Sally's Reviews > The Selection

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Apr 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, 2012-reads, dystopian, princes-princesses-kings-queens

I really enjoyed The Selection for it's fun and originality. It's like a futuristic Cinderella with elements of reality television.

It is set in a society where your place in life is determined by your social status or caste. Everyone is a number based on rank, and this restricts who can marry, and what kinds of jobs you can do. The Selection, to choose a new queen, could only occur once a generation. The royal prince will choose a bride from out of the general population, so for many girls it is the only chance they have to leave the caste they were born into.
America is probably the only eligible girl who doesn't want to picked for the selection, but is coerced into it by her ambitious mother. When she accidentally finds herself one of the shortlisted girls sent to live at the palace, she decides to come clean to the Prince- admit that she's there by mistake, and offers to be an ally- giving him the inside scoop on the other girls, and spying on the gossip.
America is really only there to make the best of the situation she is in, the break from her hard-working normal life, and to enjoy the good food, but her attitude and honesty is so refreshing to the prince, that he comes to really enjoy her easy company and to value her friendship.

This book has (rather unfairly) been compared to The Hunger Games. While there are a few similarities in some ways, It isn't a thing like this book really.

Similarities to The Hunger Games
The dystopian setting.
The fact that the main character comes from a poor background and already has a secret boyfriend back home.
The fact that the whole thing is televised to a nation that is impoverished. That people are actually numbered by class.
The dressing up in new elegant dresses, the interviews.
The need to "put on a show".
The elimination of characters one by one- there can only be one winner.
The main character is acting a greater degree of romance than she feels to help her survive the contest. She is still unsure of her true feelings.

I don't know at the moment if I am Team Aspen because they have such a history together, and a real sense of belonging together- or if I am Team Maxon because I loved his genuine down-to-earth personality. He has a real ease and friendliness with everybody, and a real determination to do the right thing and to be the best that he can be. He is a real gentleman and so sweet.
America is a great character who is stubborn and determined to do things her own way- even if she's breaking the rules. She is very clever, manipulating her mother, but also earns the respect of the girls at the palace by her brilliant playing of music. She earns the respect of the maids in the palace by treating them like valued human beings, and she earns Maxim's respect with her honest and un-fake character. Ultimately, I really feel for America and the choice that she has to make.
I enjoyed the harsh world of the book, with a hint of a war outside, and a rebellion- but especially America's new life within the palace, learning new rules and codes of conduct. She finds that even with rich food, and luxurious surroundings they are in constant danger of attack, and life in the palace is not an easy life. She starts to appreciate exactly what Maxim has to deal with on a daily basis.
I also really liked the relationship between the girls. Some of them form a real bond, and feel that they will be sisters forever no matter what happens, but there is also some bitchiness and back-stabbing between the girls. Some of the girls also seem more interested in winning the crown than in winning Prince Maxon.
This was such a sweet, but emotional read. I loved it, but I have taken off a star because of the incredibly unsatisfying unresolved ending. This was very frustrating to me, but the bulk of the book moved at a good pace, and kept me desperate to read more to see what would happen next. I especially liked the development of America's friendship with Maxon, born out of unusual circumstances, and America's stubborn character.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Selection.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

April 22, 2012 – Shelved
April 24, 2012 – Shelved as: audiobook
April 27, 2012 – Started Reading
May 2, 2012 –
0.0% "In the thumbnail version of this cover it looks like she's sniffing her armpit- just sayin"
May 5, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-reads
May 5, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopian
May 5, 2012 – Finished Reading
September 9, 2016 – Shelved as: princes-princesses-kings-queens

No comments have been added yet.