My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 339 pages
Published April 2012 by HarperTeenSource: Own Copy
Challenges: Ebook challenge
'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.'
The fact that I loved this book as much as I did was such a surprise to me. I've never been that into young adult type books as they always seem to be a little immature to me but The Selection seriously ticked all the boxes in my head that make a good read.
The main female character, America Singer, is a very strong-willed and seemingly intelligent girl who is content with her way of life. As a main character I really liked America as she spoke her mind and wasn't influenced by the fact that she ends up having to move into the palace to live with the royal family and the Prince she is technically trying to win over as a contender in The Selection. She is a very level headed and mature girl which was a nice refreshing change.
Then there is Aspen, the boy who America has been having a secret relationship with for a long time and who is the one who convinces her to apply for The Selection. Poor Aspen just seems to be a whining and annoying character overall. I have to say that Aspen was the only downfall in this book for me. He just seemed so weak and pathetic that I was actually glad when America got chosen and was going to get away from him. Unfortunately, he turns up again further on in the book and then it's just irritating when he does.
Prince Maxon, the boy that all the girls in The Selection are trying to win over and eventually wed, is not your usual spoilt Prince who has been exposed to nothing but money, expensive material things and dinner parties. He actually assists his father with military strategies and decisions and is very willing to understand the hardships that exist in the rest of the country and act accordingly. He does show tendencies of being your young and awkward teenage boy in some parts, but this just made him seem a bit more real rather than if he was cocky and too full of himself because of his easy upbringing.
Once the actual Selection part begins, this book is near impossible to put down. It's so fast paced and sucks you right in like a TV reality show where you just can't wait to find out who gets eliminated next.
One point I have to make is that the world created by the author is very similar to that of The Hunger Games, where there are different classes of people and the fact that a lot of the poorer classes struggle with basic things like food and are ruled by crime. There are slight differences here and there, but overall the setting is very similar which could make it seem a bit unoriginal to some readers.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading The Selection and by the end I was so hooked that I was utterly disappointed that you don't get to find out what happens until the next book, The Elite, which I am now hanging by my fingernails in wait for it to be released next month.
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