Copyright: April 2012
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.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.
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.
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.