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Review of The Selection by Keira Cass

by - March 04, 2018

Series: The Selection #1
Genres: Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 24/04/2012
Find The Author: Website / Twitter
Find The Book: BookDepository/AbeBooks UK/US

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.
I think I'm onto my second re-read of this book, simply because I can't resist going back to the glittering world of ball gowns, royalty and food so good, you might just cry. This book is cheesy, the world building is shaky at best and there's a goddamn love triangle but I just really really love it. Sometimes you just need a book that isn't perfect.

The story is literally Dystopian Bachelor and at the end you might get a Prince so that's pretty cool. The world has a caste system, a One being Royalty and an Eight being slum-worthy, essentially. America is a Five, which I think is the artistic types. Music, singing, that sort of thing. I know that Six are essentially cleaners but past that it escapes me.

“I’ve met nearly every woman in this room, and I can’t think of one who would make a better friend. I’d be glad to have you stay." My relief was inexpressible. "Do you think," Maxon asked, "That I could still call you ‘my dear’?" "Not a chance." I whispered.”

The love triangle admittedly, does make sense here. America fell in love with a boy from her home town who was a lower caste than she was (her parents expect her to marry up, not down). Due to a multitude of reasons including a chance of real money for her family, she signs up for The Selection, not expecting to be picked out of hundreds of girls. Of course, she is.

Aspen is the boy from her home town and at first I totally got their relationship, she'd sneak out at night and bring food and they'd sit and talk, it was pretty sweet. However, Aspen has qualities that I really hate in a guy. Acting nice and sweet one minute then blowing up at her because he has to be the "provider" apparently. It borders on gaslighting and it's just not cute.

“I love you, America Singer. As long as I live, I'll love you." There was some deep emotion in his voice, and it caught me off guard. "I love you, Aspen. You'll always be my prince.”

Meanwhile, Maxon is sweet, funny, drop dead gorgeous and completely in love with America. I found myself wishing throughout most of the book that America would just drop Aspen already and move on but I can see why that wouldn't be easy, moving on from your first love that easily. Especially in Bachelor-like circumstances.

I think what really attracts me to the story above all is Maxon and America's relationship. I completely got why they clicked so quickly, I laughed when they did and my heart broke when they argued. I loved how he became a better person when he was with America, less the Prince that has to somehow run an entire country. They're one of my favourite book couples and always will be.

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