19 April, 2012

ARC Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Published: April 2012, HARPER TEEN

Series: The Selection #1 (upcoming series)
Source: Around The World ARC Tours, no other compensation given for an honest review

From Good Reads:
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.

My Review:
I'll start off by saying that I am not a big fan of ___ meets ___ book pitches, and I had heard that THE SELECTION was THE HUNGER GAMES meets The Bachelor. I hate The Bachelor. Did this deter me? The fact is that, whatever the book was pitched as, I had read the blurb and was intrigued. It sounded like more than a fight to the finish with the winner gaining a husband. Other controversy and a few trusted people saying it wasn't great aside, I really wanted to read THE SELECTION.

There was one major thing that didn't work for me, and I've got to get it out before I burst. I DESPISE the way the book ended. So what if this is just the beginning of a story? I still expect some kind of payoff after making it through more than 250 pages. Leave me in suspense about who Prince Maxon takes to wife? Fine. But, this book did not end. It paused. And that's one of my pet peeves about YA series (particularly trilogies). In fact, it's more likely to make me NOT wait with bated breath 10-12 months until the next book comes out, UNLESS I really super adored it. That's my little rant done.

Truthfully, I liked THE SELECTION. I think that Cass has a way with creating a world where everyone has to fit into an extremely rigid caste system that offers no upward mobiity and has a majority population that is at or below poverty level, where parents do without food to feed their children. AND YET, if there is a prince in the royal house, one girl of his approximate age might be lifted out of her caste and become royalty. It is like THE HUNGER GAMES, in that hope is the only thing that keeps the population from a complete revolution.

In the end, THE SELECTION kept my interest and explored some of the issues that should be brought to light in a good YA dystopian. Despite my dislike of how the novel (didn't) end, the journey there was interesting.

3.5/5 for plot
3.5/5 for characters
3.5/5 for language

My Rating: 10.5/15 (3 stars) Recommend

Find the author at:
Website | Journal | Twitter | GoodReads


  1. Aw! I really liked this book! The ending didn't bother so much, but I think that is because I sort of expect YA books to end the way that The Selection did. They practically all END THIS WAY. LOL

    Great review though!!!

  2. Hi Lillie! I've read mixed reviews on The Selection. Some bloggers really do compare to The Bachelor and I think I can see why they think of it that way. I'm interested to see how this will work out since The Bachelor is a reality TV show. I wonder hoe will it work out. Great honest review!

  3. I'm totally with you on books that end that way! I haven't read this yet, but I've been really on the fence about doing so. There's a distinct possibility, knowing about that ending, that I'll wait until closer to the release of book 2.

    Great review!

  4. Awesome review! It seems like everyone has really mixed opinions on this one and it's actually making me want to read it more to check out what the fuss it about haha.

  5. Dee: I liked it too, but if I had known how the ending was going to turn out, I might have waited until book 2's release was closer.

    Precious: I did like THE SELECTION despite my mid-review rant. While elements are the same as The Bachelor, that show makes me want to scratch my eyes out, so the book wasn't enough like it to detract from other plot strings.

    Jessi: Absolutely. I wish I had waited. I had an inkling of the ending when I got down to the last 30 pages, but I was still disappointed that this is the accepted device for retaining readers in YA.

    Giselle: Thanks! I think THE SELECTION has hype in a different way than usual for YA because of the mixed opinions. Honestly, I think that's good too!


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