I wanted to read The Selection from the moment I first heard about the premise and saw its gorgeous cover! It’s The Bachelor (royal edition) meets The Hunger Games – sort of – in that the story takes place in a dystopian future where society is divided by castes (8 being the lowest, 1 being royalty), and the lower castes are often starving…
To be honest, after all the negative drama surrounding this book (between the author, her agent, and reviewers), I was hesitant to read it and give a review. However, I was curious about this story being turned into a TV show possibly premiering this fall on the CW Network… and how the show was being created before the book ever released! I decided to just forget the drama and read, and I’m glad I did.
I thought The Selection was a bit slow to start, but once it did, the storyline and characters kept me glued to the page. America Singer, the protagonist, had no interest in being part of the Selection – she was secretly in love with Aspen – but she enters to please her family never imagining that she would actually be selected.
I liked America Singer as a character (the name, not so much); she’s strong, composed, and compassionate. The friendship she develops with Prince Maxon is comfortable and real. Her heartache over Aspen is believable and I felt emotionally torn along with her. You can’t help but like Maxon… he’s sincere and charming, and really is hoping to find love. I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics between the all the girls competing in The Selection, and the awkwardness of them all dating the prince at once. In that way it really was like watching The Bachelor!
There wasn’t much world building in this novel, but I do think Cass laid a foundation to build upon for the rest of the series. The castes were defined, and there were some rebel attacks and moments of danger, but the dystopian world seemed to take a back seat to the rest of the story. I’m looking forward to the sequel and finding out what Kiera Cass has in store for us!