Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Selection - Kiera Cass

The Selection
Kiera Cass
HarperTeen
Copyright: April 2012
978-0062059932

The amazon.com product description:
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.
Honestly, The Selection is a book I picked up on a whim. That said, once I'd picked it up, I couldn't put the book down again. Ended up finishing the read the same night. So, the first thing that comes to mind about the story is that it is a quick read - but captivating at the same time.

The story seemed somewhat familiar to me too, the idea of the prince choosing a bride from a certain limited pool of girls. In that sense the story is similar to Gail Carson Levine's novel Princess Academy. I don't know if the similarities are more than superficial though, as I haven't read any of Gail Carson Levine's books. But, if you liked that, and you like books that are set in a very regimented future, this might be a perfect book for you.

I do have to say, I found the main character's name to be slightly annoying, "America" just isn't a person's name to me. On the other hand, once I'd read farther in, her mother's reasoning for naming her that does fit, and suits her character very well.

This is a teen-oriented book, so the main thrust is along the "do I love him? does he love me? who should I choose?" lines, but despite that, there are other themes being mixed in as well to form a very captivating book. I certainly found the characters, America and Maxon mostly, to be fascinating and definitely not annoying - something I should admit to having felt with some other teen books.

Still, there was one big downside I found to the book. It resolved nothing. Definitely we have to wait for the second book in the series - according to amazon,com, it's supposed to be a trilogy. I'm curious to see what's going to happen there.

A lot of reviews that I've read are comparing The Selection to The Hunger Games. For myself, I don't really see the comparison, and I've never watched any of the reality TV shows that are the other component of the comparisons. So, I guess I'm coming at this book from more or less a clean slate perspective.

Still, irregardless of my complaints as to the ending or lack of, I did quite enjoy the read, and if you're looking for a light, quick read, I have to suggest giving Keira Cass' The Selection a try.

2 comments:

Netherland said...

I know, I know, everyone has been equating this story as a cross between The Bachelor and the Hunger Games. I admit there are some similarities like the dystopian world of the Hunger Games and people starving, class warfare, haves versus have-nots and the like while bringing in the reality television version of The Bachelor. Even if you are like me and never really watched those back stabbing television b*tches, you will know exactly what I am talking about if you survived junior high. There are devious girls, like Celeste, who will stop at nothing to attain the prize of the Prince. Then there are others like Marlee, who aren't quite as obvious. Prince Maxon, for all his worldliness, is not quite the player and has some really bad self esteem issues. I think there is more to him than what is in the book so far and wonder how he will be developed.

And just for fun, there is a wonderful love triangle between America's first love, Aspen, who is now back in the picture as a palace guard. That plot points seems a bit too convenient for me and again it will be interesting to see where this story line ends up in the next installment of this trilogy. Overall, there is not much for parents to worry about in this story since it just includes some kissing since there are regulations about most aspects of life. I only remember alcohol discussed in a few instances, some discussions of violence (a boy is whipped for stealing food) and really not much else. I really can't wait until the next one is released.

Elena Gwynne said...

I'm looking forward to it too, Netherland. Should be interesting to see which way this one goes. Aspen or Maxon?
Thanks for commenting.

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