*** Possible Spoilers Ahead! ***
Book Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Main Theme: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Thesis: For America Singer, life was pretty perfect as is. Born a Five in the country of Illea, her life was already planned out for her; she was destined to be in the world of the arts, and America loved to sing and play her instruments. She lived with her parents, younger sister May, who believed in fairy-tale romances, and even younger brother Gerad, who would rather kick a ball around all day. She was in love with a boy, Aspen, who was a Six, someone destined to be in servitude forever. Marrying Aspen would be a step down for America, but she was willing to risk it for him. After tremendous pressure from her mother and Aspen, she signs up for the Selection, a chance to compete with 34 other girls to win Prince Maxton’s heart. America never dreamed that it would happen, until her name was one of the selected. After experiencing heartbreak, she is whisked off to the castle, living the life of glam, glitter, and danger. She at first thinks that she’ll be cast off soon enough, but after getting to know the Prince on a personal level, America doesn’t know where her heart lies: to the glamorous future with the Prince of Illea, or back home with her family and first love?
What Drew Me In: So I was in the mood to start a new series, as I will be soon wrapping up the Hunger Games series. I’ve seen these books 100,000 times, and they always looked so glittery and pretty. The books are not huge, so I thought it would be a perfect fit to enjoy for a while. And let’s admit, the cover is gorgeous. I’m not a huge girly girl, but I would love to wear one of those dresses and swing it around.
My Thoughts: So as said above, these are NOT huge books, and while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I figured it wasn’t a hard read. And… I’m right about that. It’s a fairly easy read, but Cass does a great job at creating a unique world. I’m on a real dystopia kick right now, so I really like it so far. Basically, Illea is the country born from a fallen United States of America. We don’t know much, because the characters are not really told what has happened. Without spoiling too many details, after the United States was invaded, an alliance was formed, and the leader Gregory Illea reformed what was left of the United States under his name. He married into a royal family, which started the Royals in Illea and the Selection process. Any time there was a Prince, girls from all around the country were picked to perform in the Selection process to try to win the Prince’s heart. Princesses were married to other royals around the world. I like reading about a world that can be so similar to our’s, but still different, especially in this “tragic” setting.
I will say, I hope there is more action soon in the book. I was worried that this book would be like your typical YA fluff, some cute boy, or a love triangle (which there is in this book but…), but I believe that there is a good possibility that this book will give more than what meets the eye. Towards the end of the book, there is a rebel attack on the castle, and while we don’t much yet about the rebels, they look like they mean business. I hope we see more of them in the future, find out their goals, and have some interesting scenes with them.
One more thing: the characters. I’m hoping we get more permanent characters in the next book. As you can imagine, they quickly go through the 35 girls that started the competition. We don’t get much dialog with the girls, as it is pretty busy in the castle between the photoshoots, history classes, and learning how to be a princess and all. You get some dialog with America’s family, enough to get a good sense of who they are, but it is almost the opposite with Maxton’s family. Hell, I think there were less than 5 sentences from the King and none from the Queen! I think I would like the Queen too, she seems like a pretty badass lady, under all of that ladylike composure. Towards the end of the book, there are not many girls left, so I hope there will be times for more interactions and permanent bonds that will add to the book’s dialog.
Would I recommend this book?: I would say: If you are looking for a more serious series, like The Hunger Games was and how gut-wrenching it can be at times, this is not a series for you. This leans a bit more on the romantic side, with your usual love triangle between a beautiful girl and two handsome guys.
If you are into that sort of stuff, then yes! Go for it! It has five books in the series, along with four novellas, so there is plenty to keep you entertained for a while. I will probably read the whole series unless it is just unbearable (which I don’t see that being the case). I especially love the attention to detail. I love when a writer can describe a scene in good detail, like what the castle and gardens would look like or how pretty the glittery dresses swinging around the dance floor are. I mean, who hasn’t wanted to be a princess at some point in their life?
One good thing so far: There’s isn’t much R rated stuff, so far. No sex scenes (some nice making out, but hey, what can you do? They are teenagers), not much swearing or guts or gore. This is setting up to be a good series that maybe your pre-teen/early teen can enjoy. But please, as the parent, do your research before giving them the book. Don’t want anyone saying that the Library Lady is putting bad books into people’s hands!
What are your thoughts? Have you read this series? Let me know in the comments what you think!
P.S. Hopefully I will get my hands on Mockingjay super soon. I NEED to finish that series!! 🙂
The Library Lady ♡