Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass
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.
So I’d heard A LOT of things about this book. Everything ranging from the OMFGLOVE to, well, less than kind. And I have to say, words like anti-feminist and especially “reality TV show” REALLY put me off. I don’t watch TV. Reality TV shows are like visual cancer to me, and in regards to this book, the frequently alluded to The Bachelor is no exception. And honestly, I picked this book up expecting not finish or like it. But then I did finish it and damn it all, I did kinda like it. So, there, naysayers.
Honestly, I felt it was a bit mis-marketed. The Bachelor reality TV show. Eh, yeah, kinda. But really, it felt like the Hunger Games. Only, you know with absolutely no killing and lots and lots more dresses. Yeah, they were being watched, but it never felt like the “point” of the story to the protagonist. And while Hunger Games is a true dystopian, this was barely. I mean, yes, caste system = suck and poor people, but it wasn’t really a strong element and really not strong enough to be marketed as that either. But whatever. If I had to be honest I feel like calling it a “Cinderella contest” would have been much more straightforward.
And I know, I’m usually like ‘Rawr! I like strong females!’ and you might be wondering why I’d like a book where you’ve heard that the protagonist isn’t. But, America kinda is. She’s not like Katniss-leading-a-rebellion or nuthin’, but she’s actually quite stubborn and very mouthy. This is what endeared her to me. Seriously! She gets rebuffed by Guy #1 and goes, well, screw you, I’m just going to go off and leave this shiz. Then we meet super important, must-be-proper-around-him Guy #2/ Prince, only for her to mouth off, then knee him in the groin. I can’t lie, I laughed out loud several times with the interactions between America and Maxon, they alone were the reason I kept going. I wanted to see more them. As bland and 2D as Maxon might seem, there’s something more to that boy and I want to know what it is. Mysterious prince. Aspen can go jump off a cliff, this girl is Team Maxon.
Was this best book ever? No. Was it profound and left me questioning society? No, of course not. Was it a cute, nice read with some laughs, lite catty drama and pretty dresses? Yes! Did it leave me wanting to read the sequel and the novella coming out in March in Maxon’s POV? YES. Actually, yes. A lot.
Similar recommendations: Hunger Gam -- Aah! Gotcha! JK! The Pledge by Kimberly Derting and Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.