Monday, 13 August 2012

Book Review - The Selection

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (book 1)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 7 Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0007466696

Synopsis
Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…
It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.
Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret — one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.


My Review
I saw this a lot on blogs for a while and thought it sounded interesting but ulitmately what hooked me in was the gorgeous cover. I know! I know! you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but this one is just beautiful I love it. I requested it from the library and had to wait a while for it to come into stock but I was so excited when it arrived. I still didn't really know much about it but I was ready to find out. 
At just 231 pages I read it in pretty much one sitting. It was an easy read but also totally gripping that I didn't want to put it down.  
This is a sort of contemporary, romance dystopian mixed with Reality TV. When the Prince comes of age to find a wife they run a competition known as 'The Selection', every girl of the appropriate age is asked to submit a profile application and photo, out of all those who submit (no matter where they are from, rich or poor) 35 girls are chosen to be part of the process. They will move into the palace and get to know the Prince, he will slowly narrow down the number until he finds his future wife.
America is a 5. In this world everyone is ranked, 1 is royalty, 2 very rich and so on, 5's are artists, performers, etc fairly poor and seen as quite low. 6's are hired help, almost slaves. It goes right down to 8's who are the lowest. If a girl is chosen to be part of the Selection their family is compensated with money, this is ultimately what makes America submit her application, her family needs it. She doesn't want to marry the Prince she is already in love with someone else, but when she is chosen and swept away everything changes for her, and soon her life turns on it's head.
OK, so this is totally not my usual read and it sounded far-fetched, but you know what? I loved it. In fact i still have a Book Hangover with this book, I just can't stop thinking about it.
Yes it was predictable in places but at other times you would just be swept up with the story and characters and carried along. I liked America, she was sassy and had a tendancy to speak her mind. I could picture her well and I imagine we would be friends in real life, jsut my sort of no nonsense approach to things. 
Prince Maxon was also sort of a surprise, his easy humour and quick wit and total dedication to his life and that of his Kingdom was really endearing, his way of teasing America also made me smile. He shows the odd insecurity too which made him all the more real.
America's old flame - Aspen is also a bit of a mystery, sweet and honorable at first but willing to dump America when she seems to needs him most. A love triangle is hinted at more as the book goes on and it's done well, but I know who I am backing. This is why i want more, I need to know who is 'Selected' and what happens to everyone else!
Of course there is a mix of characters, with 35 girls chosen it's bound to be a lot going on, and although you don't find out much about every girl, you get enough to know which are the more important and likely to feature in the next book. Celeste is the typical stuck up, b with an itch, who of course wraps the Prince around her finger. Marlee is sweet and a little insecure but bubbly and hyper too. I found myself hoping that if America wasn't chosen then she would be. 
I've heard complaint that this book doesn't have an 'ending', well it gets to the next phase and sets itself up for a Sequel and then leaves you hanging. My only problem with that is how long we have to wait for the next installment, I can't wait that long, I need more! but in terms of the actual ending I thought it was well done and done in just a way that would keep you coming back for more.
I liked Cass' writing style and I loved her world. I really do want more. This book made my heart soar and I want more of Maxon and America. 
I am so glad this book lived up to it's cover and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend it for sure!

My Rating
     

1 comment:

Brandi Kosiner said...

I loved this one too!
Happy reading,
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog