by Kiera Cass
Release date : April 24th, 2012
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. (from Goodreads)
I loved reading THE SELECTION. I enjoyed every page and devoured it... Basically, I had fun! It felt like watching a movie, the story being quite visual and colorful. I liked the contemporary attitudes, which weren't influenced by the fact that everything happened in a castle and with proper etiquette. I liked America, and I enjoyed the love story. The reality TV background works well, and I found the stories and relationships between the girls really interesting.
As for the dystopian debate, I agree about the fact that the political background is not developed enough. This is no HUNGER GAMES. But this is where it won me over too! Don't get me wrong, I love a good context (and THE HUNGER GAMES has a place in my heart that THE SELECTION will never ever replace!). But the lack of complexity felt good because, reading a lot of dystopian novels, I'm getting bored with the long and complicated political descriptions and ramblings which often choke the main plots. So here, simplicity was fine by me.
I understand how some readers found the story and characters shallow. Indeed, this is not a profound read. But, again, I think that was what I needed at the time! I was absolutely immersed in the castle, almost forgot that I had a review to write, and thoroughly enjoyed this book.
A good sense of humor, some fine descriptions, emotion, well-written dialogues, a punchy plot : for me, all the good ingredients were there! I had trouble putting the book down and, when I did, I wanted to read the sequel immediately! So, all in all, I say "yay" to THE SELECTION. Since you managed to hypnotize me, you're pretty good. :)