Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 336
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Review for book 2, book 3, book 4, and book 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 a palace and compete for the heart of 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.

The one thing that keeps replaying in my head is: WHY did I wait SO LONG to start this series?! I honestly picked it up a couple years ago and read the first chapter and, for some reason that I can't recall, ended up putting it right back down and didn't give it a second thought... until this year. When I started blogging I couldn't ignore this book showing up on so many lists! And so I gave it another try. And now I'm devastated that I missed out for two years.

Silver lining: there are three books and two novellas available to read with no wait.

I just need someone to do one thing for me. Okay? Here it is:

Someone draw me a map of Iléa! Because I've seriously been trying to make it make sense in my head and I just can't figure it out! I went to the Interwebs for help, but came up empty handed (I did find a super cool Pinterest board though). Yes, I'm the kind of person who is going to go totally insane trying to figure this out.

Okay, back on topic. The Selection was amazing from start to finish. I do love the idea of the selection! Of course, I'm not sure how it would work in modern societies, but I suppose all the girls volunteer, so it's fine by me. I felt like the whole process was believable and the added drama with the rebels kept me on the edge of my seat! Oh, and the characters!

You know how sometimes there are heroines who are so good they're irritating? America is not that. To me she was totally real and genuine and I totally get her (obviously Kiera Cass did a good job writing this character). I understand why she made the decisions she did regarding basically everything. I'm not sure I could have been as bold with Maxon about my intentions, but it made me like her even more! I loved the progression of their relationship and America's opinion of Maxon.

The other characters were equally easy to love. Marlee especially was so, so likable! I'm excited to see how her story progresses, but I'm predicting something less than wonderful considering her attitude towards Maxon. Oh, and the man himself! I like Maxon. I really do like him, but I'm not 100% sure I can trust him. The whole selection process is just so strange... I'm not quite sure how to feel about Aspen either. I can see where he's coming from when he first pushes America away. But if there's one thing that pisses me off it's when characters make decisions for each other because they think they know what's best. No. No you don't. Get over yourself.

I'm sure that America's actions later in the book (if you've read it then you know and if you haven't, well, that sucks but I'm not spoiling it for you) were probably totally reprehensible to some, but I got it. I mean, I could really feel what she was feeling and I'm sure there have been a lot of people who have gone through similar things.

One thing this book has going for it is that this is truly a love triangle! Sometimes it's super obvious who will end up with who, but I've really found myself unsure a time or two (even though it's pretty obvious if you look at the titles of subsequent books - not sure that was the best idea).

Okay, okay. I've said enough. The moral of the story is that this is an excellent book, I can't wait to read the rest of the series, and I can't believe I waited so long! If you've been waiting on this series like I was, stop that! Go get yourself a copy and you'll probably be hooked too.