Monday, September 10, 2012

The Selection - Kiera Cass

Summary: 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.

(Summary and image from


My Review:  Let me just preface this review by saying first, that I am typing this review with one hand and cradling my nursing baby with the other (marvel away), and second, that this is the first book I was able to finish reading after my most recent daughter was born.  I tried to read a few others -- The Poisonwood Bible and The Omnivore's Dilemma.   From all appearances and from what little I read of them, both books would have been astoundingly better than this one, but I just couldn't do it.  My brain rebelled.  My eyes slammed shut.  The Selection did what the other two could not (at least right now, in my frazzled, sleep-deprived state) -- it held my attention and kept me awake.  Perhaps not the highest praise a book can receive, but at the time it was monumental.

The Selection is is fairly clean, romantic, and amusing YA dystopian novel, but it doesn't have a particularly strong plot or characters.  Obviously, I chose to ignore all that and just read for entertainment.  Sometimes that is the best way to go.   Fans of The Hunger Games and ABC's The Bachelor won't miss some obvious similarities between the two stories, but The Selection skips the violence of the Games, and is more in keeping with a royal version of The Bachelor.   While I loathe the "reality" TV version, I enjoyed reading about fictional characters vying for their Prince Charming.  It was good clean fun.

Unfortunately, I did not get the resolution I wanted to America's story.  I was on a roll and then WHAM "End of Book One".   

Kiera, that was not very nice.

Sidenote:  The Selection has been picked up by the CW.  They shot the pilot episode, decided they didn't like it and are in the process of re-shooting it with a few cast changes.  From what I understand this book will be a "jumping off point" for the series which, I assume, means that they will be changing pretty much everything but basic plot points and a few character names and sexing it up a la Gossip Girl.  

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

For the sensitive reader: Some making out and, if I am remembering correctly, one minor instance of profanity.  

Sum it up:  Light romantic reading that won't require a lot of intellectual effort.


Unknown said...

LOL Believe it or not I'm a 43-year-old man who read this book and enjoyed it, too! My wife always gives me books to look at before giving them to her niece because she doesn't trust publishers to ensure things are age-appropriate and I'm a fast reader. I don't mind, it's fun and reminds me of my youth.

Did you know that teenagers who watch Gossip Girl are 50% more likely to get pregnant in their teens? Insane!

I also read "The Poisonwood Bible" and it's a convincing if somewhat disheartening view of Africa, international relations, religious faith, civilization itself, and family life and relations between siblings.

The ending is ultimately life-and-faith-affirming if unconventional, so overall I liked the book and would recommend it.

I'm on Book Blogs, add me there!

MindySue said...

Glad you enjoyed it! And I don't know if that Gossip Girl thing is true, but I wouldn't be surprised AT ALL.


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