Monday, June 11, 2012

REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: 7th June, 2012
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher (for review)

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.
 --Goodreads summary

I don't think I've ever been so torn about whether or not I wanted to read a book. Back when the cover was released, I fell in love. I know I'm not the only one. Because, seriously? That cover is Gorgeous with a capital 'G'. It totally is. I would die for that dress. Thinking about it makes me practically drool. Honestly. If I had that dress I would be the happiest person in the WORLD. (Ishould hire somebody to make it for me). And it's not just the dress, but the pose and the whole photograph is breath-takingly beautiful. It's so America's Next Top Model! Possibly my favourite book cover. Ever.

Now, enough cover talk! The synopsis sounded interesting, something that I'd maybe not have noticed if the cover was not what it was, because it's supposed to be a dystopia and I've been a bit bored with dystopias recently. I was so sure the insides would be as beautiful as the cover, but then I read a review from a highly-respected reviewer whose opinion I trust. A lot. And I felt a bit deflated. But that was nothing like the shock I felt when I found out that Kiera Cass, the author of The Selection had actually attacked this reviewer. The review was her honest opinion about the book and everybody is entitled to their own opinion whether it be positive or negative and even though I hate getting involved in this sort of drama, because as a teenage girl, I already get enough of that, it really annoyed me. I told myself that I wouldn't read it because of how the author behaved but...I wanted to read it, y'know? I really wanted to. And you know how there was negative reviews? There was also positive ones. From more reviewers/bloggers I trusted. They were five-star review, raving reviews about how absolutely amazing and amazing and amazing this book was. So what was a girl to do if not read the bloody book?

The relationship I had with The Selection when I finished reading was simple: love-hate. Well, as simple as love-hate can be! There were various problems I had, but also things I really loved. I'm going to start with the bad things because that's how I roll...(and I'm bullet-pointing because it's easier)

+The names. I liked America, but Singer as her surname? When she was a singer? What a coincidence! Meh. And...Tiny?
+It's labeled as dystopian, but didn't feel like one at all, except for the fact that there were caste-systems that were pretty Hunger-Games-style.
+Prince Max. He was nothing like what I'd thought he'd be! America really hates him at first, even though she doesn't actually know him and because of this I expected him to be this outgoing, cheeky yet shy guy BECAUSE OF what she thinks, but he...wasn't. To be honest, it sounded like he was a lot older than he was. I mean, he kept calling America 'dear' and it sounded all wrong and just a tad creepy. I dunno, it just did. I couldn't picture him as being a future king. He just seemed to naive.
+The ending was horrible. I actually read the eGalley version on my Kindle, and didn't even realise that it had ended until I saw the acknowledgements. You could see that as being a good thing, because I was into the story and didn't notice, but it just felt unfinished to me. The actual Selection wasn't even like, finished. If I was you, I'd probably read this like, the day before the sequel comes out unless you don't mind huge cliffhangers and having to wait a year or so for the next book.
+Not another series! If it was just a contemporary YA instead of this complex dystopian business, it could've been a standalone read that Iwould really enjoy. Unfortunately, now we have to WAIT. And I *hate* waiting.
+Not another LOVE TRIANGLE. It was too cliched for me and didn't work. 

Good things
+I really liked the idea of it. I don't think there is many stories like this in YA. We have angels and vampires and werewolves and mermaids and faeries, but where are the good 'ole princesses? It has been my lifelong dream to be a princess, so it would be pretty awesome if I could pretend I was in the book, as a princess. Or something.
+Like Wendy Darling said, if the author had chosen to write this as a fairy-tale, I think it would've much better. The dystopian aspect made it quite confusing and just didn't work, in my opinion, whereas I think I might've really loved it if it was written as this really romantic, happily-ever-after fairy-tale.
+Um. The cover.
+The first couple of chapters were fabulous. Quite swoony if I'm honest. Like I said above, I WANT THIS TO BE A FAIRY-TALE. The first bit would've been a perfect start to a fairy-tale. *dreams on* I'M A TEENAGE GIRL OK.
+The descriptions of the castle and dresses. Um, drool much?
+If I put my issues aside, some of the story itsef was actually good fun and something different to read.

Despite whatever I read, read? said. Despite whatever I said, I *am* going to read the sequel when it comes out and I will let y'all know how that works out for me. Hopefully, it'll be worth my time but I'm not expecting much.

(high-fives to you if you read all of that and actually got something out of it!)

"...true love is usually the most inconvenient kind."



  1. Thanks for the honest review! Yeah, I've been kind of iffy on this one because of the drama and because it's a dystopian, and it sounds like I'd like/dislike it for the exact same reasons as you. I might give it a go, at some point in the distant future... ;p

  2. I am SO TORN over this book. Like I so want to read it, but I don't want to pay money for it if I hate it as much as I think I might. BUT STILL. Pretty cover! And from the positive reviews I've read, it sounds like a good book! SO. FREAKING. TORN. But I know one of these days I'll cave and pick it up. I just know it. ;)

    great review! I love that you broke down what you liked and didn't like. Also, adding onto your "ending" dislike--I cringed when I learned it was a trilogy. It could have been the perfect standalone! but alas, trilogy fever is about... le sigh.

    BUT ANYWAY. love your review!

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.


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