Series: The Selection #1
Published by HarperTeen on April 24th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
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 a palace and compete for the heart of 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.
The Selection is one of those books I like to refer to as addictive dystopian rubbish. There was no substance here whatsoever, and yet I couldn’t put the book down or dnf it.
Reading these super-tropy and super-trashy books is comparable to watching reality shows on MTV: You know what you’re watching is probably making your brain cells writhe in excruciating pain, but your eyes are glued to the screen, and you just can’t quit. That’s what happened to me with The Selection.
The setting reminded me of The Hunger Games (don’t worry, I loved THG), for if you subtract hunger and bloody fights but add ball gowns and catfights, you get The Selection. Naturally, there is barely any world-building to speak of, just our world in a future scenario, and with weird and unoriginal names – and roughly as ridiculous as the main character’s first name (to any Americas out there, I apologize) – such as Honduraga and Angeles (I think, Honduras and Nicaragua would be insulted if they learned of Cass’s vision of their future). Long story short, this book has no pillars on which to stand.
The plot moves at a serviceable pace, though it is, of course, shallow af (no surprise there, eh?). The book actually started out good but then came an assemblage of drama, childish behaviour, catfights, and girl-on-girl hate, which I normally cannot stand but found somewhat amusing for once. The main character America was ok, just ok. Despite my best effort not to like her, she had her moments. America is whisked from poverty into a life of glitter and fame, torn between her home and the royal palace, torn between her old love and the fancy Prince Maxon. So yes, of course, we have a nausea-inducing love triangle. Prince Maxon I personally found to be the opposite of swoon-worthy; he was shallow, pretentious, and just… meh, to put it in a very ineloquent way.
Originally, and I must have been out of my mind, I awared this book with 3 stars, because I was actually entertained by the shallowness and the multiple girls seeking attention, trying to gain an edge over their competitors, and attempting to worm themselves into Prince Maxon’s heart. When something is so ridiculous it’s actually funny? The Selection is exactly that.
Listen, if you need a break from good literature and want to read a book void of substance or importance, then pick up The Selection. Regarding trash factor, this book does not disappoint. I viewed this as a light snack in between, which is the only attitude with which you’ll find this book bearable if you’re over 16 years old.