The Selection by Kiera Cass | Rating: ★★★★☆
“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”
I’m going to start by saying that I had very low expectations for this novel. Previews of it I’ve read and descriptions on various book sites didn’t do much for me in terms of sparking my interest. However, I have had plans to read the first of this trilogy since the plot had been announced. And while I’ll admit right now that the plot and writing were at times weak, it was still a very entertaining read.
(At the same time, I think it had a lot more potential to be something bigger than it was. But I don’t want that to take away from the positives of it.)
I’m giving off a bit of mixed reviews for this, aren’t I? I’d like to clarify before we go on that I really did like the story. This novel is solid enough to make me want to read the remainder of the series. Just had to throw that out there!
As stated, my expectations were low when the plot was at first described as “The Hunger Games” (I mean really, what? In what way is the plot even similar to that? C’mon!) meets “The Bachelor” — it lacked its appeal for me since I’ve never been that interested in reality dating shows. And essentially, that is where the majority of our plot takes place. In the future country of Illéa, the current prince must choose his future wife during a competition called The Selection.
And what do you know, we have yet another love triangle. Gag.
I’m kidding — I’m not bitter about that. See, I’m not saying it isn’t a tired road in terms of plots in young adult literature and television. Because in all honestly, love triangles are a prominent part of some peoples lives. But it would be nice to see a novel series not be about a love triangle. It would be especially nice if at least one side of this love triangle wasn’t something of interest to me. Honestly, I enjoyed our main characters relationships with both Aspen and Prince Maxon.
Now, I could waste time and focus on other flaws I find throughout the novel: like the slow start to it, the rushed points, etc. But I’m going to focus on the positives, because in spite of everything: The Selection is a promising start to a new series and is definitely going to cater to the romantic girls out there looking for a new series to begin.
America Singer is likeable in many ways. And though she isn’t the strongest lead character I’ve come across, she has great promise to grow in the remaining two novels of this series. I, for one, cannot wait to further get to know what makes her tick. And who she chooses. Maybe we can see more of her family, as well — it is very endearing how much she cares for her family, though they may annoy her from time to time. Her bond with her little sister, little brother and father in particular peaked my interest.
As for her mother… well, she sort of irks me for the time being. But I’m not saying I don’t understand where she’s coming from, because it’s easy to understand her character in the brief moments we hear of her.
(I particularly enjoyed her saying she picked herself. Though it won’t last, and may not be the endgame of the series, it is always a favorite resolution of mine when it comes to love triangles.)
I’m interested to know who Maxon picks, as well. Though America is in a love triangle, Maxon has his pick of so many girls — and he is a teenage boy, afterall. I’m looking forward to reading into his mind more and more to get an idea of his feelings further. For his country, for the girls. I have a feeling his character is just getting started and may be a big surprise.
I’m intrigued to find out what Marlee’s hiding. I’m interested to see her friendship with America hopefully grow — how cute would a series best friend partnership be between the two?! Oh, don’t let me down! I’m hoping we learn more about her in the second novel. Everything we can learn about her, actually. And so many of the other girls in the competition. In all honestly, I’d also like to see more added to the mean girl of the story, Celeste. Could there be more to her than what meets the eyes? Or is she just as vile as she seems?
And finally, I’m pulling for Aspen. This may change, but I’ll admit it that while I love Maxon: I’ve been rooting for Aspen’s misguided care for America since the moment we met him. I think they are cute in spite of flaws and I have a soft spot for longtime sweethearts. What can I say? I’d like to see things progress for the two again and hope they find a resolution for their problems before their romance slips away.
Maybe I’m one of the minority but while I’d love to hear much more about the royal family and Maxon’s relationship with both of his parents, I’d really enjoy learning more about the history of their country. More than what we know. More about the rebels and the constant threats.
Now, I know what you may all be thinking — is it really worth the read? You’ve read the hype, but can’t help but wonder: what is it that this novel is about? Well, it’s part futuristic coming of age and part young adult romance. Which is hit or miss with most people. I can’t say a lot happens throughout the novel, but if you are a fan of romance then this novel is probably for you. It is sweet, short and fun. Check up on it, kiddos.
It really is good, for what it is.