“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 a palace and compete for the heart of 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.”
This book combined stereotypes with a breath of fresh air. I really loved America, Maxon, and Marlee. My one complaint is that some of the characters do lack a developed personality and backstory, but this is the first book in a trilogy. This book was jam packed with interesting character relationships. A secret love interest is unveiled early on, which definitely complicates the plot. I very much enjoyed the relationship between Maxon and America, but you will have to read to see how that plays out. The relationships between America and the other Selected really was intriguing. While some simply don’t get along with her, she instantly makes a few friends. At the same time America is technically competition, so we are never too sure about how things will end up. I really enjoyed this element of suspense.
The setting of this book at first confused me. After a bit of investigating I learned that this books takes place in America. While we don’t know how far into the future this book takes place, it seems like it has been at least a hundred years. Now royalty is the main form of government and rankings determine your income, social class, and job. It‘s very interesting to read about. At the same time this author didn’t elaborate on the surroundings well. It might just be me, but I like a very vivid setting to think about. I like to know the colors of the walls, the little flaws in the architecture, and that sort of thing. While we did get small descriptions of the setting, I just feel it could have been stretched out more, especially with the castle.
The plot of this book took old clichés and made them new. I enjoyed discovering the little details of the government, and trying to figure out what would happen next, yet parts of the book seemed so close to many other dystopian novels. Mainly the book reminded me of The Hunger Games. Take out the death in The Hunger Games and replace it with broken hearts, and you have the majority of this plot. I am not going to complain about this more than I need to, as there were plot twists, original characters, and many events that were completely original, but you might get the same feeling I did when I read it.
The Final Verdict
I really enjoyed the authors writing style! I thought dialog was realistic and humorous. The actions the characters took were interesting to read about, and were described in a way that I felt like I was witnessing them. My one complaint was sometimes it was hard to figure out who the speaker was. I get a 7.5/10! This falls right in-between decent and good for me, but you should make up your mind for yourself. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that has interesting characters and plot, with the warning that any Hunger Games fan might find themselves bored with the story. And if you like love stories, you will like this much more than I did! The book itself isn’t all that long (only about three-hundred pages) so I recommend you get at least halfway through before you decide. The beginning can be hard to follow, but it picks up towards the start of the actual Selection. Thankfully the library systems has lots of copies in print and digitally. Please let me know what you thought of it! I’m always interested in hearing opinions. But please, mark spoilers for anyone trying to see if they are interested.
Laurel is an overly creative person that is looking for good books to read. While she fills her spare time with crocheting, filming, editing, drawing, sewing, writing, and crafting, she always has a little time to read. She enjoys books that have an intricate plot and fresh new characters, but does not like books with a lot of romance. Hopefully she will find what she is looking for.