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December 9, 2012

"The Selection" by Kiera Cass

[Clickey the gorgeous cover for Goodreads!]
Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication: 2012, HarperTeen

Summary: 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
....read more


Review: This debut novel was a wonderfully sweet and addicting read that also contained the depth of a good romance in itself. The diction was not outstanding but it was typically decent for a YA book and grabbed my attention for the length of the book. The dystopian world of "The Selection" was nicely built and I was immediately sucked into the easy to relate to and believable society of different castes. People were born into castes, labeled, judged, and treated according to their numbers and that concept of hierarchy (although extreme) is not too far-fetched from reality, therefore presenting a grounded background setting that was safe and near home base.

The characters were marvelous in "The Selection" and Ms. Cass brought to life an enriched and abundant range of personalities from the pages. Many a character was able to provoke an emotion in me, whether positive or negative. For example, America Singer was our lovely, kind and kissed-by-love protagonist and her many faces throughout the novel flitted through adoring love, outright passion, and excitement to suddenly heartbreak, reluctance, and determination. As a teenage girl, she was so easy to like and brings such a normal yet refreshing image of youth that I really liked and I enjoyed her perspective. On the other hand, America's mother turned me into a writhing bundle of frustration and disgust and if I could pull her out of the book and give her an earful on improving her mothering skills, I would.

Not to be neglected, delicious and swoon-worthy boy-candy comes in the form of left-at-home boyfriend, Aspen, to the prince whose hand in marriage as at stake in the Selection, Maxon. These two boys were near polar opposites and as a reader, I could of course choose between them, but for America as a character, it was understandably hard and that particular balance of churning America's feelings for both Aspen and Maxon was really well done. The emotional vibes given off in this book were overflowing at times, well-controlled at times, and there were several points in the book that had me shaken up quite roughly. In regards to the relationships between the main characters, the feelings were strong and vibrant.

"The Selection" had fantastic pacing and it was even, smooth, charged and propelling. The speed control in this book was one of the aspects that I liked best purely because it moved fast enough to have me completely attached to the story while still allowing me to appreciate more detailed aspects of it all. Personally, I could not put this down and when I did manage to, my brain swirled around in a sort of drunken state and I couldn't stop thinking about "The Selection".

Kudos to Ms. Cass for the amount of pages she dedicated to America and Aspen because if she had any given them any less, the connection and passion between them would be compensated and if she added more, it would've dragged too much. Only with this precise amount of America-and-Aspen was I able to truly feel the power of the love triangle in this book. As a reader, I felt Aspen's importance and many a book fails to pull that off with an earlier character that isn't prominent the entire way so I was really happy and impressed with "The Selection" for that!

The story of this book itself isn't the most unique idea in the world, as it's a pretty entertaining but obvious blend of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. But! I honestly enjoyed it very much and found it a swoon-y, fun, and princess-y journey worth sharing! It made me giddy at times as it is mostly a light read despite the occasional intense moments and I fell in love with the strangling love triangle and the characters. This bundle of fairy-tale-like dystopian turned out to be a memorable and winning read for me.

Rating: ✰✰✰✰ 4 Selective Hoots

Final Notes: A fluffy read! Not in the sense that it's as light as a cloud, but definitely a book with a plot that you'd have to bring yourself to care about as a reader to truly make the most out of it. I can relate the mixed reviews of this one to Halo by Alexandra Adornetto just a bit. If you guys recall, I loved that one as well, haha!

There is honestly nothing tragically 1-star about this book but I do believe that it's going to depend on you as a reader. Okay, a lot. There's nothing too too special here but I hope all of you who like a sweet romance and an ordinary-girl-meets-a-prince story would give this a shot because it really did turn out to be a great and compelling read!
 
Thanks for reading!
Vivian 

P.S. I'll be coming around for visits sometime in the next couple of days so please wait for me!! Love you all <3

13 comments:

  1. Lovely review, Vivian! I think this is just one of those books, like Halo, that works for some people really well but not for others. I do like the sound of it, but I couldn't get into it when I tried it a few months ago, so perhaps it's not for me. I'm pleased you enjoyed it, though! :)

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  2. Jeeeej *happy dance* I will definitely wait for Vivian-the-spirit to stop by ;)

    I hear mixed reviews about this book, but most of them are on the negative side. Especially after the whole author-gone-bad story, so now I'm not sure what I must think of this book. I'm happy you enjoyed it so much and I like the things you named. Dystopian world, fantastic pace, swoon-worthy boys.. You might have persuade me to go to the library and get a copy :) I can use this for my 2013 challenge.. Great review Viv!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  3. gr8 review vivian . maybe to girly for me . i had to admit gorgeous cover

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  4. It was totally unashamedly feel-good but I loved it! Looking forwards to the next one :)

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  5. This one has been on my radar for so long now, I mean look at that gorgeous cover! I love it. For some reason I haven't picked it up yet though. I must say, your review makes me want to get to it very soon. The characters sound great and I love that the pacing keeps you sucked in. Great review, Vivian!

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  6. Good review, Vivian :) I like 'fluffy' reads now and then. The Selection's sitting on my book shelf and I can't wait to read it over the Christmas break now.

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  7. Your review is so eloquent, I really enjoyed reading it. Honestly I didn't have much interest in reading this book but it sounds like such fun read to get lost in. I don't like love triangles and I'm tired of dystopia but it seems like the type of book that'd put a smile on my face if I read it. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  8. Oooh a fairy tale dystopian! Great way to describe it- that would definitely make me want to pick up the book! I haven't read this yet, despite my cover-love-at-first-sight impression, but I'm glad to hear that the love triangle is well developed. I always hate it when one guy blatantly gets more development and background than the other.
    Absolutely lovely review Vivi (as always!) and I can't wait for you to get back into the blogosphere!

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  9. Love this review! I really enjoyed The Selection. I know a lot of people didn't, but your review captured my exact thoughts 100%!

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  10. Yeah I was one of the ones that could not get into this. I usually love princes but I could not stand Maxon. I thought Aspen was cool but we didn't get to know much about him since he let America go to get a better life. I thought it was lacking important details but it was an okay fluffy read.

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  11. Viv, Viv, Viv, Viv!!! Happy New Year girl! :D I hope everything is going well with you!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  12. Great review viv! Im glad you liked reading this.. but im not sure it would be MY cup of tea! Anyways, i love your blog! New follower! & Happy new year!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  13. Reaaally want to read this book. Seen it on so many blogs over the past few months but I still haven't gotten round to it.. Liking the sound of The Bachelor + The Hunger Games ... Hope I enjoy it!
    Great review :)

    ~new follower~
    Laura @ What's Hot?

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