Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: The Selection #1
Edition: Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
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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.
The Selection is a young adult fantasy version of The Bachelor, in fact very little is different about it aside from it being more age appropriate and having to do with a caste system. In truth the Selection did not wow me but it was a nice fluffy filler read while I came off of a book hangover.
America Singer is a Five, meaning she is lives within the caste that belongs to the Arts. She’s a (you’ll never guess) singer and instrument player, and she’s very good at it. At the beginning of the book she is in a relationship with Aspen, a Six and a cleaner. I did like that she had an existing relationship at the beginning of the book and there commitment to each other…but as soon as the Selection comes into play it goes downhill quickly and I hated the mention of Aspen. It was a plot device for tension and I never really go to know America until after she heads to the Prince’s home. I wouldn’t call her a stand out character but I did like her for the most part. I like that she’s very up front with people and doesn’t go into the Selection hoping to become a princess, she’s there for better reasons. I did like Maxon though. He’s very proper and charming, and I loved that America tested his boundaries making him think about subjects he’s never thought about before and that they seem to be friends first and foremost. Aspen is where most of this goes wrong though. I hate hot and cold people, and I just want him out of the picture entirely.
The world-building is very minimal and lacking. We do get to find out why the Selection happens, what the caste system is like, and in one chapter we are treated to a very oddly placed history listen about the country. While I do wish I knew more about the post-American world, I did appreciate it’s ease of writing. The Selection itself is a bit of an irritation as well, and since Maxon makes his intentions rather plane about 50% through the book I felt like it spoiled itself for me. I’m hoping the next book is actually different from this one in some way. The girls involved are either super catty or super bland, and Maxon seems to have a difficult time with it.
Overall The Selection is an easy read, good for those moments where you don’t require a lot of substance but fell a bit short of being great. It’s definitely an indulgent read, and very much what I would call ‘junk food’ for the brain.