The Selection by Kiera Cass
Genre: Romance, Dystopian
Published by: HarperTeen
Series: The Elite (#2) | The One (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
I’ve heard a lot of people say that the main character, America, is annoying, therefore I went into The Selection with extremely low expectations and ended up really loving it. The Selection is basically a mix between The Hunger Games and the TV show, Take Me Out. Instead of fighting for your life, you’re fighting to become the next potential Queen, boyfriend is included, but dresses each sold separately.
Maxon was not what I was expecting at all, for a guy in a love triangle containing 35 people. Of course, he’s also in a love triangle with America and her ex-boyfriend Aspen, but that’ll probably be a bigger theme in the next book. Maxon is kind and gentle and has the makings of a great king, which means he isn’t exactly a fan of having to pick a girlfriend from 35 girls, as it means he has to break 34 hearts – although some of them could probably do with a knock to their ego. I’m not the biggest fan of the concept, because the love matches were basically selected because of their beauty over anything else, and America can be quick to judge with her backhanded compliments to some of the other girls, but overlooking that, it was a fun read!
America wasn’t as annoying as people said she was, but perhaps those comments relate to the next book. I actually thought she was quite a strong character in places, she really seemed in control of what was happening to her, even if she don’t enjoy it in the beginning. I didn’t really get into the story until America did, the beginning section where the majority of the narrative is world building was, although interesting, a little dull. The action really started when we got to the Palace and were introduced to the other girls.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t feel any remorse for any of the girls that left the selection, because I didn’t know them! Sometimes there would be an announcement that three girls has left and I’d never seen their names before! The only one that really had an impact was the first girl to leave, because it was quite the surprise. It’ll only get harder in The Elite, I assume, as we’ll actually know the girls who are leaving next time.
The development of the romance was nice, not too fast not too slow, but I didn’t like the idea of Maxon dating about fifteen girls in one go. There were mildly suspenseful sections, like the attacks from the Rebels, who we still haven’t seen yet. Their threat seemed a bit exaggerated, but I’m sure when we meet them later on in the series – which I presume we do – it’ll seem a lot more intense. I was intrigued by the Queen and her family, and would like to know more about her selection process, I think there is a novella from her PoV and I would definitely be interested in reeading it!
As for my favourite character, it was probably Maxon, and then America, and then the maids, because they were so adorable, and precious. The ‘surprise’ about Aspen was something I had guessed would happen as soon as the drafting was mentioned in the world building, but somehow the predictability of this book make it even more enjoyable. America was friendly to everyone, but her naivety about Aspen will definitely grind on my bones later on in the series, I can tell.
For some reason, Aspen’s reintroduction has given America an element of choice, even though she likes Maxon and Aspen was a total douche canoe, oh my goodness, why. Rant over. Other than that, I really enjoyed The Selection. Good world building, good characters, unfeasible but still okay concept and a gorgeous cover. Perfect.
I’m still not entirely sure how Kiera Cass has managed to make it so that one process splits up into three books, and I’ve only heard the worst of things about The Elite, the second book in the series. What confuses me even more is the fact that the title gives away the plot of the whole book! Well…basically. The concept of the ‘elite’ is introduced quite early on, when America explains how the process works, and it means the stage in the competition where there are only ten girls left. The One is obviously about the winner, and why the heck would an author write from the perspective of one of the girls that gets knocked out in the first round? Kiera Cass obviously doesn’t do this, so if we put two and two together we somehow end up with America as the one. Well, that’s my satisfaction with the series all wrapped up! I’m not sure if I’m going to bother with The Elite or The One, as I’m 99% sure my predictions are correct, and if The Heir is anything to go by, then just call me the Oracle of Endings. Maybe I’ll pick the series back up with The Heir, or at least wait for The Elite to be super cheap on Kindle. Four stars to The Selection, even though it was pretty predictable.