Warning!: This review has spoilers in it. I also compare it to The Hunger Games & there are spoilers from Mockingjay
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."
Author: Kiera Cass
Year of Release: 2012
Genre: Dystopia, Romance
Sequel(s): Elite & an untitled third book
What motivated you to read this book?: Saw it on Goodreads a few months before it came out; was going to get it from the library but it didn't have a copy, much to my frustration. Tried several different places and they didn't have it. Finally, was able to get it on my Digital Library.
Book Version: ebook
Where did you get the book?: Digital Library
Favorite Character:Either America or Maxon
Least Favorite Character: Celeste
Thoughts on Cover:Love it! It's beautiful! I love how America is wearing a blue dress because that's the color she wears the most. I also like how the girl has red hair just like America does and that her face is hidden by her arm, giving the reader a chance to explore their imagination and decide for themselves on how to picture her. The girls in the background hiding their faces is really neat too.
Recommended to: Girls who like romance, you don't have to like Dystopia in order to like this book
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Review: I really enjoyed this book. I like how it was a combination of the Hunger Games and The Bachelor. It had elements of both. Although, it did please me that it wasn't really like The Bachelor at all. There was little drama, no cat fights, the cameras didn't follow them around constantly, the girls all got along for the most part (except for Celeste), Prince Maxon didn't go around kissing all the girls, little cussing, and had a different elimination process. However, I did find that it had way too many parts that were very similar to the Hunger Games: a girl being selected "at random" to be part of the selection (the same way two kids were selected at random to enter the Hunger Games), the interviews, the tv program they were all required to watch, the makeovers, the provinces, the maids, etc. I did like, though, that once a girl got eliminated, they weren't killed, just sent home. I was also able to predict at least ten things before they happened. I like being able to predict things, but I like plot twists and turns, and not knowing what's going to happen next. Well, there was one thing I never would have been able to predict and I still have no idea if she's going to pick Maxon or Aspen.
With all that said though, I still liked this book a lot. I really grew to like and appreciate America. She's very stubborn, but she uses her stubbornness in a good way. She's also very determined, kind, loyal, brave, and a good person especially to her maids. She was kind to her maids and became friends with them even though they were below her in terms of caste. At first I didn't like how she told Maxon right away the real reasons why she entered to be part of the competition, but as the book went on, I realized that of all the relationships Maxon had with all the girls, his relationship with America was probably the most genuine. They got to the point in their relationship where they could tell each other almost anything, and that is definitely something you should have in a relationship. They became very close. I liked how even though America said she just wanted to help Maxon and be his friend, he ended up falling for her anyway and she slowly started falling for him, too. Also, at first, I kept getting annoyed with America for not realizing her feelings for Maxon and noticing that he liked her, too, but then I realized that the relationship that they had was very realistic. Most YA books have two people falling in love with each other at a very rapid pace and start making out only a week or two after they met, but in The Selection, their feelings for each other grew slowly, and when they finally do kiss, it's not a full on make out session, but a gentle, tender kiss. It was really cute. I also put myself in her America's shoes and realized that it would be hard to fall for someone after the love of your life dumped you even though he was still in love with you. So, of course, things would have to be taken slow.
I did become frustrated that America cannot seem to pick between Aspen and Maxon. They are both great guys, and I understand her dilemma, picking either would both have certain consequences. (I would have trouble picking myself.) However, I hate that most books these days involve love triangles especially love triangles where the girl can't pick between two guys and ends up picking one in the last book. (Yet another similarity to the Hunger Games.) I just hope America doesn't choose on the very last page the way Katniss did in Mockingjay. That would be super annoying. I want her to pick one and then have there be several chapters with romance between her and whomever she picks. I don't want her to be: "Oh, I pick XXX The End". That would be horrible. I also hope that whomever she doesn't pick ends up happily with someone else.
All in all, this book was great and I cannot wait to read sequel, The Elite. I hope it's just as good, if not better!
(Also, I think you can tell from my review which guy I'm rooting for.;) )