Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Date Published: April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 327 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought at Barnes and Noble
Series: The Selection Series, #1

Synopis from Goodreads:

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 Review:

   I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book but when I read it for the first time, I was bored. And I decided to give it a second chance and I liked it way better this time around.

   So this book is about a girl named America, who lives in a world where people are put into castes, and that decides what careers we have. America's family are five. And they are musicians. They play at parties. And that's how they make money. Even if we don't want to be that certain career, we don't have a choice. The ones are the richest, they are royalty, and the eights are the lowest caste and the poorest.

   America is in love with Aspen, who is in caste 6. They sneak away at night to see each other even though they aren't supposed to. Then America gets a letter because she's eligible to enter a competition called The Selection that decides who the prince will marry. She doesn't want to because of Aspen but he doesn't want to be the reason for why she becomes a 6 like him because if she marries him then she will no longer be a 5. She will be poorer and he doesn't want that because he still has to provide for his mother and siblings since his father died.

   So she enters the competition not expecting to be chosen to be one of the 35 girls to compete. Aspen breaks off the relationship before she leaves. And she leaves her town believing that Aspen was with another girl and she gets mad. She's the first girl to meet the Prince Maxon and she scolds him. She tells him that she's not there to win and she tells him that she'll be there for the food until he kicks her out. But not before saying that she can be his friend and help him find the one for him. I think from time they start to fall in love or as I think, Maxon starts to like her and is hoping that she will eventually grow feelings for him.

   I, at first, didn't like Maxon. I thought he was boring but I think as time went on, I grew to like him. Before I read this book, I was expecting, a snobby, rebellious rich prince, who thinks he can do whatever he wants just because he's the prince. But he's the exact opposite. He's a total gentleman. And he's innocent with no experience with girls because he's not given much freedom. The only girls he's had interactions are also of royalty or from important political families and that's only if they speak the same language.

   America has guts. She's different from all the other girls in the competition. She's not after the crown or Maxon. She doesn't like wearing the fancy dresses so she puts on the simplest ones. She won't let people force her to do things she doesn't want to do. She'll stand up for herself. So she has my respect.

   The plot with the rebels is something that I feel is just thrown in as a bonus and isn't really given much thought. I like it but I think it should be explained more because I feel like the focus is more on the competition even though that is the main plot. So it's more like a side plot.

   There were a lot of characters that I really loved like Marlee and America's maids. Then there were characters like Celeste, who is in caste 2, and I can think of a bunch of names that I could call her but it wouldn't be appropriate. But I freaking hate her.

I've always been interested in the plot but what probably attracted me to this book is that stunningly, beautiful cover. A true work of art. And the dress. And seeing the model's reflection in the background was so pretty.

4 out of 5 stars

The Castes
Ones: Royalty, clergy

Twos: All celebrities such as MTV-type musicians, professional athletes, actors, models; politicians as well as all officers in any policing, military, firefighting, or guarding position which are assigned by draft.

Threes: Educators of any kind, philosophers, inventors, writers, scientists of any kind, doctors, veterinarians, dentists, architects, librarians, all engineers, therapists or psychologist, film directors, music producers, lawyers.

Fours: Farm owners, jewelers, real estate agents, insurance brokers, head chefs, project managers for construction, property/business owners for things like restaurants, shops, and hotels.

Fives: Classically trained musicians and singers, all artists, live theatre actors, dancers, circus performers of any kind.

Sixes: Secretaries, wait staff, housekeepers, seamstresses, store clerks, cooks, drivers.

Sevens: Gardeners, construction workers, farm hands, gutter or pool cleaners, almost all outdoor workers.

Eights: Mentally or physically unwell (particularly if there is no one to care for them), addicts, runaways, homeless.

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