Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Date: HarperTeen/April 24, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: Hardcover, 336 pages
Start/finish date: June 24, 2017/June 25, 2017
Rating: 3 stars (looking back on it, probably 2)
Sources/Blurb (from Goodreads):
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 herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
(Disclaimer: Just because I don’t like this book, it doesn’t mean that you won’t. If you like it, that’s cool by me. I respect you and your opinions.)
Before I get to roasting this book, I’d first like to say that I did not absolutely hate it. It was an enjoyable, fast read that was really cute at times. For example, I did manage to chuckle at some portions of the book that involved Maxon. I liked how the book represented a form of today’s society where men are often high-fived for smashing multiple girls at once where girls get criticized for it. I liked the relationships between some of the girls. Even with all of this money to be won, several of them (*cough*, Celeste) are close and manage to make it a good time. I love America and her little sister’s relationship…
But to be completely honest, those are the only reasons I can think of as to why I actually tolerated this book. To elaborate, I have a few problems that definitely bring down the rating of this novel:
- The world building
- America Singer
- The trashy love triangle
- The predictability
- The characterization
- Did I mention America Singer?
To begin with, what world building? Honestly, this book had just enough world building that instead of benefiting anything, it annoyed me. Even though America loves history so much, we still get this tiny glimpse of the world. We know some stuff about the north and south, a little about China here and there, and that’s basically it. It was so jumbled and gross that I can hardly remember anything about it, and I wish Cass elaborated on it more or not at all. Make up your mind, woman.
Second of all, America Singer. What can I say about America Singer?
Oh, yeah. I fucking hate her.
This girl is so annoying and irritating and indecisive. At first, I couldn’t understand why everyone hated her so much until the love triangle came along. To keep from spoilers, basically, America can’t make up her mind about anything she does, so she asks for more time, whicH ONLY LEADS HER TO ASKING FOR MORE TIME. *heavy sigh* Also, I understand the origin of her name and the fact that she’s a literal singer, but can we just… Her name is stupid. She’s stupid. Everything about her is stupid.
And as I mentioned early, this love triangle is the absolute worst. I love myself a good love triangle (i.e., one with amazingly awesome characters that make it impossible to even pick my personal favorite). I’m a teenager in that teenage love, but I still just don’t feel it. The triangle in this is so forced and disgusting and it makes me want to cry because it’s so terrible. In my opinion, America and Maxon (because this guy is in his own love triacontakaihexagon) need to figure about
what who they want, and Aspen needs to take care of his family before he tries to take on another mouth to feed.
This book is ridiculously predictable. Sometimes, that can be a good thing in cheesy romances or contemporaries because many are supposed to be happy and/or emotional. In fantasy? At least in my opinion, not so much. I like fantasy to keep me on my toes. I like the small hints here and there and then a massive twist. This book was just kind of meh. There was no climax. There was no twist. There was a small little thing (which I guessed was going to happen) where basically nothing happened and then bam, end of the book… and people call it a climax. Everything in this book was plain and boring and uneventful.
Next, a brief comment on characterization: there is none. The only main character that I at least tolerated was Maxon, and even he got annoying every once and a while. I hate Aspen. I hate America. I hate Celeste (even though she makes me think of a really mean Isabelle Lightwood, one of my favorites). All of the characters (except for America’s siblings, maybe) are the worst.
And finally, back at it with America Singer. She’s 80% of what is wrong with this book.
(Completely irrelevant, but if you look up The Selection book on Google, it shows up with The One cover instead.)
Anyway, that’s it on this book. I recommend it to people who don’t care about world building or bad tropes or annoying characters. To those of you who do care about quality, best of luck on this book. Now, I’m going to start reading the next book, The Elite, while trying not to rip up anything (I’m reading it on my phone to avoid that situation).
Thank you all for reading! If you liked or disliked this book, tell me why in the comments! I’d like to hear some other opinions.