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.
Kiera Cass executed a love triangle perfectly! America, as well as the reader, falls in love with each guy individually without interference from the other, so when they finally come together they are almost equal. I usually know immediately which guy I want to “win,” but Cass got me so hooked on both Aspen and Maxon that I can’t decide. This is the first time that that has ever happened! I usually root for the underdog, so I never get it right. (I’m Team Jacob AND Team Gale.) Regardless, I know people, myself included, who are getting tired of the love triangle thing but this one is well worth it.
Even though the plot isn’t necessarily original, everything that happens is. I went back and forth between shocked and amazed at each interaction America has with each boy. Nothing I expected to happen, happened. It was refreshing and exciting to read. America speaks her mind and it makes her a very likable and relatable character. At one point, America speaks up for her lower caste and holds her head high among the spoiled and rich, going as far as teaching Prince Maxon lessons about the reality of the living in a lower social status. I was rooting for her the whole way! By the way, I absolutely love the name choices in this book.
There was one point in the book where — and I HATE to say it — it reminded me of the Hunger Games. Not that there is death and killing, but there is an interview portion on TV for the country to see the candidates for the selection. The interviewer reminded me of Caesar, and the crowd interactions as well as the expectations of the girls echoed the same feel as the interviews in the Hunger Games, without the killing of course. (I hate when people compare things to Hunger Games, it’s almost insulting, but this is a very specific moment that reminded me of, not so much the book, but what made Hunger Games amazing.) I loved the interview element and Cass did it very well.
My biggest issue with this book? It’s book one of a series so we all have to wait to see who wins! UGH! Initially, I was excited for a standalone novel with closure in the end, but even though it’s irritating, at least there will be more Maxon and Aspen to devour. Like this:
“I’m not so stupid as to believe that you’ve completely forgotten about your former boyfriend. I know you think there are others here more suited for me and this life, and I wouldn’t want you to rush into trying to be happy with any of this. I just…I just want to know if it’s possible…”
The next book doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s expected to be released in spring 2013. I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel. There is also talk about a TV show in the works on the CW. They’ve already shot the pilot, it’ll depend on whether or not it gets chosen to be aired next season. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I’ll most certainly be checking it out if it does get aired.