Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Published by: HarperTeen (2012)

My Rating: ✭✭✭✭✩


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.

My Review:

I went into this book expecting a stereotype. Honestly, I had not been planning to read it at all except for the fact that all my friends were recommending it to me. So I thought I’d give it a try.

I was impressed!

Negatives: However, before I jump into my positive elements, I thought I should mention that  I was looking back over it and there are 2 questionable scenes. While reading it, I kind of skimmed these few paragraphs because I wasn't interested in kissing scenes, and continued on. It wasn't directly inappropriate or anything, but basically put, it was intense kissing. Nothing further, and it was very brief, so it wasn't a big red flag for me - but those scenes were still there, so I just thought I should mention them. Again, the love doesn't get directly inappropriate; overall, this book was positive and did not glorify the wrong things.

Themes: Speaking of themes, I saw so many positive ones in this book and it was mainly the reason I kept reading. Themes of strength, self-confidence, independence; standing up for what’s right; family; friendship; honor; loyalty. The main character, America, has a great sense of morality. She loves and has a great heart; she’s humble and concerned more about others than herself. She is careful to stay true to one love and not dash around all the time. Henceforth, the love triangle didn’t even seem much like a love triangle at all because America protects her heart and doesn’t go back and forth (unlike almost every other YA female lead). She’s torn, no doubt there, but she’s aware of both sides and aware of what’s going on. She’s so incredibly caring, especially to the maids and other girls around her, and you can’t help but love her and root for her.

Plot/Writing: Unlike other dystopians I’ve read, this book surprised me by being actually really well written. The author does a great job with descriptions of both places, things, and people, as well with describing their society as a whole. It’s compelling and the characters are impossible to not like. So while overall it may not be the best book ever, it sent enough positive themes for me to appreciate it, and created characters good enough that I plan to read the sequel. 3.5 stars.

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