The Selection by Kiera Cass was a very interesting novel and was much better than I expected. Immediately, I knew I was goingto like the plot of this book just because it was so different than anything I had read lately. America Singer is a Six – two castes (a social class that the people of the country were divided into) up from being homeless, hungry and penniless. She and her family live in a town in Carolina and don’t have much themselves. When the opportunity to become Prince Maxon’s wife (The Selection) is brought upon every girl between 16 – 20 years of age, America’s mom is quick to convince her. Eventually, after much pestering, not only from her family but from others as well, she agrees to enter, doubting her odds anyhow. Surprisingly enough, America is one of the 35 girls chosen for The Selection and will live with the Prince and his family in the palace until a wife is chosen. Cass brings us on America’s journey through the transition into living like a One (in a palace nonetheless), through the violent attacks by the rebels and the tension between her and the other girls fighting for the crown all the while trying desperately to forget something..or someone.. she has left behind in her town in Carolina….
Oddly enough, one thing I loved about this novel were the royal figures.They weren’t obnoxious and stuck up like all the other ‘fairytale’ novels, but they were quite kind and liked to have a laugh once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Game of Thrones type of setting with brutal battles for the throne, though it was refreshing to have read such a, for lack of a better word, clean novel.
Another aspect I very much admired, and usually do with most young adult dystopian novels I have read lately (The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium) is that the main, female character is a rebel. America Singer doesn’t like to follow the rules, frequently breaking curfew at home and even overstepping a couple boundaries when she arrives at the palace. Unlike many of the other girls in The Selection, she isn’t trying to be anyone but herself, advice she has taken from the Queen of Illea herself. (who once was in The Selection years back as well) America allows readers to see a different perspective on royalty and the whole ‘prince charming’ idea as, initially, she’s not very charmed by the prince and is not very fone od him…That is until she beings to talk to him and become one of his closest sort-of-friends-but-sometimes-more.
This may sound like a cliché book (even having the whole love triangle thing, though I’m not going to spoil it), though I assure you, you will be surprised. It may seem like all fun and games though there are issues going on with the rebels that we don’t know much about and have yet to discover. I’m looking forward to reading the second novel that has just come out, Elite.
I quite enjoyed the land of Illea and the structure itself – the eight castes and the varying members of each, though it reminded me much of The Hunger Games. Just like in the THG, each caste, or district, becomes poorer as you go up from One. In this land, it is likely for someone to marry within their caste, though not prohibited. (It just takes a lot more paperwork) America’s parents want her to marry up, of course, because they know that living the life of a Six for the rest of her life is not good enough. As much as this is similar to THG, it’s different in the sense that in The Selection, I feel as though the higher castes are more hostile towards those below them, whereas I didn’t get as strong of a feeling from Suzanne Collins’ novels. All in all, I though Illea’s castes were well-designed and made the story uniquely interesting.
Another thing I liked were the different kids of relationships America had with all of the people in her ife: Maxon, Aspen (someone I have not told you about for sakes of keeping the book a surprise), her mother, her father, her sister, her brother, the other girls from The Selection and so on. You can really tel who she loves very much, like her father and her youngest sister, and who she has mixed feelings about, like Maxon, the other girls and even her mother sometimes. It makes for a fun story..
Well, that’s about it. I really did love this story for the romance, suspense, unique plot and varying relationships between characters and think you should all go out a buy this novel. I give this 5 stars! I hope this convinced you on the book’s epicness. Happy Reading! 🙂