The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
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.
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.
Depicted to me as "The Hunger Games" meets "The Bachelor," I was really excited to read this one. I mean come on, 35 girls fighting to the death over the love of one guy? Yes please. And I heard so many good things and this is like everyone's favourite series of all time, so I thought I would give it a chance. Boy was I disappointed.
I feel like a lot of the problem stemmed from the fact that I wanted to like America, I just literally could not stand her. I think part of it was her name because when Aspen said "Mer" I was like "Murica" in my head and started laughing. Every time she would say she "still loved Aspen" or think about how awesome Maxon was, I would roll my eyes. They were both literally the most boring people in the world. Not that any of the characters were any better, they were all literally blank slates with one or two "interesting" qualities to make them "stand out" from the competition.
Marlie was so interesting and then became so boring. Having a secret does not make someone interesting if they don't ever share that secret with you. Especially after a couple weeks of waiting and wondering. It just made me annoyed that this secret wasn't being shared. The other girls were so boring and I think it is stupid af that he kept Celeste or
The info-dump of the history of the land in the middle of the book was a wtf moment for me. Especially since America didn't know it all and was like "why don't we write history down anymore when I still have an old US History textbook at home." Like k girl. And the rebels were just ridiculous. They were supposed to be threatening and everything should feel tense and on the brink of war, but I just felt like they were reasons to get everyone into the same room and then kick people off the island at the end to make it more of an intense scenario.
Also. WTF with the virginity thing? Like why is it a law that they have to be virgins until marriage. That is actually ridiculous. And the fact that men can marry down castes and keep their number but women can't???? That itself almost made me stop reading to the book because wtf. Like I was fuming with that. Why is that the only world building we got??
I feel like instead of being "friends" with Maxon, I wanted America to fill him in on gossip about the girls to help him make his choice. She should have been looking for things that made each girl someone he would want to marry/love/whatever instead of being his "friend". Which, ps, she was not a very good friend. Yeah, they talked and yeah, he could "trust" her, but they didn't really talk about him when they wer together, just her and her issues. What a shitty friend.
Overall: Maybe a 2.5, but for sure a 2/5 on this one for me. I just did not enjoy it. I thought it would at least have one or two petty cat fights and more interesting characters instead of just making me want to vomit every time they kept complimenting one another and saying "well if *I* don't win, YOU should" puh-lease.