Friday, April 13, 2012

READING: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Publication date: April 24th, 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian, Romance
Rating: 4/5
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.

You can tell by reading it that The Selection is going to be the next big thing, the new sensation. Especially after the TV show airs. Yes, there's already a TV show. Way before the book's publication date. So of course I was curious to read The Selection and see what the fuss is all about, why it's become so popular all of a sudden.

First off, we're talking about the birth of a new genre. Imagine "The Hunger Games meets Cinderella". Cass combined the girlie-girl , innocent chick lit with the freakish dystopian. In theory, these two seem impossible to coexist in one book. What does swooning romances and frilly dresses have to do with the harshness and rawness that characterises dystopian books? Well, in a totally weird way, it worked. Probably because the dystopian element was put on the back burner. In other words, it was there but in reality, it didn't exist. We learn about the old world and the new (through a history/geography lesson in school), about the populace being divided in casts and that the ruling elite consists of a king a queen and a prince. News reports are on about some war something or other, but no one pays attention. Rebels are attacking the palace but no one, and by no one I mean the reader, knows what exactly they rebel against. The romance/chick lit aspect prevails 100% in The Selection, with a dystopian undercurrent to spice things up. I'd rather it was one thing, either YA romance or dystopian but both genres in one were, if not interesting, different.

The reason I liked The Selection is because I think America was a genuinely good person. I like my heroines either good or bad. Not grey area in morality, please, America was kind hearted, and she stayed that way till the end of the book. She never misled Max and her feelings never changed for Aspen. Not that I would mind if they'd changed, but since they didn't, I was glad to see America keeping true to herself and her emotions till the end. In addition, even though she was participating in a cutthroat competition, she did her best to help her fellow competitors to go as far in the "Selection" as possible. She never tried to get ahead or concoct evil plans that would get the other girls sent home. It was her honor and refreshing naivete which eventually kept this book alive for me. 

The Selection will undoubtedly be a huge hit and will definitely steal the hearts of every young girl out there. As for me, if I'm being honest, I never thought I'd like The Selection. However, it was a very welcomed surprise that I ended up enjoying it so much and I can't wait for book 2 and of course the TV show!

As for all the drama, I certainly not condone any asshole-ish behavior, be it from an author, an editor, a publisher, a blogger, a priest, a superhero. If you are a jerk, I want nothing to do with you on a personal level. The end.
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  1. I really enjoyed this book! I felt the same way about America. She was a very strong headed character. Great review!

  2. This seems to be one of those love it or hate it books. It really doesn't sound like anything I would be interested in but since I have it I might give it a try.

  3. @Damaris - Thanks, Dee :)

    @Karen - Yeah, it's exactly that. I am into the whole popularity contest scene so I liked it. I totally get it if someone doesn't like it, though.


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