Shannon Stults's Reviews > The Selection

The Selection by Kiera Cass
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Sep 27, 12

bookshelves: i-own, 2012, blog, series, young-adult
Read from September 08 to 10, 2012

So yet another story using the crumbling state of the United States to its own advantage in order to tell an intriguing, futuristic story. The one difference between this book and all the other dystopian young-adult novels out there: our inevitable downfall isn't our own fault...well, it is, but not in the usual rebels-standing-up-to-the-government-and-tearing-down-the-only-system-of-government-we've-known-for-the-past-several-centuries kind of way. Instead, the author explains that Illea (the former US) has just regained its independence after being taken over by China when the US failed to pay off all its debts. Thus, a new country is born, and this time not under a democracy, but a monarchy. And everyone in the country is stuck in a caste system ranked in numbers by income and family heritage.

America Singer is a five, meaning she and her family are the artistic and musical types, only allowed to get money through singing, music, or art. A five is definitely on the lower end of the scale between 1 and 8, but it's a heck of a lot better than being a 7, which is exactly what America's secret boyfriend is. Marrying beneath your caste is looked down on, but America is in love with Aspen and is totally willing to live a servant's life if she gets to be with the guy she loves. That is, until she is chosen to be a part of the Selection.

Prince Maxon is handsome and single, and at just the age to procure a wife of his own. But thanks to Illea tradition (and Maxon's non-existent social life) the whole country gets to see the prince narrow down his options as he dates 35 girls simultaneously...and its all on TV!

Stuck in this very Bachelor-esque situation, America starts to wonder if the life she original planned with Aspen is all its cracked up to be, or if there is something out there even better than she imagined.

Problems:

1) I'm really not a fan of the Bachelor (no offense to any of my readers who are addicted, its pretty much inevitable that at least some of you are). If I was one of these girls, I just don't see myself being okay with dating a guy who's dating 30 other girls. And can you imagine being the guy? Having the whole world watch as you try desperately to find your soulmate, while all the while everyone is reminding you that "this is your only chance at true happiness...no pressure!"

2) He grew on me a little, but for the most part I kind of thought Maxon was a weenie. He kept saying "my dear" and was totally awkward and I just cringed every time. He doesn't even know these girls but he's talking to them like they've been dating for five years.

3) I really didn't like Aspen either. In fact, I liked him less than Maxon, meaning I had to join "Team Maxon" by default. I'm not sure what the deal is here, but I assure you this has NEVER happened to me before!

Praises:

1) I wasn't sure how they were going to continue the series when the actual Selection ended, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Selection doesn't really end in this first book. That's pretty awesome considering once its over, everything is pretty much a done deal. Where would you go after that?

2) I was really glad when it turned out to be more than just the Selection. The whole rebels-attacking-the-castle/trying-to-kill-the-royal-family, while not exactly the level of masterminded evilness I would have liked, at least it adds some kind of action into the mix!

Predictions:

1) Well, obviously I'd like to think that America is going to win the Selection and end up with Maxon, simply for the fact that I decided pretty early on that I didn't like Aspen.

2) I also wouldn't be surprised it the Selection was called off in the last book or so, simply because Maxon realizes how silly it is when his entire family is in danger and he's letting people watch him on TV.

3) Clearly, Maxon's father is going to have to realize that Maxon is right and give him the chance to prove himself when it comes to running the country.

4) Just for kicks, let's throw in the possibility of a scene where America is kidnapped by the bad guys trying to kill the royal family, and Maxon and Aspen are going to have to work together to get her back, somehow revealing which one of them loves her more or even which one of them she really loves. This one is rather specific and kind of random, but it just sort of popped in my head, so I'm going to go with it.

5) The Queen and America are going to get all buddy-buddy, but the King isn't going to approve of her. Just throwing it out there.
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