Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

April 24th, 2012
327 pages (Hardcover)
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. (From GoodReads)
I wasn't going to read this.  Then I did.  I can't decide whether I hate or adore this book.

The Bad
Let me start on the names, which is likely my biggest problem with this book.  America is a stupid name.  It's that simple.  Yeah, symbolism and blah, blah, blah.  If I liked symbolism, I would be an English Literature major right now.  But I'm a Nursing major.  So, I stand by the fact that America is dumb name.  Maxon, while not as bad, is still a bad name choice.  Aspen is a tolerable choice, but is this honestly the best Kiera Cass could come up with?  And, somehow, all the other girls end up with reasonable names?  I just don't get it.

Next problem: we have rebels but no action.  Seriously, we're going to get attacked by these rebels and have zero action involving ANY of the characters?  I just don't understand this.  Even if we're setting up for future books, why was the best action in this book when some chick slapped Celeste?  Again, I just don't get it.

More problems: the whole background of how this society developed is flawed, I don't get the whole princess thing and kept picturing the girls lounging in sweatpants, and America's character as a whole was kind of unrealistic and stupid.

The Good
Yet, despite all my problems with this book, I got so wrapped up in the story that I flew through it!  I legitimately wanted to know what was going to happen next.  Which is probably what confuses me most, because I have no idea why?!?!

I did like the character of Maxon.  Yes, he was also rather stupid (what future king just doesn't know that half his people are starving), but he had his moments where I was like "Hmm, I want a friend like him."

And what kind of ending was that?  I don't know what to say that won't spoil the ending but I couldn't decide if I was happy (Team Maxon) or 100% pissed.

*sigh* There is my rather long review, but I had a lot of feelings about this book.  And after writing this out, I still don't know whether I love or hate it.  Let me know what you thought of The Selection!

Much love, Samantha

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