Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Cliffhanger? What, I don't get to find out who wins yet? Argh! This is an outrage. So The Selection is a book that snuck up on me through a fellow blog. It sounded intriguing so I clicked to read the first few chapters and I was hooked. Though it coins itself as Dystopia, for me this is a fairytale, a fantasy novel, the dystopic so different then the
of today it doesn't even register, and that is fine with me. I actually really
like "Princess Test" type fairytales a lot. I used to make amateur
Visual Novel games (which are basically Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books with
paperdolls and painted backgrounds) and I really wanted to do a Princess
Test/Princess in the Pea inspired one. America
On top of that I also enjoy "mockumenteries" a whole lot, so the reality show theme was also entertaining, and I actually wish that there was more to that.
Thusly I was predisposed to enjoy the book. I liked the caste system idea and I enjoyed the plot. I will admit that the prose is slightly subpar to some of my favourite authors, but not so bad that it drew me out of the story. The character of
also tended to have
slightly over-dramatic qualities, but most of the time I did like her a lot.
The feminist in me dislikes America Aspen a lot, but I
do think the reasons why he broke up with very realistic to the
tendency for society to act. (So many times men divorce women because they have
better paying jobs or are more successful and it grates on them). America
I also think that the book got better as it went on, as in the prose. I found myself enjoying the prose much more as I continued on. Oh and I also enjoy the many personalities found in all the girls and the Queen's sister as well. I hope in the next book we get to get to know the Queen herself better.
I also want
to be Queen. I really do, I
love the root for the lower caste stance she has, and I think her philosophies
would be useful for the country. America
There are two things I will say about this book that I wish were different:
One: That it doesn't call itself Dystopia, I think this would be beautiful as a fantasy story set in the kingdom. I feel like the use of it being a dystopic future is piggybacking off of other Dystopia success and since it isn't classic Dystopia it will end up with a lot of criticism that it would have had less of if it toted itself as fantasy.
Two: That it was not split up and was instead one huge book of doom. I understand that trilogies are also big and in right now, but this is not a book made to be split up and it is. I'd love to see it more of a book with parts.
Both of these things seem to be the fault of falling under publicity pressure, conforming an idea into something sellable, but of course that is my own opinion.
I recommend this book to fantasy lovers more than to dystopia lovers. I also recommend this to people who enjoy reading fairytale-like books and rooting for an underdog of a peasant. It's not the most perfect of prose, but I enjoyed reading it, plan on rereading it, and cannot wait for the next book to come out.