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.
I found this book really bizarre, I was really excited to read it. The cover is stunning and it sounded really different. I was not necessarily disappointed in it, the book was ok and I managed to read it all. It is not a bad book it is just that I didn’t find it very interesting.
I think it is because I feel like I have read this book before. It is another story about a girl who thinks she is a nobody but everyone else thinks she is perfect, who finds herself stuck between two dashing men. It is a story I have read a million times. The problem with The Selection is that it doesn’t actually do anything new to make it stand out from all those other books out there.
The writing is good, that is not a problem here. It is easy to read, descriptive and sometimes funny. The characters are all how they should be. America is feisty and headstrong but lacks for any other personality, it doesn’t help that everyone continually tells her how beautiful, amazing and perfect she is. The more the book went on the more I grimaced whenever this happened. It felt like the author was trying to embed the fact that America is perfection on our brains and I didn’t like it.
The boys are exactly how they should be to. Max is charming, sweet and cute. Aspen is passionate, strong-willed and a little dark. There is nothing to really love or hate about either of them. They are likable enough but I felt no strong connection to them at all.
I also found the ending bizarre. It just kind of ends I was watching the percentage creep up on my kindle and wondering how in the 2% I had left the book was going to end…well it doesn’t really at least it felt like it like. It does leave it in an interesting place, I think I was just expecting for it to end after The Selection was over and for the next book to pick up after that.
At the end of the day I think this book was just not dark enough for me. I like my dystopian to be full of peril and crumbling buildings. I like freedom fighters and rebellions. The truth is The Selection is a romance book which is fine it fills the romance genre perfectly. The Selection shouldn’t be judged as a dystopian novel.
The Hunger Games this book is not, so if that is what you are looking for here you will be sorely disappointed. But if you are looking for a little angsty romance then this should be right up your ally.
Published April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen. A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads
Review by Kate Phillips
Review by Kate Phillips