I want to start this off by saying, for some odd reason, I liked this book. Now watch while I tear this book apart, bullet point by bullet point.
The Selection by Kiera Kass follows 35 girls as they are picked in a lottery to compete in a Bachelor style TV aired competition for a Prince’s hand in marriage. In particular we follow the story of America Singer, a girl who is a 5 (everyone in this book belongs to a numbered caste, with 1 being the highest and 8 being the lowest) so she’s not too well off. Her mother makes her enter the Selection in the hopes of moving her family up the ranks, so they can be in a better place financially and socially.
America doesn’t want to become princess. She’s not like those ‘other’ girls who think about dresses all day and want to marry Princes, she only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and wear jeans whilst she sings to rich people to earn money, but once she is selected she has no choice but to play along.
The dystopian element of this book was interesting but also fell flat. It wasn’t fleshed out enough and I felt like it was only brought up when needed, and mostly was only needed to make America different from the other richer, snottier girls. America has seen children whipped for stealing, has seen people sentenced to death and yet holds no grudge to the aristocracy at all. It was like America’s past experiences were only plot points when they were needed, and were conveniently forgotten about otherwise.
I am very intrigued as to were the plot will go as far as sorting out the caste system and bringing about change, because the novel seems to be mostly character and love triangle based, and I don’t think they are going to be able to tear their lips away from each other long enough to sort out some form of democracy.
So to break it down:
– the barely formed friendships between America and the other selected girls.
– the cliche love triangle
– the add on dystopian elements
– the ridiculous names (I mean most of them were fine, I can deal with America fine but Tiny?? Why??)
– that one bitchy girl. She’s here alright. Why is there always one unnecessarily bitchy girl?
– the two dimensional love interests
– the long descriptions of how America is not like other girls
– how short the book was, so much if it could have been fleshed out more and it would have made the book 10x better to have more background.
– how often it is mentioned that America is beautiful. Like literally every second page. It is not necessary for someone to tell her and for her to blush all the time. STOP.
So you are probably wondering how I managed to like it.
Some things I liked:
– it was simple, easy to follow, short, fluffy.
– I liked the caste element, as underdeveloped as it was.
– Ballgowns are always fun.
– I do like Prince Maxon, even if he resembles a cardboard cut out sometimes (I feel like he definitely needs more depth).
– the mystery with the rebels was the only food for thought in the whole book, and I want to know more about them.
– I am also curious about how this will be spread out over two more, albeit small, books.
I’m giving this three ice creams.
Overall this book is not perfect, like at all. I think if I had been 14 when I read this I would have liked it a lot more, but alas as a near 20 year old I see a lot of flaws. Even so, for some reason that I really don’t understand this book made me really happy when I was reading it, and though it took like 2 hours to read and not much mental effort, I enjoyed myself. I will be reading the next book, and perhaps that’s the best praise I can give this book.