Genre: Young adult | dystopian | romance
Series: The Selection #1
Goodreads rating: 4.15
My rating: ★★★★
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 a palace and compete for the heart of 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).
I honestly didn’t know whether I was going to like this one or not. Yet I flew through it and finished it in less than two days (would have finished it sooner if I hadn’t been so tired when I started it and didn’t have school the next day). I kept wanting to find out what was going next, Kiera Cass’ writing style is easy to read and it was simply fun.
I’ve heard some people complain about America, but I couldn’t help but like her. She was independent, sarcastic, smart, doesn’t let other people walk over her, caring, kind and she would make an awesome princess. I have to admit I was a bit annoyed at how quick she forgave Aspen, but she still loved him so I can’t blame her. At least in the end she chose herself. At that moment I fell in love with her. Let’s just hope she stays awesome in the rest of the series!
Another thing I really loved was the worldbuilding. The system was disturbing. Everyone is born in a caste, and people from the higher castes look down on those below them, treat them awfully and have far more privileges. The lower classes are often without food or not enough food and kids are even whipped for stealing. The government is so controlling, that if you lose your virginity before marriage you break the law? I’m really glad I don’t live in Illea. I also loved the history lesson the Selected were given, so that the readers understand what happened to America as well.
Then there was the love triangle. The only love triangle I so far liked was The Infernal Devices, because it was really well done and is just beautiful as they all love each other equally. In The Selection it wasn’t much of a love triangle yet, not until Aspen (America’s ex-boyfriend) shows up again. From the moment I met him in the beginning I really didn’t like him. Maybe I’m wrong, but he seemed controlling. Then when he shows up again later he doesn’t care about her safety at all. Maybe he didn’t know that she’s not allowed to be in a relationship with anyone while she’s in The Selection, but it could’ve occured to him? He just gave off some bad vibes.
And then there’s Maxon. How can you not love him? He’s a sweetheart and really cares about America, his people and his country. I also loved his conversations with America, especially when they were joking around. I loved their friendship and am actually glad that they didn’t immediately jump into a romantic relationship. Their relationship needs time to grow.
Another thing I loved was America’s friendship with Marlee. It was the perfect portrayal of friendship. Not daring to look at each other in fear of laughing out loud, sharing knowing looks when something happens etc. I was disappointed when Marlee distanced herself from America at the end, but I have a feeling things will be okay in the end. Her relationship with the other girls was heartwarming too. They really became friends (even sort of a family) instead of enemies.
There were some little things that annoyed me, like the typical mean girl among The Selected, but since this was only the first book I hope she gets some character development in the next. All in all, I’m looking forward to The Elite.
“No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.”