Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: April 2012
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Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…After feeling like pretty much the only person who hasn't read this series, I decided it was time to finally give it a go. I've seen the glowing reviews and I've seen the loathing reviews so I was intrigued as to where my opinions would fall. Whilst I didn't completely loath it, my opinions aren't overly glowing either.
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.
I love a royal setting so I had high hopes that the world would at least be a positive for me. Unfortunately, the world-building is really poor. The society of Illea is separated into different social castes with each caste simply represented by a number. This country and its system apparently came about due to a world war 3 in which America was invaded by China and Russia. The palace is constantly under attack by rebels but I still don't really get why as it's never explained. The author tries to give us background information in the form of a history lesson but I think it just makes things worse. It's all a bit messy and unbelievable.
None of the characters are particularly likable. Our main character America Singer (who sings for a living..) spends the entire time moaning. She is one of those girls that can't accept her beauty and gets annoyed when someone tells her she's beautiful. What a hard life it must be to be constantly told you're beautiful. Please. There are plenty of more important things to be pissed off about. She also goes on about how she's poor and the other girls don't understand because they're from better social castes but really she doesn't seem that bad off to me. She can't afford magazines or make-up but she has three meals a day, utilities and other occasional treats. She's not exactly destitute. (Especially when you compare her lifestyle to those in the castes below her).
Maxon comes across as a little creepy when we first encounter him. He also feels a bit too good to be true. He's gorgeous, polite, sensitive and wants to change the country for the better. There's really nothing complex about him. It's a bit boring. Aspen has potential but he isn't around in the middle of the book so we don't really get to know enough about him.
What I will say is that the story is very readable. It's light and fluffy but the depth that it's lacking, the issues it has as well as the predictability factor let it down.