Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

**Received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.
My Thoughts:  I'll let you guys in on a little secret here...I LOVE The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  Yep, it's slightly embarrassing but my DVR is set to record every Monday night.  It is my guilty pleasure.  So, when I read about this book I immediately signed up to read it and I am so glad I did!
America Singer  is the third child is a family of five children.  She is also a 5.  In this (very light) dystopian novel, people are divided into castes with 8 being the worst of the worst (homeless, no education, no food, etc). and 1 being celebrity status (super wealthy, well educated, etc).  America and her family are artists.  Her father and brother paint and sculpt, America and her mother sing and play musical instruments.  

Castes females are not suppose to "marry down".  An upper caste male can choose a lower caste female and then she becomes the higher caste.  However, if the female is upper caste and choses to marry below her, she becomes part of the lower caste.  This is important to know because American is in love with Aspen and Aspen is a 6.  They keep their relationship a secret a meet once a week secretly.  

Then the letter comes.  It is from the palace and invites America to take part in The Selection.  Girls from all castes fill out an application, take their picture and then enter into what is suppose to be a lottery.  35 girls get picked to live at the palace and vie for Prince Maxon's love and attention.  Aspen begs America to enter so he won't feel like he has held her back.  America finally agrees because she is sure she won't get picked.  Surprisingly though, she does get picked and after a fight with Aspen, American must decide if she is going to play the game or go back to Aspen.

I loved this book more than I can say!  America was an awesome character.  She was strong and independent and really very nice even when some of the other girls were being catty.  She is completely thinking of her family when she goes into the palace and wants to stay to help them out (they get money for her being at the palace).  She loves her siblings and is so sweet to her maids.  America is not perfect by any means but then....who is?  I like that that she was shown as imperfect.

Aspen is sweet and really wants what is best for American as well.  He doesn't want to bring her down (which is what he would do if he married her) but loves her so much.  He has a lot of pride though and that hurts their relationship.  

I simply loved Prince Maxon!  He is the perfect bachelor!  He is unsure of himself as he hasn't really had any chance to know, between ruling a country that is riddled with wars and trying to keep a budget up, there isn't a lot of spare time.  He is so nice and totally understanding.  He tries not to lead any of the girls on, therefore dismissing them as soon as he feels there is no connection.  Unlike The Bachelor, there are no rose ceremonies here.  Maxon just dismisses as he wishes.  

If I were in the Selection, I would really want  a friend like Marlee!  She is sweet, bubbly and always cheerful.  She is super nice and (as far as I know) wants what is best for Prince Maxon.  She appears to be hiding some sort of secret though so I will be really interested in seeing what this is all about.  Her relationship with America is sweet and I like how quickly they bonded.  

Celeste is horrible!  She is the girl that everyone wants kicked off the show but for some reason (I personally think it is for ratings) they keep her on to the very end.  Yep...this is Celeste.  Celeste is a 2 (I think) and very spoiled.  At one point in the book she tells America she wants something that America has and just expects America to hand it over.  Total conniving brat!  

The story was great.  I enjoyed watching American and Maxon as their relationship grew.  I really liked that America treated her maids so kindly and actually became more of friends to them, playing cards and gossiping with them.  

Besides romance there is some suspense in this book as well. The world is full of wars and the king and queen are constantly under attack.  There are several tense moments when the girls experience this.  It really kept things fast paced and interesting.

This was a very fun, fast paced and fluffy read.  I enjoyed every minute of it and will be buying it as soon as it is released!  

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