Book: The Selection (Selection #1)
Author/Authoress: Kiera Cass
The cover’s gorgeous but let me make it clear- it’s the only thing about this book that is. I guess it teaches me not to be lured in by fancy covers and false pretences. But if there was ever a time, I could be forgiven for judging a book by it’s cover- it’s this book. I saw a pretty but frivolous model wearing a pretty but frivolous dress on the cover and what do I expect? A pretty but frivolous book. Duh! What else was I supposed to think after this book claimed to be like the Bachelor? I expected a light fluffy read that you walked away from shaking your head but with a smile on your face anyways. As you might have guessed from my mini-rant, it wasn’t. Not even close. The selection was the kind of book you want to throw repeatedly at the wall until the cover which led you there fell off. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do this (I read an e-version of this book) so I’m contenting myself with writing a scathing review.
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.
You know how people always say that satisfaction is the result of what you get divided by expectations?
I opened the book with very little expectations. I didn’t expect something profound and beautiful from the book. So how was it that what I got was even less than my expectations? I’ll tell you why.
Hmm… maybe it was the messed up plot? When I heard ‘the Bachelor’ heres what I thought of. Cat fights, makeup, eliminations, etc. And that’s clearly what Kiera thought of too but somehow she’s managed to mess it all up. I really couldn’t bring myself to care about the eliminations since I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters. The makeup thingy- oh we were totally ripped off. Despite America being adamant she was just ‘average’, she refused to get a makeover. The cat fights were shallow, frivolous and totally fake.
Our MC, America Singer (have you seen a more pretentious name?) spends the first half of the book complaining about her doomed Romeo-Julietesque romance (more about that in romance) and the abject poverty her family suffers from. Pasta and apples slices for dinner, two full wardrobes- and she claims that she is ‘poor’? Forgive me for not believing you, America Singer.
What else do I hate about her? Well for starters, America thinks she is ‘average’. Of course we all know that in the young adult world, ‘average’ means amazing and modest. ‘Average’ heroines are the ones who are as beautiful as the sun and stars put together, the ones who know how to play a thousand different musical instruments and knows a gazillion different languages. They are the ones who are assured and reassured by their love interest that they are not just ‘average’- they are beautiful and smart and kind and… the list goes on. (Rolls eyes)
So what does our main character have going for her? Oh yes! She just happens to be just pretty and talented enough to capture the attention of dearest Prince Charming. She gets the chance to be in the most retarded game show ever to win the hand of the most eligible bachelor ever- the aforementioned Prince Charming. But because Kiera Cass doesn’t want to make out heroine sound money-grubbing and opportunistic, she takes the opportunity to add some more tension to the mix and make her heroine dead set against the idea of even entering the contest.
But that’s only the beginning. This book is an array of shallow narcissistic one dimensional characters.
Our MC’s mother is an overdone version of Mrs. Weasely. Pushy, shovey, red-headed and not above bribes to get her children to do stuff they should have had the common sense to do anyways. Face palm.
Everyone in this book from Prince Charming to the ‘villain’ Celeste is a huge stereotype. If you plan on reading this book, don’t read it for the characters.
There were supposedly some raids but the main action in this book is Celeste demanding America give her her dress. Stupid, shallow and…did I mention stupid?
Aaargggh! A love triangle. Between Prince Maxon and a childhood friend boyfriend ex-boyfriend palace guard Aspen. I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing over the names.
Maxon- Prince Maxon was seriously one of the most awkward characters I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. He’s a walking stereotype in the fact that he’s a typical Disney Prince- Perfrct, nice, naïve, calling everyone ‘my dear’ and completely boring.
And at the same time, he’s so contradictory. He claims to be bad with women but then proceeds to charm his way through all of the beautiful contestants. Apparently they found his awkwardness and creepiness endearing. Or something. (Personally I found it creepy) But then it’s possible that they were charmed by the glittering crown on his head.
His behaviour makes even less sense. America wrongly assumes that Maxon is about to rape her then she proceeds to knee him where it hurts and then he doesn’t even care? Pathetic and weird. Then she tells him that she’s here for the food and in love with someone else so she doesn’t even want to be the damn princess. Well, I’m guessing any sane, non-pathetic guy would have eliminated her on the spot. Even if he’s kind and caring-especially if he’s kind and caring because he’d give the chance to someone who actually wanted it.
But we’ve established that Maxon’s neither kind nor caring. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when he threatened to kick her out when she claimed that one of the other girls was sabotaging the rest of the girls. But…talk about double standards and ‘for the sake of the plot’ moves.
Aspen- Aspen’s even worse. He’s a chauvinistic prig who just can’t stand his helpless, dainty woman lifting her delicate, unmarred hands to get him some food. He throws an immature, prissy tantrum and breaks up with her when she makes him dinner. Dinner for God’s sake. Personally, I think the only reason Kiera Cass made the duo break up was because she couldn’t stand the thought of her pure, innocent little MC actually cheating.
Kiera Cass you shouldn’t even have gone there. Seriously. Your world building sucked. I have no idea what ‘poverty’ in The Selection World is like. Unless it’s chicken, pasta, apple and iced tea. I have no idea why the Chinese would want to attack the Americans for having a massive debt. Waging wars are expensive. Neither do I get why they would want to use Americans for labour. For decades, Americans have been using machinery and cheap imported labour. They wouldn’t know how to do real labour if their lives depended on it. And I have no idea why America would suddenly consent to being named after a man who supposedly greatly aided them in winning them their freedom from the Chinese (they only gave George Washington a state and the capital). Or for that matter why they would accept the shoddy caste system in which they are all ranked from 1-7. As the saying goes: More full of holes than Swiss cheese
So, if you can see past the obvious plot holes and if you don’t mind the messed up plot or the contrived, fake romance or the shallow, self-absorbed characters or the utter lack of action… then you truly deserve to be lured in by the misleading cover into this horrible toilet paper thing that’s masquerading as a book.