The Selection by Kiera Cass

December 12, 2014 Reviews 34

The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Published by Harper Teen on April 24, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Length: 8 hours 7 minutes
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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 a palace and compete for the heart of 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 herselfβ€”and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I admit it. My desire to read The Selection stemmed almost entirely from the cover. I’m a sucker for a pretty cover. And I do like my dystopian. Plus there were good reviews. But mostly, it was the cover.

I’ve been burned plenty reading books because of their beautiful covers, but thankfully The Selection lived up to its cover and then some. I finally grabbed it during Dewey’s 24 hour Read-a-thon and the time just flew. I was quickly addicted to the world and the characters.

The Selection takes place in a light dystopian version of our world. I say light, because so far I haven’t seen anything especially dark.

There’s a pretty rigid class system – people are born into a number and are known by that number almost more than by their name. The numbers go from one to eight, with one being the royal family and eight being the lowest level of society. There are very few ways to change one’s number. A woman takes the number of her husband – regardless of who has the higher number. A person can buy their way up. And a woman can be “lucky” enough to be the right age when the prince is looking for a bride. The prince always marries one of the people, through a process called the selection.

Before starting The Selection I thought that participation was forced on the girls, but turns out they are given the option to submit their names. And, if selected as one of the thirty five that go to the palace to court the prince, they get an immediate upgrade to a number three and their families get financial compensation. Yeah, it’s not ideal, but if you’re comparing to the Hunger Games‘s lottery, it’s looking pretty great to me. So yeah, light dystopian.

America Singer wants nothing to do with the selection though, because she’s already in love. But her family doesn’t know that – in part because they’re fives and the guy she’s fallen in love with – Aspen – is a six. And through a series of events America ends up entering the selection.

I really grew to love America. From the get-go she says she doesn’t care amount numbers and class, she sees people beyond their numbers. And as The Selection progresses, you realize she’s not all talk. She really means that. From the way she relates with her maids – sixes – to the way she isn’t afraid to speak her mind and has no interest in becoming a one, she’s just a genuinely good person who cares about others. What’s not to like?

I don’t care for Aspen. I liked him okay at the beginning, but he has too much pride – which perhaps comes from being a six and having to accept being seen as less so often – but it irked me. In this love triangle there’s no question who I’d pick: Prince Maxon.

Yeah, I know, I picked the prince, big surprise. But just wait. I’m not picking him because he’s the prince. I’m picking him because he’s good and kind and clearly cares about his people. I believe he could be a good ruler and, just as importantly, he respects America enough to listen to her and let her be a good queen. The two of them together could be the start of positive change in this dystopian world.

But it’s not that simple. Not only is America confused about her feelings for Maxon and Aspen, but there’s a bit more going on in the world than we’re privy too. From what we have seen, rebels are launching hard core attacks at the palace and I’m not sure I understand the why of it – I don’t think I’m supposed to. I do suspect that things are going to get really serious on that front as the series continues and I think it will complicate things between Maxon and America. But that’s just a guess.

I’m so excited to read the other books – heading out to buy them ASAP. I would get them from the library but I want to own these books. Because they’re great so far. And… Well… Pretty covers!

4.5 stars I loved it

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About Kiera Cass

Kiera Cass graduated from Radford University with a degree in History. She grew up in South Carolina and currently lives in Blacksburg, Virginia with her family. In her spare time, Kiera enjoys reading, dancing, making videos, and eating unhealthy amounts of cake.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

34 Responses to “The Selection by Kiera Cass”

  1. Jessi

    I’m glad to see you loved this one! I’ve been on the fence about it for a while now. It seems like something I wouldn’t like, and then I watched EpicReads’ “The Selection in barbies” video and I was like, yikes, I’m probably never going to read that now. But your review makes me want to try! Like you, I am a sucker for a pretty cover πŸ˜‰
    Jessi recently posted…Life of a Blogger: Before 2014 EndsMy Profile

    • Berls

      Oh Kimba you have to read the best, they’re as good if not better πŸ™‚ I gobbled them up! The covers are just so pretty too!

  2. Lola

    The pretty cover and the genre were the main reason I added this to my to-read list as well ;). Dystopia’s are usualy so dark, so a light dystopia sounds like a nice change! America and the Prince both seem nice characters from what you described, although America her name kinda rubs me wrong.
    Now I just need an excuse to actually buy this one (I totally want to get the paperbacks for this series for the covers!). Great review Berls!
    Lola recently posted…My To-Be Read List #4: Chosen BookMy Profile

  3. Trish

    I want to read this one just for the cover too! I’ve been a bit reluctant as I have read a few other dystopia series with a similar theme but now that I think about it this was published before those ones. I think I’d like it based on your review so I’ll keep an eye out for it going on sale :O
    Trish recently posted…My To-Be-Read List : Dec 14 WINNER!My Profile

    • Berls

      It really does have an attention grabbing cover, doesn’t it?! So pretty! Its a different kind of dystopia from a lot that I’ve read – maybe because (like Laura said) we’re getting it from the ruler’s pov instead of the rebels. But I hope you get to read it before too long πŸ™‚

  4. Laura

    I hadn’t realised you hadn’t read the Selection yet Berls! Though if it makes you feel better I was all for Maxon right from the beginning of the series (I’ve read all three…pretty covers are a definite downfall!) I found it interesting because in this case the dystopia is being looked at from the top, rather than from the rebel POV.
    Laura recently posted…Book: Carrier by Anne TibbetsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’ve read all three now too – totally sucked me in after this one. Yeah, Maxon was just great from the get go. I hadn’t thought about it, but your right – a big part of what makes this so good is the different vantage point.

      • Laura

        I know the feeling! I read the Selection and The Elite back to back (The One wasn’t out at that point or I’d have read that one then as well!)

        I didn’t come to that conclusion til I was reading The One and realised! It’s one of the reasons I think I liked it so much (well that and the fact that Maxon had several love interests as well as America having Aspen). I also liked the way the love triangle was resolved (I didn’t ever doubt who would be America’s choice but I thought they were all very mature about the whole thing really…well after Maxon’s tantrem!)
        Laura recently posted…Book: Carrier by Anne TibbetsMy Profile

    • Berls

      It wasn’t slow for me at all, I read it so fast! I mean, yeah it was during Dewey’s 24 hour readathon so I literally COULDN’T put it down… but I don’t think I would have been able to regardless. There’s always something happening – either romantically or with the world. At least in my opinion. Glad you liked the review – it’s my new, rant and rave format πŸ˜‰

  5. Heidi

    I just can’t bring myself to read this one. There was an incident of the author behaving badly when this one released and it put a negative vibe on the book for me, and then I can’t do another love triangle so despite the good reviews, I still avoid this. You are making me reconsider
    Heidi recently posted…Friday Forecast December 14th-20thMy Profile

    • Berls

      I hadn’t heard about the incident, beyond a brief mention that there had been one and after I read the books – if I knew more and before I read it,I could see it spoiling the book for me too. Even though we don’t judge books on authors, but on the book itself, it can be hard not to get a bad taste when you know an author has behaved badly πŸ™

    • Berls

      Yep, it really does have mixed reviews – something I learned after reading it, so it didn’t keep me away. But I think I probably would have been drawn to it anyway because of the pretty cover lol

    • Berls

      Yep! I’ve of course caught up on the series now, though I still have the novellas to read. Maxon is so sweet! I loved him from the start and he only gets better and better πŸ™‚

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    I, *ahem*, am a cover whore too, Berls. πŸ™‚ And I’ve wanted to read The Selection since it released. But alas, I’ve not found the time. *sigh* I will pick it up though. It really does sound fantastic even if it is dystopian light. I’m very curious about America…and Prince Maxon. πŸ˜‰ I’m glad you loved every minute of it!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…New Adult Review ~ Sweet ~ Erin McCarthy**My Profile

    • Berls

      Same here – I bought it forever ago just because of the cover and it took me so long to get to. The dystopian elements pick up as the series progresses, too, so that’s nice. I hope you get to it sooner than later πŸ™‚

  7. Red Iza

    That’s funny because I’d already seen the cover but found it… too sappy for me lol (not criticizing your tastes, though, to each her own). But your review made me see that book differently, so I’ll probably give it a try after all, thanks for sharing !
    Red Iza recently posted…Hottie of the week – NSFWMy Profile

    • Berls

      Hahaha yeah, they definitely are covers that appeal to certain tastes – I’ve always liked girlie things, so sappy works πŸ˜‰ I hope you like it, but it definitely is light and romance more than hard core dystopian, so if you don’t like some sappiness you may not like it. Though I wouldn’t quite describe it as sappy – since America has such a strong moral compass and inner strength, its a bit more sophisticated than that. In my opinion at least.

    • Berls

      Thank you! I’ve had years where I didn’t read 20 books – sometimes life just doesn’t let us read as much as we’d like πŸ™

      If you enjoyed the first one, I really recommend picking up the next ones ASAP πŸ˜› I loved the sequels just as much. The fourth book is coming out this year, but The One (book 3) doesn’t leave you hanging. You’ll read these fast πŸ™‚

    • Berls

      I blew through these – the relationships really pulled me along (despite the dreaded love triangle). It turned out to be so much better than I could have expected.

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