Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Posted 23 April, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 44 Comments

The Selection

Book I in  The Selection series
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Love
publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
copy received from publisher
Hardcover, eBook: amazon | B&N | IndieBound
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!

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

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
 William Mosely - Aspen 
And now, tell us. Excited about The Selection? Excited about the TV show?
Much love and … get lost in a book!


Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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44 Responses to “Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass”

  1. Awww, Maxon sounds so adorable! (Maybe a little more boyish than manish, but still so incredibly sweet!) I’ve been wanting to read this book for forever, so I get really happy every time that I hear it’s worth the read! The lack of insta-love, the not-too-dominant love triangle, the awesome heroine… those are all things that I love in my awesome books! I pre-ordered a copy of this one and I’m so pumped up for it to arrive!

    Looooooove your joint review! <3 And I'm so excited for the TV show too!! Since Vampire Diaries is my favourite show ever, my love for CW is already sky-high! 😉
    Mimi Valentine recently posted..Review: UnravelingMy Profile

    • He definitely is adorable! Just a little too cute for me, I’m more into the bad boys you know? I really think it’s such a cute read that deserves all the positive feedback it can get!

      The TV show is going to be epic! I really have such hugh hopes for it, specially since CW is going to do this, they just do the best shows! Vampire Diares? Even better than the books, in facht – much better!
      Danny recently posted..Review: Hollyweird by Terri ClarkMy Profile

  2. Great review! I’m still going to go into this book with low expectations since there’s quite a lot of mixed reviews (sadly). But nonetheless glad to hear you enjoyed this title.

  3. Yeah ! You guys liked it too 😀
    It was a really cute story !
    I love when you do reviews together 😀
    Darn it, Ethan Peck is cute ! *Blushes
    I watched the TV show 10 things I hate about you and he was smoking in it ! :$
    I look forward to seeing him as Maxon ! 😀
    Aimee is cute too 🙂

  4. Great review you two! I agree that it was refreshing to read about a dystopian world without evil rulers. I had some issues with the book but I found it addicting and I really liked America. I do foresee a love triangle in the future… =/

    • I really found this aspect very surprising since it’s usually always the same. However, I’m looking forward seeing more of this in the next book!

      Oh yes, definitely a Love Triangle.. *sigh*

      Aimee was so cute in Friday Night Lights, I was so excited when I heard she got the role!
      Danny recently posted..Review: Hollyweird by Terri ClarkMy Profile

  5. Awesome joint review ladies, I’m glad you guys enjoyed this one too! I’m currently rooting for Maxon as well, I liked that despite his situation he was trying to make the best of things and was honest with all of the girls. Aspen I wanted to throttle for the “I love you but you need to leave for you’re own good” argument – I’m not a fan of that one just like Pushy:) BUT, I’m interested to see how things progress with him…

    • Honestly, I didn’t see this coming I thought Aspen woud be gone after this first chapter and that he was rather important to form America’s character and make her less available for Maxon. I was quite shocked to see him back, yeah I rolled actually my eyes at this…

      I truly think Maxon and America would be a great Team. so let’s see where we are going with this!
      Danny recently posted..Review: Hollyweird by Terri ClarkMy Profile

  6. I like that Maxon is an inexperienced boy in this book. We start to see some growth, but I’m expecting much more in the next books. And Aspen — he just needs to go away. I’m not feeling that vibe at all.

    I seem to have gotten a much more “fairy tale” vibe from this one than most people. Like you said, the dystopian world described specifically, and I just kept thinking “Cinderella….”

    My review of The Selection will be published tomorrow, if you want to hear more of my thoughts….
    Annette recently posted..Book Review: Barefoot Season, by Susan MalleryMy Profile

    • I see the appeal in this , however I’m always the girl that roots for the bad boy :))

      You are so right, and this fits so perfectly, The Selection has more of a contemporary Fairy Tale and I found it super cute! I love such Cinderella stories:) Looking forward reading your Review!
      Danny recently posted..Review: Hollyweird by Terri ClarkMy Profile

  7. “Ask Marie Antoinette” Lol
    I just heard about the TV show recently actually. I haven’t read it yet but the reviews are really all over the place so I’m super curious. I love dystopians though they’re my thing! So I do plan on reading this one eventually. The whole bachelor comparison is strange. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Baha

    Oh and i’m working on the post for Reading Spot. I wasn’t feeling well yesterday and this morning but you’ll get it either tonight or tomorrow.

    • LOOL Giselle, as strange as it is this Bachelor meets Hunger Games definitely is perfectly fitting although I hate such comparisons:) This “Selection” definitely makes sense once you read this book! But, I say better laugh than cry!!

      And don’t worry hon, I don’t need it until Thursday, take it easy and get better!
      Danny recently posted..Review: Hollyweird by Terri ClarkMy Profile

  8. Lol, timing ladies! I just posted my review for it today as well. I was so surprised by this one and I completely fell in love with it! It was definitely a different kind of Dystopia and I can’t help but feel it might focus more on the country itself as the story continues.

    And ohh, I’m SO team Maxon. I thought I’d love Aspen, but… no. And when he came back, I just wanted her to slap him silly. Grrr. Go away! ._. Lol.

    Fantastic review!!
    Rebecca (Kindle Fever) recently posted..Review: The Selection by Kiera CassMy Profile

    • *giggles* So going to head over to you and read your review right now!!

      Just like you I believe the Dystopian aspect will get stronger and more pronounces in the next books, we got glimpses which set the tone for the next book!

      Aspen lost me when he broke up with her for this insane reason!!!! GRR!! I hope Maxon will be more of a man in the next book and grows!
      Danny recently posted..Review: Hollyweird by Terri ClarkMy Profile

  9. I didn’t know it was going to be a TV show! That’s very exciting. I’m going to a book signing for Kiera Cass on May 5th! I can’t wait as I’m meeting some other bloggers there, finally! I haven’t gotten my book yet, but I can’t wait to read it especially with that review! I love the double review, especially when you both agree.


    • It is truly sooo exciting I can’t wait to see hoe they bring this story to life! And gosh girl, I am so freaking excited for you to mee Kiera – she’s such a sweetheart and you are going to love her instantly!

      Pushy and me both love to review together, although we mostly agreed, we didn’t when it came to Maxon… 😉
      Danny recently posted..Review of Wonderment: Of Poseidon by Anna BanksMy Profile

  10. I am so glad you reviewed this, it’s on my to-read list and was wondering if I was going to make the leap and buy it when it comes out. Now I know I will! Yay!

  11. Alice

    You have no idea how amazing it is to see more positive reviews about this book. <3 Most of the book blogger that I follow really enjoyed it, but I've been seeing some very negative reviews on the Goodreads page. It's just REALLY NICE to see the thoughts you guys had about it – especially since I"ve have it on preorder!

    This sounds like a very interesting story and I'm excited that it's turning into a TV show. <3 It sounds like it's going to be amazing! Especially if it's on the same network as all those other stunning shows.

    Fabulous review! I can't wait to meet America! 😀

    • Yeah I know those really negative ones on goodreads… Sad thing is that they went viral.. but this is besides the point. I really enjoyed this book and I think it’s a great and new fresh addition to the Dystopian novels out there. IT’s much lighter and has this dreamy Cinderella touch which I personally found very cute!

      I strongly believe CW is going to rock this show! I can’t wait to see which direction they are going, if they stay close to the story or turn a different direction!
      Danny recently posted..Review of Wonderment: Of Poseidon by Anna BanksMy Profile

      • Alice

        I hated that they went viral – especially before the book had even come out. 🙁

        A dystopian with a lighter, dreamy Cinderalla touch? I’m sold. Not all dystopians need to be heart-pounding-everyone-might-be-dying-full-blown action. 😉

  12. I really liked this book…as you know because I made Team buttons. Even though, I’m wholeheartedly Team Maxon, I agree with that I wish he could have been edgier. To me, he was a little too formal and reserved. I’m sure Prince William has some edge to him, but not as much as Prince Harry. Maxon could have definitely been more of a Harry. I really like there was no insta-love between them. It was nice to work up to the romance. I wasn’t expecting that cliffhanger though! I’m dying to read the second book. After I was done, I wished I could have reached for book 2 to continue reading. Nice review!
    Julie recently posted..“Waiting On” Wednedsay: The Spindlers by Lauren OliverMy Profile

  13. Kristin

    I’ve been wanting to read this one. A light read sounds pretty good right now.

    Re: the CW show, I’m a bit frightened. I love Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries but shows like Gossip Girl, 90210 and The Secret Circle (which I had high hopes for that were quickly dashed) make me cringe. I definitely want to read the book before the show starts in case I hate it so much it makes me not want to read the book. I will say that the cast looks appealing, so that’s a good start!

  14. Great review! I recently read The Selection too and absolutely LOVED it! I initially liked America’s relationship with Aspen but then decided I hate him and became completely pro-Maxon! I’m really looking forward to both the TV show and the next book!

  15. Those kind of Dystopia or close to Dystopia novels is not my genre So i can’t really say anything about the book since i Havent read it. But i have to be honest and say that i can’t wait to watch it as a TV show. Sounds kinda bizzard i know
    Maria recently posted..Waiting On Wednesday (5)My Profile

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