Book I in The Selection series
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Love
publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
copy received from publisher
synopsis from goodreads
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.
Danny: Today, Pushy and I teamed up again to review this book with one of the most gorgeous covers ever! We meet Kiera Cass last year at BEA at the Book Blogger Convention during the Author Speed Dating! This is when we knew we needed to read this story. She was so cute and we were excited to see how The Bachelor can meet The Hunger Games….
Pushy: I remember my first reactions at hearing Ms. Cass’s pitch: 1) Holy Cow that sound crazy! and 2) I need to read this book like NOW!
Lovely Genre Mix, Dystopian, Romance, Contemporary
Danny: The Selection is indeed set in a dystopian world, but this first book didn’t focus so much on describing and explaining the specifics of this world to us. I didn’t mind though, since it focused more on America and The Selection. In America’s world, the country is ruled by a royal family and in order to show the people that they care about them, a prince is going to take his princess from the “crowd” so girls from every social caste can apply and .. America was one of them. Also, the ruling family for once doesn’t sound like the ruthless ruler we often encounter in dystopian novel. I’m looking forward learning more about the world basics!
Pushy: It was nice to have a dystopian where the rulers weren’t necessarily monsters. While the caste system may seem harsh, it’s not headed by heartless dictators. Rather, they seem so far removed from the daily difficulties of those of the lower castes that they just don’t realize how bad it is. Excuseable? No. Believable? Ask Marie Antoinette.
And, while the ruling family is by no means perfect, I found myself liking them. We don’t get to truly know Maxon’s parents in this book, but I am hoping to get to know them more in the next book, particularly Maxon’s mother, who, like America, was part of the Selection.
America – the Singer and Maxon – Prince Charming
Danny: The two main characters are America and Prince Maxon. America come from one of the lower casts and her family belongs to the artists of the country. America loves her music! She was a cute girl, that didn’t even want to be part of the Selection in contrast to every other girl of the country. Who wouldn’t want to be a Princess? America! She was in love with Aspen, a servant boy who broke up with her. So, America to make her family happy and with a broken heart America applied to The Selection. She was a strong-willed girl, easy to like and she always knew where she belong and was happy with her place in the world. The strict rules and behaviors in the royal palace where foreign to her and she didn’t feel comfortable.
Pushy: I liked that America, as the unenthusiastic entrant into the Selection, had some distance from the tension the other girls seemed to feel. And it’s clear from the reaction of the people of the country that this detachment serves her well…allowing the best of who she is to shine through. And I must admit that I was charmed by the interactions between America and Maxon. I liked that she didn’t fall at his feet. But there’s a quiet kindness to Maxon and I liked that America saw it and was drawn to it over time.
Conversely, I liked that Maxon was not only open to falling in love but was actively looking among the girls of the Selection for a woman he could make a life with. He didn’t get to make the rules that said this was how his future spouse would be determined but he’s taking what he’s given and trying to find the best solution he can from it. Which I found to be a very adult attitude.
Danny: Well, I personally was slightly disappointed in Maxon. I wished him to be more edgy and shining, however he was slightly awkward among all those woman and he was just … a nice boy. In combination with America he was cute, but I wished he would have been more a man than a boy!
America, Maxon and Aspen… Love Triangle on the horizon?
Pushy: Gosh I hope not! I’m not a big fan of the “I’m breaking your heart for your own good” argument and that’s precisely what we hear from Aspen, almost from the first time we meet him. He always seems to be pulling away from America, so conscious of the difference in their castes, so overwhelmed by what he thinks he needs to be for her that he entirely misses that he was already everything she wanted.
Maxon on the other-hand is always upfront and honest with America, even accepting that she doesn’t love him, but admitting that he hoped she might come to see that they could make a life together as it’s clear he’s definitely falling for her. *sigh* I’m Team Maxon all the way here!!
Danny: Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m Team Maxon too right now!! But, truth to be told, I didn’t see the Triangle coming even though the story started with America being deeply in love with Aspen. But, after he broke her heart, I though the story was about America putting her broken heart together and giving Prince Maxon a chance. The ending however showed me a different path. The slow pace of the romance between Maxon and America was sweet and genuine. No instant love connection, but rather a slow understanding of each other. The slowly got to know each other and the reader could see how good they would be together! I liked this progression, it was cute!
Aspen will be an interesting character to watch out in the next books. He’s strong and much more edgy than Maxon and I’m eager to find out more about him!
The Selection was a fun and light read with slow progressing romance and a promise of mysterious unfolding plot! Danny thought Maxon was more a boy than a man and wished he would have been more alluring, whereas Pushy found his measured style of romance charming and was completely won over. Regardless, Kiera Cass delivered a great and fresh new tale and we’re both looking forward seeing where this story goes!
Additional Notes: You might have already heard, but The Selection is going to be a TV show on CW! I was more than excited about those news. CW is the home of Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Gossip Girl and The Secret Circle just to name two I absolutely adore and love insanely! America will be played by Aimee Teegarden who I love ever since she played in Friday Night Lights! She’s insanely cute and I know she will rock America’s character!
America – Aspen -Maxon
Aimee Teegarden – William Moseley -Ethan Peck
And now, tell us. Excited about The Selection? Excited about the TV show?
Much love and … get lost in a book!