The Selection by Kiera Cass

August 24, 2012 / 19 Comments / Uncategorized

Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Collins, Harper Teen

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.

How much did I love this book? I borrowed it from the library way back in May, and have since been quietly stalking author Kiera Cass on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I loved it so much that as soon as I was done, I started reading it again. I love it so much that I was thinking about it the other day and realized I didn’t have my own copy of the book, so I forced my fiance, The Oven, to go and pick it up for me at the bookstore. Yes, I am that borderline obsessed. 

Why did I love it? Basically, The Selection is like The Bachelor x The Hunger Games – thirty-five girls vying to be a princess, but in a dystopian setting and caste system. I don’t watch the Bachelor, but for some reason, that set-up totally appealed to me in book form. Call it an obsession with frocks (just LOOK at that cover), a childhood love of princesses, or just the idea of a dystopian Bachelor – for some reason, it just got me. But I wouldn’t have stayed hooked if it hadn’t been for the characters. Cass’ fully developed characters are a joy to read – even secondary characters get a strong treatment – there’s no one-note, or token character here. America, the protagonist, is such a strong female character – she’s smart, she’s tough, she’s sarcastic, and she sticks up for what she believes in – at the same time, she’s got a temper and she jumps to conclusions. None of the characters are perfect, and the imperfections that are shown are realistic and true. America’s two suitors are equally well-drawn, and the other girls in the Selection work nicely to balance America’s thoughts with what’s really happening. 

And for those of you who like romance – the love story is FANTASTIC. That’s all I’m going to say about that. 

Spoiler-y rest of review after the jump

My favorite part of the book, however, are the hints at something bigger and darker in the series – things like the history of Illia, the rebel attacks, the fact that the rebels seem to be looking for something. On the surface, The Selection seems to be a fluffy novel, but the hints at the bigger picture and the world beyond Illia were incredibly enticing. This could have been a fluffy, girly standalone, but Cass has clearly done her homework in world-building, and the result is something much more important that just a dystopian Bachelor. There is real danger awaiting the girls. The next books in the series will obviously go darker, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 

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19 responses to “The Selection by Kiera Cass

  1. I really want to read this one, but the waiting list at the library is really long. I'm considering checking it out as an audio book since there's only like 2 people on the list.

    • OMG, I know! I had to go check it out at a totally different library to get it.

      Get it as an audiobook if you must – I'm not on the audiobook thing yet, but I bet it will be pretty good, anyway. My problem with audiobooks is that when I get a serious case of the TEABS (The End of an Awesome Book Syndrome – see:, I can't go back and re-read my favorite parts easily.

  2. I still haven't read this yet. I realize that it came out months ago, but my public library system has been backed up with holds, and I just don't have it in me to buy a first-book, because then I'll have to buy the whole series, and what if I don't like the end? lol. I think, judging by your review and most everyone else's, that it's a good read. I'm glad that it didn't get chosen by the CW, because I haven't read it yet! No little screen (or big screen) yet! lol. Great review! 🙂

  3. I picked this one up regardless of all of the crappy reviews, and I am so glad that I did. I loved it so much. America surprised me as a character. I really enjoyed reading from her POV, and I enjoyed her growth in the book. I also loved Maxon. He was fantastic as a person and as a love interest. And the secondary characters were really well fleshed out. I am very much ready for The Elite, and ready for America to hurry up and choose Maxon already!

  4. This book is AMAZING! I read The Selection and The Elite and I loved it! I still have the hangover from this series even though I read it months ago! Kiera Cass is a great writer. I can't wait for The One to come out. I'm so excited. xx

  5. I've read the selection and the elite … are what most attracts the covers personally are beautiful concerning the books I really loved the first, the second not so much
    the protagonist is indecisive or is it that I'm too anxious (seriously I want to know who is going to be) but other than that the two books are quite entertaining, having a frame very original or good, It is the first trilogy I've read such …
    I'm waiting to read "The one" and already up for me and why not? latter surprised me
    and I finished hooking of the trilogy

    pd. stalker of Kiera? lol omg I did the same a full week after reading 'selection'
    Thank you For the post!

  6. I've seen this book around the blogosphere but have been iffy about reading it. I love the covers but that wasn't enough to pick up the book. Your review was the deciding factor. I liked your description of it being The Bachelor x The Hunger Games. I never really watched The Bachelor but I loved The Hunger Games movies. I also like that the series is more than that.

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