Friday, October 12, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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The Selection 
by Kiera Cass
327 pages
YA Romance/Dystopia
Library
2012

Book Summary
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.

My Thoughts
I did not expect to like this book because it is based on a reality show premise. However, to my surprise I did enjoy it. It has a lot of teenage angst but I enjoyed the world building and the characters that Kiera Cass created.
This world is set in a post World War III United States where everyone has been placed in a chaste that is hard to break out of and go up the number system. America Singer is a Six and only two away from being an Eight (the homeless). There is an opportunity for a young woman to move up by marrying the prince when he comes of age. Suprisingly,, America is chosen, even though she does not really want to go. She is in love with her neighbor Aspen and willing to step down a chaste to be with him.
America goes to the palace and meets the 35 girls that will be competing for the prince's attention. Two girls stand out right away in America's eye, the nice girl Marlee and the hard edged Celeste. America is just there biding her time and eating the wonderful food until she is sent home but meets Prince Maxon and realizes he is not the shallow prince she sees on the news. America has to make a choice and I am looking forward to the next book. It is an addicting premise and I can see how people get wrapped up in the Bachelor or Bachelorette.
I liked America and her voice is refreshing. Although this book features another love triangle that is prevalent in the YA section, you can understand America's dilemma. Aspen broke her heart and Maxon is there to pick up the pieces. America wants to help her family with the allowance given to the girls and also seems to motivate Maxon to be a better prince. You almost never "see" the cameras because Maxon and America wave them away because they want to talk frankly. He dates the other girls but really woos America. She is a good influence on him because America has seen the suffering of the lower class and sets Maxon off on a qquest to help his people.
The book does have moments that made me roll my eyes or groan in frustration but I will be going to the library to check out the next book (when it comes out). I would recommend this one to teens who love reality TV and dystopian novels.     

Book Pairining
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
 Matched by Ally Condie

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