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July 2018: Dystopian > The Selection - Kiera Cass - 2 stars

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message 1: by Teodora (last edited Jul 13, 2018 12:57AM) (new)

Teodora Paslaru | 149 comments What can I say? After I've finished this book my strong impression about it was that it was bad. Maybe not one star bad and not the worst book I've ever read (Fifty Shades of Grey holds the title for that one), but it was definitely not a good book. The only good part was that it was an easy read - the reason I kept until the end - but there is nothing else about it. I've seen that a lot of my friends had liked it, but it's not my case.

So, whit what should I start?

The writing - it is bad. The author overuses adverbs and sometimes the combinations she chooses are not the best, at least not in my opinion. I know I have no quality that allows me to critique other writers (I haven't published anything, yet. I haven't even tried.) but it's just my opinion. For example, at one point in the book the author is describing an attack and everybody is scared only the queen is staying "silently and proudly". I don't know if this is the best words used to describe someone who had gotten used with frequent attacks and there was nothing so surprising or so frightening for her, which, I guess, was the idea that the writer wanted to underline. Then, the descriptions... There is a scene where America is describing her surroundings at the palace, and if she would have said that there was a carpet, flowers and painting and that she liked them would have given the same amount of information as she gave through that passage. I don't remember the exact words of the author, but I do remember the bit about the paintings - they were "lovely".

The names - the names do not matter for me when I read book, if the action is good enough to sweep me away. So the fact that she gave her characters names like America or Thursday doesn't really matter. But she name one of the characters Tiny and it was a tiny girl with a tiny voice and everything about her tiny. Could it be anything more predictable?

Speaking about predictable... the book it's quite predictable in itself. There is nothing surprising about it. The friendly girl is friendly up to the end and has no hidden reasons for her friendliness. The mean girl is just mean and never shows a sensitive side, something to justify her meanness. Maybe the author thought that everyone would expect this and that she would surprise everyone by not giving them what they wanted. Or I don't know what she thought exactly, but what she did didn't really work for me.

The world building also makes no sense. The cast systems is absolutely stupid and no society would be able to work with such a system. The lower casts were educated. Maybe it might make sense for the fives -who were the artists (stupid enough that the artist would be a lower cast and they would all be living poorly, even if they were really good at what they were doing) to be a little educated and read a lot of books, but the sixes, who were the ones who cleaned, cooked, sewed (sometimes all of this together) were going to public schools and had extended knowledge. Oh, and all of them loved their work so much and would not stop working, not only because they were starving, but because this was one of their need as sixes. No one was lazy, at least no one from the lower casts, and still, they were hungry all time. It would have made more sense if, at least, the author would have depicted them as slaves. Then, they would have been forced to work because they would have feared punishment and they would be hungry because they would have had a bad slave master. And, not to forget. If a woman form one cast marries a man from another she becomes a member of that cast and would have to start working what that casts is working. For example, if someone is a five, a painter, for example, and all her life she had only practiced painting, if she marries a three she has to pick one of the professions for a three, like teaching (ok, maybe a painter could teach painting, but what about a six?).

And the rebels... what was about them exactly? It mostly looked like the author had not had a clear idea about them either and had just placed them there to add some exciting events to a book that is boring anyway. And if everybody knows where they are, why don't they do something about them. Why are they just left on being?

Oh, I could say so much more things about this book! I just kept on reading it, turning the pages surprised at what other stupid thing I might find the next page. I picked this book up because I liked the cover, which might be the best thing about this book. The rest of the book mostly looked like the author could not decided if she wanted to write a rewriting of Cinderella or a script for the next season of The Bachelor, so she combined them both. Sometimes combinations work. This time it didn't.


message 2: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I had not heard good things about this one. Your review has just re-enforced my decision to avoid, although I do admit being attracted to the cover.


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