Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Selection (The Selection #1)

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 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: No one. I was drawn to it by its cover (as usual).
Who I'd Recommend it To: A girl, probably age 12-15, who wants a YA princess book :)

My review:
Oh, the inevitable beautiful cover! I mean, would you just look at that? It arrived in the mail and all I could think was, "Gorgeous." I couldn't wait to read it.  I even read slowly on purpose so that I could be reading it for a long time.  And when I was done with it, I put it on my bookshelf and admired how good it looked there, right in the center of the top row. 
    But The Selection is definitely not a perfect book. But I loved it. That's really all I can say as to whether I liked it or not.  I loved it! It was awesome, the story line was crystal clear and interesting, and I liked the way the ending left me craving the next book.  I only have a few complaints about this book.  No book can be perfect, of course. 
   First I'll start with what I liked about the book. One, the cover.  Yes, this is not important at all but I thought I'd mention it nonetheless because that's something I liked about it.  Two, the idea for the story. I really liked this idea of the Illea place and the idea of getting "Selected".  These kinds of books are awesome to me, and I liked the feel of it being girly and fun to read.  It wasn't very challenging, and it was kinda a beach read, but that's sort of what I liked about it.  I liked stepping into the world of luxurious dinner parties, flowing gowns, and hot baths for a few days. Every time I picked it up I soaked each word in, admiring the way that Kiera Cass told the story. 
  Now I'll say what I didn't like.  I didn't like America, the main character.  If you haven't read this book, yes you saw right--her name is America. Like the country, or continent or whatever. 
  I have a question for all of you: Which one does not belong out of the following?
North America. South America. Central America. United States of America. America Singer. 
   Yep, you guessed it. America Singer does not belong with the four others.  While her first name was what bothered me the most, her last name was weird too! Especially since she was a singer.  Who in their right mind names their book character America Singer? If you're gonna write a book, lady, at least make your character's name pretty/cool/interesting/anything but America Singer! Now, on the plus side (literally, I'm forcing myself to see the plus side of her name right now), I did realize halfway through the book that her name had a meaning in the book, which made it a teensy bit better for me.  But every single time I saw A-M-E-R-I-C-A printed on the page, I felt like throwing the book across the room. Why, Kiera Cass? Why? Why not Sophia or Eleanor or Camille or Taylor or Samantha or ANYTHING BUT AMERICA!!! Maybe this is me overreacting but I really didn't like that part of the book. 
   Another thing that annoyed me about the book was America herself. She was selfish, stuck-up, and extremely ungrateful.  I know I was meant to feel bad for her because she was apparently starving at the beginning of the book, but I honestly (and I'm telling you the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth) did not have a single ounce of pity within me.  All I was thinking was, "So what?" which I know is really awful but can I help what I feel? No, I can't. 
  So these are my complaints and what I liked about the book. Yes, there seem to be more things that I didn't like, but all in all I really loved the book. It was awesome, really. Except for those two annoyances.  Now, here's something I'm still trying to figure out about the book:
  It reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games. 
  I can literally see your eyebrows knitting together in confusion, or concern for my wellbeing.  Yes, I'm comparing a yearly game show-type event where children try to murder each other to an occasional event where 35 girls bat their eyelashes at a stiff-rich prince. Call me crazy, but I'm going to explain to you why I think it's like THG. 

   - The premise.  Rags-to-riches.  Both Katniss and America (not like I'm putting them in the same breath, of course, because Katniss is just waaaay better than America its not even worth explaining) are poor and starving before they get Selected or reaped for THG.  Well, at least semi-rich in America's case, since I don't know what happens to her in The Elite yet. 
  - The idea of being "Selected" and "reaped". Same diff. 
  - Even minor things, such as interviews and costumes! Sound familiar? 
  - Illea and Panem.  Similar kind of thing, right? Well, not really, but can you see what I'm trying to say?

Do you get it? Sort of? I'm not sure what I think about that, but I know that I'm going to try to write a conclusion to what I thought about this book, even though this might be prettttyyy hard: The Selection was a really good book.  I liked it a lot.  It had faults, as all books do.  I'd recommend it to certain people but not others.  I suggest you read it if you are interested in what I liked about it.  Please, if you're going to read this book and want to, I don't want to stop you, so overlook my complaints and read the book if you feel interested! I have to say, I was inspired by the writing.  A really good approach to writing the book! So read it if you like.  And have fun reading it--reading it's sort of like curling up in a bubble bath with steam swirling around you, or like getting a French manicure in the summertime. :) (I'm trying to be poetic here.)



  1. Great review Annie! Hmmm... maybe I'll give it a try, seems pretty interesting!

    -Grace :)

    1. You should definitely try it, it was really good. thanks for commenting. :)



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