Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Book Review: The Selection (Book 1) by Kiera Cass

Title:  The Selection (Book 1)
Author:  Kiera Cass
Genre:  Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction & Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date:  April 24, 2012

From the Back Cover:

The first book in the captivating, #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series! Discover a breathless fairy-tale romance with swoon-worthy characters, glittering gowns, fierce intrigue, and a dystopian world that will captivate readers who loved Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, and Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, 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, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo

My Review:

I was looking for a quick, easy, light-hearted read... and I found it. The description originally intrigued me and I thought this might be something kind of fun. Unfortunately, this book was lacking in substance with a tired plot that's been overdone so many times that it almost felt like I could predict the next line in the story. The only difference is that some of these overused plots have been merged together... and not very well.

The setting is supposedly somewhat Dystopian, but unlike what we'd seen in Hunger Games or Divergent (books that have loosely been compared to The Selection), there is actually very little description other than rating people a number (1-8). Other than that, the world-building is seriously lacking. There's more of a focus on the actual dresses and the food that's served at the palace, while 35 teenage girls catfight over the prince's attentions. It was reminiscent of a bad reality television show in book form. 

I had hope that there might be some redeeming qualities about the book. The heroine of our book came from a lower caste and was able to bring some of her experiences to the palace. Granted, these weren't exactly first-hand experiences... but she "knew people" who were lower caste. The relationship between the prince and America (yes, that's our heroine's name), was slow to build. She had left a previous love interest back home and was having a difficult time reconciling her break up with him. All in all, I thought that growing relationship between America and the prince was well done and very sweet.

In fact, I enjoyed their relationship enough that I went ahead and bought the second book. However, I'm going to warn potential readers now before they become engaged in this series --- The "ex" makes an appearance in the book and our heroine proceeds to start waffling back and forth between her "ex" and the prince, leading both of them on. Now I'm sorry, love triangles may be popular among some readers (I'm even a fan when they're done well)... 

But when a love triangle is the simple result of a girl not being able to make a decision and stick to it... or even worse, misleading, betraying or cheating on the person she's leading on... I'm done. Not only am I done, but I'm downright pissed off. I stopped reading the second book at 30% and have labeled it as DNF (Did Not Finish). It irks me that these types of books are being marketed toward young women as though these are desirable traits. In what world is it ever okay to engage in that sort of behavior and disregard concepts such as honesty and integrity? Stringing two men along because you can't make up your freaking mind is not romance people! Sneaking out to meet up with them behind the other's back is not romance! It's wrong!

As such, I do not recommend this series. 

My Rating:


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