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Book of the Week #56 "The Selection"


by Kiera Cass


In the future, the new country of Illéa is divided into providences, where each of the citizens falls into certain castes. One's are the highest and most wealthy and respected of people, whereas eights are the lowest, homeless and treated as barely human. When the story begins, Illéa is ruled by King Clarkson and Queen Amberly. When their son, Prince Maxon, becomes of age to marry, single women between the ages of sixteen and twenty are sent applications to enter the Selection. 35 women will be brought to the palace for Prince Maxon to choose from. One lucky woman will become his wife, as well as the princess, and later, Queen of Illéa.

When America Singer receives her application, she doesn't feel as lucky as most other girls would. Being a Five, she is a singer in a family of artists and she likes her job. She also already has the love of her life, Aspen, whom she expects is going to propose to her any day and is thrilled with that prospect. Yet Aspen encourages her to send in her application, knowing if she were to win, her life would be infinitely better. America's mother is also adamant that she enter, considering how much easier things would be for their family if she won. America finally gives in and sends in her application, not expecting it to go any further than that. She's shocked when she is selected to be one of the 35 lucky women that will compete for Prince Maxon's heart. She has no interest in him and doesn't care to know who he truly is. All she wants is to marry Aspen. Yet when Aspen breaks off their secret relationship, she's heartbroken and glad to be going away to the palace in Angeles, away from Aspen. Once there, she seems to be a frontrunner of the competition, the people of Illéa having liked her from what they've seen of the Selection on television. Yet this makes her a target to the other women. Prince Maxon is taking special notice of her, adding more fuel to the fire. On the one hand, Prince Maxon seems different than how she'd perceived him. On the other, she in no way feels fit for the palace.

I'd like to preface this review by saying that I had read The Heir by Kiera Cass before I read The Selection, and that was not a good idea. The Heir is different than the first three books in The Selection series; they have two different main characters. But there were spoilers since the two main characters are connected. I would definitely recommend starting with the first book, The Selection, and then go from there.

America Singer is a different character than I was expecting her to be. She's a lot more strong willed and considerate of others than I thought she would be. She knows what it's like to go hungry and wants to see the royal family do something about the poverty in the lower castes. And she isn't petty toward the other girls, except for Celeste, but you can't blame her there. Prince Maxon surprised me even more so. I was expecting some spoiled, playboy type character, but he isn't. If anything, he's made quite nervous by women, not having been around them much. And he is interested in what it's like for the lower castes, even though some of the stories prove to be too intense for him. Yet when learns of how difficult it is for some of the families, he sets out to make things right.

Being a dystopian novel, this book has a feel similar to The Hunger Games or Divergent, yet it's quite different in that it deals with a prince and girls striving to be princesses. It's like you take out some of the gore from those books and add in fairytale aspects. Like most young adult fiction, this is a fast read. You'll sit down to read a few pages and then find that you've read twenty without even knowing it.

All in all, I enjoyed this fast paced novel that is a different kind of dystopian and would recommend it to anyone that is a fan of the dystopian genre.

I give The Selection a 4 out of 5.

2 comments

  1. I really enjoyed The Selection series but only read the first 3. I thought the series had ended and I was ready for it to end so I didn't go beyond America and Max's story. I love love love the covers though!

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    Replies
    1. I did too, Julie. I must admit that the first book was my favorite, but all in all, it was a good series.

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