Saturday, September 20, 2014

REVIEW:: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: April 24, 2012
336 pages
Source: Library

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

Description: 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.
*from Kiera Cass's website

My Review: Oh, wow. I originally spurned this series because I thought it would be syrupy and the ya equivalent of Nicholas Sparks (no offense, it's just not for me) but I was so drastically wrong. Frankly, I'm a little ashamed that I didn't look into it more closely, because it is a fantastic book.
I picked it up the other evening at the library because the cover was just too pretty to pass up and didn't put it down until 5am except to use the bathroom and eat dinner (didn't want to get the library's book dirty). Oh, and also to check it out and drive home. I forgot about that step. Don't read and drive, kids.

It took me a minute to get past the name (America?) but the caste system and the subtle dystopian feel won me over quickly. (And once it was explained, and the extra meaning was spoiled for me via tumblr, I really get the name choice. I do.) Dystopians have always been big with me, but it's sometimes difficult to find a dystopian as gentle as this one. Generally, the dysfunction is considerably more in your face, and the MC is almost always a rebel or has some mysterious power or gift that no one can know about. This time, it's rebellion-adjacent, and I love that.

The characters feel very real, even the villainous ones. Everyone is flawed, and everyone is wonderful. They react like real people would react to the situations they find themselves in. The book left me with questions, but I'm assuming they'll be answered in the others books in the series. In fact, I'm kind of counting on it, because I went to the library today to pick up the sequel, so you can be expecting the review for that one next. I would have picked up the third one too, but it was checked out (boo) and the guy who checked me out was very cute, so I got distracted and forgot to ask to reserve it. I'll just hope for the best next time I go in and start looking for the series on my book sites.

In conclusion, sometimes it's okay to judge books by their covers. In this instance, it led to my reading a book series I would never otherwise have picked up.

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