The Selection. It’s not exactly the newest book (it’s a year old now, the sequel has been published), but I thought that I should make a review of the first book before the second. Oh, and also, this was a reason to read it again. I seriously jump at every chance to read this book.
The Selection was my post-Hunger Games read, and obviously it appealed to me because of it’s similarities to The Hunger Games. Let’s see, thirty-five girls (twenty-four in the Hunger Games), each representing a different province (district), and only one will win the heart of the ravishing Prince Maxon Schreave (victor!).
Obviously, this competition is much less violent. And it does come with glory, fame, riches. But we’ll get to that later.
The Selection is set in Illéa, a post-World War III America. Long story short: The United States of Amercia owed China money, so China invaded and colonized them. The country was then re-named the American States of China. Then the Russians attacked, the Chinese left, and the ASC/USA (Whatever you want to call it, at this point) was left alone to fend for itself. A man named Gregory Illéa led the people of the ASC/USA to a victory over the Russians, thus the country (more like Kingdom) is now called Illéa.
So now we have the royal family reining, King Clarkson Schreave, Queen Amberly Schreave, and Prince Maxon Schreave. They’re at the top of the caste system that categorizes all the citizens of Illéa. You have the Ones (Royalty, such as the King, Queen and Prince as mentioned above), the Twos (celebrities, such as one of the selected girls, Celeste Newsome, who is a model), the Threes (scientists, film directors, producers, lawyers etc, such as Kriss Ambers, a selected girl), (…), the Fives (Which I must mention due to the fact that our main character, America Singer, is a Five, Clasically trained musicians, performers, etc.), all the way down to Eights (Mentally or physically sick, addicts, runaways, homeless, also referred too as the lowest of the low). You can see a detailed list by the author, Kiera Cass, here on her website.
Now the Selection is pretty much the chance of a lifetime. It’s a competition where the “Selected” girls go to the palace and try to win the heart of the Prince and in the future, become the Queen of Illéa. There are also many perks to being part of the selection. Let’s break it down, shall we?
- You get to go to a palace and wear fancy dresses
- If you get selected, your Caste will instantly become Three unless you’re a natural Two (like Celeste)
- Each week that you are in the Selection your family get compensated
- You have the chance to become the Queen of Illéa
- If you get kicked out of competition (eliminated?) you get an aid who will help you find jobs and housing after you leave the palace
- If you win the Selection, your whole family will become Ones!
I think that’s reason enough to want to join, right? Plus, who doesn’t want a husband like Prince Maxon? Let me tell you the answer. America.
America Singer is practically forced into the Selection. Her mom, her dad, her sister, her entire family will benefit from this, and her parents do believe it’s the right thing. Since the Selection is voluntarily and you don’t have to apply if you don’t want to, America thought she didn’t have to go, and leave everything behind, but well, whatever momma says, you do, right?
She had enough going on in her life anyway. She had a secret boyfriend, Aspen, who loved her.
Aspen didn’t love her, right? Because he was the one who wanted her to go to the Selection. He was the one that broke up with her and was spotted with another girl when America was Selected and left for the selection.
So America, all sad and stuff, heads to Angeles where the Palace is located, prepared to get over Aspen, but with no intentions to fall in love with the Prince.
But obviously, surprise plot twist, they become friends and fall in love.
Oh, and now America’s torn between Aspen and Maxon.
Of course there are bumps and things that make you go “omigashahhomgfajdhjabsdnms,ad” in between all that, like when within a night and a few hours of the competition, 8 girls are already eliminated, and at the end of the book, only 6 girls that make up The Elite remain.
Okay, now to what I thought of the book.
I literally can not get over this book. I love all the small details that Kiera put into it. Especially how she captured the emotions of the characters, their appearances, their movements, their speech… Hmm, care for some excerpts?
* — : separates different excerpts from different parts of the book.
Maxon stopped moving. He looked into my eyes with a kind of wonder.
He was an alien and familiar at once. So many of the things around him seemed wrong. But those eyes… those were Aspen’s eyes.
Aspen was dressed in white. He looked angelic. We were in Carolina still, but there was no one else around. We were alone, but we didn’t miss anyone. Aspen wove twigs to make me a crown, and we were together.
Maxon smiled effortlessly. “America Singer,” he announced, “my closest friend.”
“That’s right.” I rolled my eyes. There was no way I could actually be his closest friend. At least not yet.
Honestly, I love the relationship between Maxon and America. It seems so sincere, especially when they first became friends, until gradually Maxon fell in love with her and vice versa. It seemed so natural, like it flowed just like that, smoothly.
However the relationship between Aspen and America is completely different. It was love at first sight. It wasn’t a process, it was just boom. There was no best friend phase, or denial stage, they just knew that they loved each other. And even though Aspen’s feelings haven’t wavered or faded, America’s have changed, she’s gone off and put herself out there, and though she still has feelings for Aspen, part of her heart now belongs to Maxon.
Overall, this is a great book, especially if you’re still getting over the Hunger Games and want something similar but romance themed. Personally, I love this book so much, because it reminds me of when we were younger, and we’d dream of being Princesses and being whisked away by that Prince Charming in a white horse. I guess you could say this is a Cinderella-esque story, since America, coming from a family suffering from poverty and discrimination from other castes, was whisked away to the palace, a place where dreams come true. (Disneyland? hah)
So yeah! That’s pretty much it for this book. I highly recommend you to buy it at your local bookstore! It’s 100% Worth your money.
♡ links ♡
- To buy an autographed copy (at regular price!) call the Christiansberg, VA Barnes and Noble. More details here.
- For more details about the author, please go to her website here.
- Kiera’s Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook
yep that’s it.