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The Selection, by Kiera Cass

1 review

michellemaas's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted relaxing tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


* Beware of minor spoilers

2.5 - ⭐⭐💫

The first installment in The Selection series. Young Adult Dystopian novel with a The Bachelor-like concept and featuring the "he falls in love first", "fake dating", "forced proximity", and "love triangle" tropes.

The Selection was blissfully mediocre. I don't know what happened or when but up until 75% I was really enjoying it. Enjoying it so much that it was on the road to a strong 4 stars but then it somehow just fell apart.

"I hope you find someone you can't live without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them."

America Singer comes from a lower-class family, so when she gets picked to compete alongside 34 other girls for Prince Maxon's heart you think she'd be thrilled. You'd be wrong. Nursing a broken heart, the last thing on America's mind is impressing some boy, but the longer she stays there and the more dangerous the rebel attacks become, the more America starts to wonder if a future with Maxon would really be that bad . . .

"True love is usually the most inconvenient kind."

First and foremost, I think that America is quite annoying. She just has such "pick me" and "I'm not like other girls" energy that she's difficult to root for and I know that was very much the stuff that 2014 female main characters thrived on and I also realize that it is very likely a product of her age, but it's still tough to swallow. Maxon's a cutie though and I would for sure marry him if he asked. Then there are the rebel attacks (seriously though, name 1 dystopian novel that doesn't have some sort of rebel group) which could have been cool but were wholly underutilized. I'm assuming Cass is going to elaborate on them in the coming books but as for now, it was just a plot device to make Maxon and America forgive each other for losing their tempers without needing an actual apology.

"It's always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome."

Some points I enjoyed: I like that Maxon and America were real. They acted their age, in the sense that they were prone to impulsive emotional outbursts, but they are also mature enough to acknowledge that and apologize when they were in the wrong. Their relationship development also felt very natural. America mentioned how she couldn't just get over her relationship of 2 years simply because she was developing feelings for Maxon which is not something a lot of writers remember or care to admit. Maxon was also just so charming and cute and inexperienced in a way that made him endearing, but he was also emotionally intelligent and compassionate. He really is the perfect guy.

"No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me."
Overall there was nothing really creative about the plot (I said this during every update but it is LITERALLY just The Bachelor with the worldbuilding of The Hunger Games. Seriously, everything from the concept to the girls getting jealous and the speed dating is exactly what happens every season on the show . . .) and the writing was average at best but I'd be damned if I said I wasn't entertained for the most part. This is not a book I will be jumping to reread by any means, but I wouldn't consider it a waste of time and I am happy to finally know what all the hype was about.

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