Monday, January 28, 2013

The Selection by Kiera Cass [REVIEW]

TITLE: The Selection (The Selection #1)
AUTHOR: Kiera Cass
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUB DATE: Apr 24 2012
Summary from Goodreads:

"Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret — one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever."

Rating:

I was drawn to The Selection’s cover the minute I saw it on Goodreads, as many readers have mentioned, it is quite captivating. But the big question is, is the story just as captivating?

If you ask me, the synopsis didn’t really give me the urge to read it. Probably because, I know there weren’t any ass-kicking to occur (really it’s not that kind of book). I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I do not normally read slow paced books, but with the promise of a dystopian world encased in The Selection, I thought to give it a go. Although I did start on it thinking it was just another book to pass the time, and not expect too much from.

So the reading begins... My initial thought after reading the first few chapters was: “Is this going to be like that reality show, The Bachelor?” which I am not exactly a fan of. But knowing how that show went, it really did sound freakishly similar: The prince of Ilea is to choose his bride from amongst the 35 girls sorted from hundreds, even thousands who wishfully wanted to be part of the Selection. Yup, definitely The Bachelor.

Readers are introduced to the harsh life of America Singer, who well, sings for a living. That’s quite a pun by the way. While many girls want to get into the Selection, and get the chance to change their lives, America wants nothing more than to stay where she is and be with the boy she loves, Aspen. But fate is cruel and decides to let her become a part of the one world she does not wish to be at. After being left heartbroken by the one person she least expected to hurt her, she falls into giving the Selection a shot. As it turns out, the Prince isn’t as bad as she thought he would be...

I don’t know exactly how I feel about the characters in this book. They’re recognizable enough, but with so many names going around, some of the minor characters get confusing when they pop up here and there, it’s as if I don’t recall seeing them the first time, or I did see them but I forgot which role they played.

As for the love triangle brewing between our three leads (America, Maxon and Aspen), I don’t know who to root for. They’re both okay. I think Maxon deserves the chance to prove himself worthy of America, and although Aspen’s character has been tainted with what happened at the start of this book, he deserves just as much to redeem himself and win America’s heart. But they don’t have that much character depth to make me either eagerly want this guy to be chosen or torn between who I want America to be with.

I just wish that the world of Ilea was explained further. I didn’t fully understand what the caste system was and how that came about in the first place. I also don’t get the rebels, what exactly is their agenda? Vague, much? And if anyone is going to tell me that it is because it will be explained in the next book, well way to go making me incredibly clueless. They could have at least given a brief history on how that all began. I didn’t get the description on the difference of the two rebels either, again pretty hazy.

As expected, this book was a little too slow for me, but somehow I still found myself enjoying it. I’d like to see what happens next.

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