pull it off. How many? All thirty-four of them? She did a wonderful job by focusing on a couple while the rest floated in the background - present, but not overwhelmingly so.
Aspen versus Maxon: No spoilers, no spoilers, no spoilers *chantstoself*. It's a rare occurrence to fall in love (nah, okay, more like a crush) with both male characters. Of course I had a preference, but I'd have been okay with either outcome. However, I was desperate to learn America's final decision. Both Aspen and Maxon had responsibilities; a weight on their shoulders that sometimes felt too heavy to handle. They were proud, too - America stubborn. What an intriguing combination. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about America's life, learning about the Selection and so on before Maxon came into the picture. That Maxon-less time was well spent and necessary.
America profited from this experience. It took her a while, but she suddenly saw the Selection process from Maxon's perspective. It wasn't easy for him either. Trust has to be earned and the author took this sentiment to heart. No insta-love, no insta-trust. You cannot imagine how relieved I was.
Why not rate the book 5 stars then? The ending was too abrupt. And by abrupt I don't mean cliffhanger (although I'm sure it was intended to be one). Sorry to say that I didn't like it. It felt cut off rather than "to be continued". The author failed to hit the right key. I wanted to almost burst with excitement, not think "The end? Well, okay then - that kind of sucks". A bit more effort could've turned it around. This is something an agent / editor should've realized, for I can absolutely understand how much pressure the author was (or so I imagine) under writing the ending.
Are you the mood for a dystopian romance with the dreamy flair of a modern reality television show? If so - this fantastic novel is the book to read. 4.5 stars to The Selection by Kiera Cass.
Beware of Spoilers!
A few of my favorite quotes for those of you who are interested:
° "You can't expect to be able to provide everything for everyone you love."
° "I loved him, and how it felt to be loved by him. I felt special, priceless, irreplaceable."
° "I would be the best of us, the Highest of the Lows. It gave me a sense of purpose."
° "I'm not fighting. My plan is to enjoy the food until you kick me out."
° "...funny laugh, but it's cute - Sure, if you like the lovable sound of an asthma attack in your ear..." by Saskia