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.
I was very intrigued by the book trailer, which is in part how I discovered this book.
I was so excited to read this book. Blogger friends were gushing about it, and this sounded like a fun read. On Goodreads, it has been negatively compared to “The Bachelor.” But it is so much more that. Yes, the premise sounds like the TV show. But although the book was centered around the competition, I felt that the entire book was about trust and friendship and loyalty.
I absolutely adored this book. The plot was well thought out. It wasn’t too predictable, and there were some great twists. There were some thoughtful moments and I appreciated the darker current lurking under the lighter tone. I liked this book, because it was a nice change from the paranormal or sci-fi characters I normally read about. And it wasn’t strictly dystopian. It wasn’t a hard book to get through, and I really enjoyed reading it. I spent most of the night reading, and I was up until 5 am because I could not put it down. My favorite part of the book were the characters.
America was a strong female character, although there were points when she completely failed to see the obvious. She was stubborn girl, struggling to forget the boy who broke her heart. But she still loves Aspen, and doesn’t want to marry the Prince. Instead, they become friends, and confidantes. I love how much her character develops in the course of 327 pages. I can’t elaborate for fear of spoilers, but the changes were tremendous. Also, on a side note, I love that she’s a redhead. I am biased, being a redhead, but I would love to see more strong redheaded females in YA.
In fact, all of the main and side characters were very well developed. I understood each character’s motive.
While I’m on characters, let’s discuss the two beaus of the book. The first love interest we meet is Aspen Leger. Aspen is a Six, a member of the serving caste. He’s America’s boyfriend in the beginning of the book. He was a likable character, hardworking and handsome, but then he breaks America’s heart, saying they could never work out. But America only wants him. And he doesn’t even try to make it work. When America gets chose for the Selection, she feels even worse, because Aspen is the one who helped her decision to enter. And at her departure, she sees Aspen with his arm around another girl. So much for a happily ever after.
Prince Maxon is not perfect. He is endearingly flawed, and he has although he is normally clam and can take a lot of criticism, his temper sometimes shows through. But he is extremely sweet, caring, and understanding. When America tells him she can’t love him when she still loves Aspen, he doesn’t force her to do something she’s not ready for. He is willing to let her stay in the competition to help her family, who needs the money, and in return she’ll help him from the inside. When she tells Maxon about the problems with the caste system and hunger, he sets up a program to give meals to those who can’t afford food. He listens to her when she needs to tell someone of her heartbreak. Maxon does everything he can for America, and trusts her with completely. He shows his trust by answering her questions about the rebel attacks, and telling her closely guarded secrets. Maxon is not a shallow Prince looking for someone to make him look good. He is looking for a girl who can help him with state issues, but also love him and guide him. He doesn’t want just a pretty face, he wants a wife whom he can trust. And that’s what makes him so amazing.
This book had all the elements of a good novel in my eyes, interesting plot, character development, and a good pace. I really enjoyed reading The Selection, and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Book 2.
I give this book 4 stars, and I definitely recommend picking up a copy.
Thanks to Monica at Cover Analysis for recommending this book to me. You rock!
Have a great day and DFTBA!