Lea's Reviews > The Selection

The Selection by Kiera Cass
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[**NOTE: This review was not affected by online drama or controversy. Everything I have to say here is based on my own personal opinion about the book itself, even though I definitely think Cass needs a new publicist.]

[**NOTE #2: All the captions in the non-animated picture memes were made by me-- because, you know, I'm just THAT brilliantly witty. So please don't use them without asking my permission first. Thanks :)]


35 GIRLS. 1 CROWN. THE COMPETITION OF A LIFETIME.


Now with a story premise like that, honestly I thought it would take a lot to ruin this book for me. 35 girls all competing for one crown and the heart of one handsome prince? Sign me up and bring on the popcorn! However, The Selection turned out to be one of those unfortunate books that had about twenty-dozen little things in it that just aggravated the crap out of me, with the end result being that I was entertained by it for all the wrong reasons.

So first, a word about love triangles. I honestly don't mind them IF they are done well. But in this case, the love triangle was SO freaking forced, cliche, and angsty, I was ready to tear my hair out strand by strand. The whole thing between America, Aspen, and Maxon was just completely ridiculous (ALMOST as ridiculous as those names), and the motivations behind their actions made absolutely no sense whatsoever. There were so many instances of juvenile misunderstanding, miscommunication, etc. that I'm not even going to bother going into specifics. All I have to say is: STOP TRYING TO MAKE THE LOVE TRIANGLE HAPPEN.



Moving on, America as a main character was just about two steps away from being completely intolerable. She was-- to put it simply-- extremely annoying (Highlight, underline, and bold extremely). I *might* have been able to stand her if all the little things that were supposed to make her seem like a fun and feisty redhead hadn't come across as painfully redundant and irritating (Oh and by the way- I'm a genuine redhead, so I can tell you right now, we don't act like America Singer). So yeah, by the end, I was pretty much incredibly offended that my redheaded-ness was portrayed in such a pathetic and crappy light. For example, she denies ad nauseum that she's beautiful even though she clearly is. (Please note, America: False modesty does not make you more attractive-- it makes people want to punch you in the face.) She makes constant quips and remarks about the stuffy life that Maxon leads and he finds it to be cute (it's not). She's got the whole cliche tom-boy thing going on while every other girl is a Stepford clone-- It was just like, OK, I get it, she's one of those totally-gorgeous-but-she's-the-only-one-who-thinks-she's-not girls. And ironically? She stands out in the story because she's so "different" from the other girls, while simultaneously being about as cliche as they come.



As for the rest of the girls in the book? Well, let's just say that added to the exasperating America Singer, this book just made me hate girls. For real. Even more than ANTM.

And the guys weren't any better. Probably because they were about as manly as:



Sexy, amirite?

Prince Maxon was seriously one of the most awkward characters I've ever encountered-- and not in that adorable, hott kind of way either. In typical Disney prince fashion, he was so perfect and nice that I couldn't even take him seriously. He bored me to tears and was overly-sheltered to the point of being pathetic. And his behavior? It made NO SENSE. Let's review: America wrongly assumes that Maxon is about to rape her-- then she proceeds to knee him in the royal jewels-- then he pretty much brushes it off like a day later and goes back to let's-be-best-friends-because-I-don't-have-any mode. Seriously dude? I've never watched The Bachelor, but I'm thinking that if some strange girl told the guy that she had zero interest in him, that she was in love with somebody else, that she was only there for the food (no I'm not making this up) AND THEN wrongly accused him of being a rapist, I'm going to take a **wild guess** that he would've kicked her out of the mansion on the spot. I mean, that's a pretty serious way to offend someone, no?



But then when America tries to explain to him that Celeste the Biotch is sabotaging the rest of the girls, he throws a hissy fit being all like, "YOU WILL RESPECT MAH AUTHORATAH!" -- and almost sends her home. Whhhhhaaaatttt???

However, Prince Maxon wasn't nearly as douche-baggy as Aspen, the chauvinistic jerk-wad who gets his panties all in a bunch when America tries to make him dinner and then immediately bails on her because he can't handle the helpless, little woman being the one providing for him. This guy seriously needed to grow a pair.

Another beef I had with this book was that I couldn't find any context for the kind of society that America Singer lives in. HOW did Illea come to be the way it is? What major events led up to the creation of a society where there's a monarchy, an eight-tiered caste system, and two different groups of rebel forces trying to bring it down? And why again was The Selection created?? (Vague explanation: it creates hope. okaaayyyy...) And don't even get me started on "The History Lesson" that was randomly thrown in, because it made absolutely NO SENSE (The American State of China? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA). Apparently there was a Third and Fourth World War where the US was invaded by China and then Russia because it couldn't pay off its massive debt. Riiiiiiiiiiight... Explain that one to me, please-- last time I checked, major international superpowers don't behave like 4th graders trying to steal someone's lunch money by giving them a massive wedgie. So, in a nutshell, the "history lesson" that attempted to establish the world of Illea explained nothing.


So for me, it was difficult to find a connection to this world because it wasn't built on any solid foundation that would have made it remotely believable. And I'm sorry, but if a book can't manage to adequately explain how a society came to be and what the motivation is behind the ones leading it or trying to tear it down (**cough, cough** Matched! **cough, cough**), that for me is a major dystopian FAIL. In the end, I just had to take Illea for what it was-- a make-believe fairy-tale kind of setting that had no plausible explanation for why it exists or how it came to be.

Now if the long-awaited, delicious drama of a 35-girl competition had actually happened, I really wouldn't have cared about the absence of a thought-provoking dystopia. But where the heck was the crazy competition part of the story?? That whole Bachelor spin-off was the number one reason I was looking forward to reading this book in the first place! And the entire thing ended up being one big snoozefest. There were some random acts of cattiness and backstabbing, a few girls got kicked off, a few dresses got ruined, but hardly anything was explained and there was little to no build-up. What happened to--



Not only was there no drama, but I honestly couldn't have cared less about who got kicked off and who stayed. Note to the author: If you aren't going to even bother telling your readers WHO your characters are, WE AREN'T GOING TO GIVE A CRAP WHEN THEY GET BUMPED OFF. We have ZERO investment in them. So faceless, never-before-mentioned Girls #1, 2 and 3 got the ax? Umm, yeah don't care. No shock value. And Celeste the spoiled little rich girl? C'mon now, she was one big glaring stereotype and had about as much personality as a thumbtack. It was boring!! And one of the girls was named Tiny. I'm sorry, but how can I take a book seriously with character names like Tiny, Tuesday, King Clarkson, and Maxon Schreave? (Answer: I can't.) And when the only thing in your dystopia that comes across as being even slightly disturbing is the prospect that one day we will be moronic enough to name our kids "Tiny" and "America," well, you've messed up something pretty badly. Just sayin'.

So for me, the only thing that this book had going for it was that it was *mildly* entertaining in a mindless kind of way, and there was nothing about it that made me want to seriously punch a hole in the wall. But the rest was either very confusing or highly predictable. Everything from the characters, to the love triangle, to most of the outcomes of The Selection were all very easy to see coming from miles away. I'm sorry, but I really couldn't find anything about this book that was terribly exceptional or interesting and overall, I just wasn't impressed.

After this, I think I'll be picking up a book about killer dragons. Or bioengineered war beasts. That really sounds like a good idea right about now...

~Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland
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Reading Progress

September 19, 2011 – Shelved
May 14, 2012 – Started Reading
May 15, 2012 –
page 90
26.79%
May 15, 2012 –
page 168
50.0%
May 17, 2012 –
page 290
86.31%
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: annoying-romance
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopia
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: epic-fail
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: had-potential
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: love-triangle
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: meh
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: princesses
May 17, 2012 – Shelved as: tstl-characters
May 17, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 14, 2012 – Shelved as: reality-show
September 5, 2012 – Shelved as: redheads
March 7, 2014 – Shelved as: unintentionally-hilarious

Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)


Marla I might have read your comments about Aspen with glee because I simply could. not. STAND. him! This was the worst love triangle ever due to his macho b.s. and chauvinistic attitude. Come on!


message 2: by Jammie Godkin (new)

Jammie Godkin I'm surprised you gave this book 2 stars. I was not sure if I wanted to read this book, but I don't think that I am going to now. So thanks :)


message 3: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara Grochowski I keep hearing bad things about this book... I might get it from the library, but I won't be buying it.

Read THRONE OF GLASS... now there's a kickass heroine, real bloody competition among assassins and murders, and good romance! :)


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen Favorite part of the review: "She's got the whole cliche tom-boy thing going on while every other girl is a Stepford clone-- It was just like, OK, I get it, she's one of those totally-gorgeous-but-she's-the-only-one-who-thinks-she's-not girls. And ironically? She stands out in the story because she's so "different" from the other girls, while simultaneously being about as cliche as they come." - hahaha. Lovesss it.

You go with your bad self. I've been seeing this quite a bit lately and it's getting old.

Fun review :)


message 5: by Shay (new)

Shay i just read this and it totally made my day. Good job!


Gypsydoodlebug I enjoyed this book... But I enjoyed your review even more. You had me at the crying Dawson gif. <3


message 7: by Kaitlyn (new)

Kaitlyn I haven't even read the book...but your review was still awesome! :) If your looking for a dystopian-type novel you should try "The Maze Runner" It starts off a little slow but if you make it through the first book I promise it's worth it.


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Yeouch, awesome review! I haven't felt inclined to read this one due to all the drama, and now feel even less inclined to do so. And I totally love the Bachelor too! Thanks for posting such an awesome, and honest, review!


message 9: by Katrina (last edited Aug 14, 2012 09:27PM) (new) - added it

Katrina Welsh I tried reading the book last night and I only got about three chapters in or something but I couldn't handle it. I was so confused. I was trying to picture what Illea flipping looked like and just settled on a mediaval place with a castle and cobbled stone steps, peasants, royals, dukes, knights, whatever. Then someone turned a tv on so I shoved the story in the middle of London. My mind kept returning to the medieval castle that I decided to not bother anymore. The places just exist as a one place because otherwise I'll get a headache trying to make sense of things.


message 10: by Sequoia (new) - added it

Sequoia I have never read the book and the cover+blurb sounded interesting. However, I must admit, your review is probably much more interesting than the book.


Jennika I disliked this book for all the same reasons you did. It was just so frustrating!


Jessica Can I use your One Does Not meme?


message 13: by Cerian (new)

Cerian This is a brilliant review, just made my day :)


message 14: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie Thank you for saving my money. I was debating on buying this book or not. It's a not. Thank you Much!


message 15: by M (new) - rated it 4 stars

M I'm sorry, I have to say that I did not read your entire review, but simply looked at all the pictures... haha! I am contemplating reading it just to see if it is as silly as you make it seem.. Thanks for saving my money (I really hate self-conscious-weak-ass-lame characters) And this review, on the other hand, was free! :)


Jessica Love the Survivor reference!


message 17: by Livia (new)

Livia Linhares Miller You say you've never seen The Bachelor... yet one of the gifs comes from the show. Contradiction much?

I however loved your review. I've been trying to get this book from the library but there's a huge waiting list so after reading your review I think I'm just gonna pass and read something else instead.


message 18: by Lea (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Livia wrote: "You say you've never seen The Bachelor... yet one of the gifs comes from the show. Contradiction much?

I however loved your review. I've been trying to get this book from the library but there's ..."


Correction! I have seen *parts* of the Bachelor, I just meant that I never watched it religiously like some people... And I just googled "Bachelor gifs" or something similar to find that one haha- using those good ol' librarian skills!

Also good idea on maybe choosing something else-- I mean you might like it, but I think you could probably find something else out there that's much more enjoyable! :)


message 19: by Gemma (new) - rated it 1 star

Gemma Haha great review. I felt the same way when I was reading this. The pictures made me crack up. And I'm sure you said this in jest, but about your last line there, I actually wrote a book about killer dragons/bio-engineered war beasts :)


Jackie Loved your review! Had me crying with laughter.


Faith3900 Okay so, I loved the book, and your review still made me laugh. Your points all made me question why I even enjoyed it! Props to you for being hilarious. Still love the books. But you are awesome and are completely right. Shweet memes to. Those made me laugh.


message 22: by Kala (new) - rated it 1 star

Kala Bernier I got as far as her meeting Maxon and can not take it anymore..... Can a book make you physically sick?


Gabrielle You have put into words my exact thoughts! I read the whole book, but then I wanted to beat my head against a wall. America was absolutely pathetic! The author couldn't make up her mind about how her lead character was supposed to act. A feisty, red-headed fighter one minute, meek and love struck chunk of jello the next?! Ugh. Annoying as all get out.


message 24: by Diana (new)

Diana O_O China and Russia invade America? It would be smarter at that point to just throw a nuclear bomb. The US has miles and miles of decently-defended coastline and a friendly neighbor to the north making up the entirety of its border. Even if there was a successful landing, the defenders have a sparsely populated, really frickin' large center of the country to fall back to and dig in. A successful invasion would at best be a Pyhrric victory.

Not to mention that invading a superpower half a world away that is at least evenly matched with you militarily is about the worst way possible to try to get your money back.


Ryanne Couldn't agree more. That history lesson was so weird. Ack I'm just sad I wasted time reading this book.


Theselectionlover3rose OMG! you are hilarious! you are sooooo witty!I appreciate you being honest and i think its great that you shared your opinion.Your review was great and i guess we all like different genres. However you are so funny so please keep writing the reviews! I like knowing what you thought of the book! I agree about how america and maxon cant seem to make their own decisions! Why is that?Thanks! By the way i really do HATE Aspen.
p.s. iv secretly always wanted to be a redhead!


Theselectionlover3rose I fell in love with this book!


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Hater


message 29: by Lea (last edited Apr 28, 2014 10:41AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Book wrote: "Hater" Lol, cute comment- your outrage at my review is actually pretty adorable. But I'm not apologizing for not liking a book- if you can't handle it when people express opinions different than your own and get offended at someone disliking something just because you think it's awesome, then please be my guest and go read reviews that only say exactly what YOU think. Or get off the internet altogether because this really isn't the place for someone who gets all huffy over other people's viewpoints. Also, learn not to take things so personally-- It's a BOOK REVIEW, and last time I checked, you didn't write the book :)


Sarah Book wrote: "Hater"

That's really not a nice comment!


message 31: by Lea (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Sarah wrote: "Book wrote: "Hater"

That's really not a nice comment!"
Thank you, Sarah... it's so annoying when people get offended at something as ridiculous as someone not liking their favorite book! 0_o


Sarah It is silly. Not everyone will like the same book! Better that people love or hate a book than having everybody be indifferent ☺


message 33: by Lea (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Sarah wrote: "It is silly. Not everyone will like the same book! Better that people love or hate a book than having everybody be indifferent ☺"
Agreed! ;)


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah that was a little harsh, I'm really sorry


message 35: by Lea (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Book wrote: "Yeah that was a little harsh, I'm really sorry"No, no- just don't insult someone on their own book review, that's all. If you disagree that's totally fine, in fact I love reading reviews from people with completely different opinions, but try expressing it a little differently- there's no need to personally attack someone by calling them a "hater" just because they didn't like a book. If you liked this one, that's awesome :)


message 36: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois After reading your review I was surprised that you even gave the book 2 stars. Classic!! Can you point me to any 1 star reviews you may have given? ;)


message 37: by Lea (last edited Apr 29, 2014 06:20AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Damian wrote: "After reading your review I was surprised that you even gave the book 2 stars. Classic!! Can you point me to any 1 star reviews you may have given? ;)" On my profile page under bookshelves-- look at "wtf" and "unintentionally hilarious," there are probably some other good ones there lol ;)


message 38: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois Thanks for the tip :)


message 42: by Bishara (new)

Bishara Wow, I actually read your whole review and found it so entertaining. Thank you for that. I am definitely not reading this book.


♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤ Saphira wrote: "Wow, I actually read your whole review and found it so entertaining. Thank you for that. I am definitely not reading this book."

Good choice!


Alex is The Romance Fox Great review Lea.


Jasmine I respect your opinion, but I do not agree AT ALL to most of the arguments.


Jasmine This is probably now my favorite series.


message 47: by Lea (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lea Jasmine wrote: "This is probably now my favorite series." That's awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


Baylee  Bulick I ACTUALLY LIKE THE BOOK BUT THIS WAS HILARIOUS I LOVE YOU


message 49: by Elizabeth Raabe (new)

Elizabeth Raabe Fantastic review. My favorite part: "But then when America tries to explain to him that Celeste the Biotch is sabotaging the rest of the girls, he throws a hissy fit being all like, "YOU WILL RESPECT MAH AUTHORATAH!" -- and almost sends her home. Whhhhhaaaatttt???"


Dalek Slayer I am a natural red as well and you can not prototype us all as the same. Sure you may not act that way but think I am quite like America in ways and its unfair to other people with red hair for you too say we are all the same


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