Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

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True love is usually the most inconvenient kind

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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.

3 Stars

At a time when vampires ruled all and the Hunger Games franchise was taking off, it seemed every man and their dog was reading The Selection. Hailed as “dystopian fairy tale meets the bachelor” I decided it was a firm no, avoiding the Selection like the plague. Heck, I basically waved as the band wagon passed me by.

Despite my hatred for all things reality TV, when a good friend recommended the Selection to me a few years ago I finally gave it a go. To my surprise, I actually had a lot of fun. Fast track forward a couple of years and here I am – re-reading the series again. Because why not?

I just want to start off by saying that, like me, don’t let the dystopian tag fool you into passing over this book. The Selection reads more like a modern fairy tale than a gritty dystopian novel – glass slippers and all. Okay, the plot is riddled with the classic dystopian tropes [see: the caste system) but The Selection isn’t just your typical failed rebellion.

The Selection is a light, fluffy series, seriously swoon-worthy with just enough angst to keep you fully invested. Basically, it’s like good trashy reality TV.

The Selection finds it’s footing in the kingdom of Illéa which basically consists of post World War IIII America. In this modern post-war kingdom, it’s required that in order to pick a bride, the prince must hold a selection. For most, the selection is a chance of a lifetime – countless applications are sent out and only thirty-five are chosen.

For America Singer [yes, that is actually the protagonist’s name], the selection means leaving behind the simple life laid out for her and Aspen, the boy she loves. When her name is drawn, America is whisked away to a glittering world of gowns and tiaras, thrust into a cut throat fight for a crown she doesn’t want.

But, like any YA dystopian, unrest is growing in the kingdom. Against the increasing riots and rebel attacks, America begins to question her own heart as she finds herself falling for the dashing prince Maxon. Suddenly, the life she could never have imagined doesn’t seem all that bad.

I think the strongest aspect of the Selection is it’s cast of characters. As though they were reaped straight from the Bachelor itself, some you love, other’s you’ll outright loath. America, for what it’s worth, is a fully fleshed character with flaws. Boasting a fiery tempering and a rebellious streak that sometimes outweighs her more compassionate side. What I love about America, besides her stupid name and stubbornness, is her refusal to lose sight of her individuality. America is unapologetically herself, I admired that she was outspoken and mindful of her roots throughout the competition.

Then there’s prince Maxon. Okay, at first I wasn’t into him. Maxon is awkward and slightly cringe inducing – even the second time around. That being said, he’s a total sweetheart and I found his romantic outlook to be endearing. Maxon is humble and kind, 100% genuine despite his not-so-humble beginnings.

And of course, the Selection wouldn’t be YA unless it featured a love triangle because apparently that’s what the teens want these days. [Why?]. Aspen is America’s first love. A caste below America, Aspen is solely responsible for supporting his struggling family. Okay, I can’t begrudge his strong moral compass but man did he get on my last dang nerve. I mean, did we really need this unnecessary love triangle? Honestly, the Selection could have been a lot stronger without it. America had enough conflict [her doubt about identity and ruling a country], without shoving in the angst of a tired trope. Just saying.

At the end of the day, the Selection is a promising start to a glittering series. Okay, it’s not the most sophisticated or mature book on the market but it’s a certified guilty pleasure. Addictive and swoon-worthy, the Selection never fails to coax me out of a book hangover or slump. Alexandra

14 thoughts on “Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

  1. Lexie, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having a tough time with your mental health! Absolutely no worries about your posting schedule – it’s so much more important to take care of yourself💖 And if you ever need to chat about anything, I’m here for you! Mental health issues are so difficult and it’s frustrating how they seem to hit in waves at unexpected times. I’ve been there, and I hope things are getting better for you!

    I’m glad you read the Selection though because that is one of the fluffiest, happiest reads😊 It’s been a long time since I’ve read it but I remember feeling similar about it. While it’s not quality literature or anything, it’s just a lot of fun, right?

    Hope you have a great rest of your week, Lexie, and I’m sending you all the positive thoughts! ❤️ Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww, Brianna – you are making me tear up because you are just so sweet! ❤ ❤ ❤ Thank you so much for your comment. Sometimes an act of kindness and a comforting message can make all the difference.

      I'm actually feeling much better today – I work up feeling good and I was ready to leave my blue feelings behind. Unfortunately I'm not even sure why I was so stressed and sad (which is even more frustrating) but I took a mental heath day, watched a whole ton of Disney movies and counted my blessings because there are so many reasons to be happy.

      I totally agree with you about The Selection – it is the epitome of fluff! It took me a little longer to trudge my way through this time because of the slump but I left me feeling a lot lighter and happier so hopefully I'll be on track to completely my reading challenge now ahaha! The beauty about reading though is sometimes you don't need the heavy literature and The Selection is just that right book for the right time. Totally fun! 😉

      Again, thanks so much for all the love and support! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awh Lexie, you deserve all the kind words! I’m so glad you’ve been feeling better today. It truly is frustrating when it seems like there’s no rhyme or reason for bad mental health days, but we just have to face them as they come. And watching a lot of Disney movies and reading fluffy books definitely is a big help ❤ Hope things continue to go well for you, friend!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Tamika for such a sweet comment! ❤ I'm definitely feeling better today – once you hit rock bottom the only way left is up and I'm well and truly on my way there.

      You really should check The Selection out. Because this is a re-read I can tell you that the series as a whole is a lot of fun. I mean, it's nothing too profound or anything but it's that perfect light read still with substance. The third book in particular tackles darker subject matter as the story delves deeper into the dystopian genre and is a favorite of mine. This series always leaves you smiling. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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