Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass


Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret — one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

This has to be the prettiest book of the year and for that reason alone I wanted to get a copy. It also sounded like a fun read so I was looking forward to its arrive. The synopsis and the first few pages did bring to mind a kinder, softer alternative to many popular dystopian I've seen in the last couple of years. America Singer receives a letter offering her the chance to go into a lottery giving her a chance to be one of thirty-five girls making up The Selection which means she could be wife to the prince. She's not keen as she's already in love but due to her caste as a five there's a chance to improve the prospects for her family. Then there's Aspen, a six and America's secret boyfriend. When he asks her to enter she can't refuse. Of course, there's no way she can be picked - right?

Obviously she is and her life explodes into chaos. First she's whisked off to the castle, meets the thirty four other girls and so begins the competition for Prince Maxon's hand. From this point on it was a bit like a dystopian America's Next Top Model - I loved it. It's a whirlwind of makeovers, dresses, filming, girls being sent home and general shenanigans. Initially, America just wants to see the week out, expecting at any moment to be sent home. After a surprise meeting with the Prince her time at the palace changes from one of surviving for a few days to a different role. America also has to decide who she can trust and keep an eye of the girls vying to stab her in the back. All of this is filmed and streamed into every home so not only will America become famous but her prospects have improved overnight.

I really enjoyed The Selection. America is a good-hearted heroine who goes into the Selection with a set agenda. Of course, things change as America's plan unravels. It's not all froth - the country is under pressure from rebels and the royal family have married off their daughters to get allies. America's family struggle through seasonal work but the lower castes have a far more desperate life. By the time I'd got to the last third of the book I was reading faster and faster to see if she made the choice I wanted her to. At one point I was grinding my teeth as I was worried my hopes weren't going to come to fruition. So, I invested far more into a book that I was expecting just to be pretty and diverting. I can't wait to read the sequel.


Jenni said...

I love the sound of this, and that cover is absolutely gorgeous.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really liked this book too-it's like lite dystopia and I ate it up. I would have liked a little bit more action and answers from the rebels but it was a fun read.

Essjay said...

Yes! That's it - lite dystopia!