Come on now, folks. Let’s admit it; every girl has dreamed at least once in her life how different her life would’ve been if she was a Princess. How much her everyday routine would change, how many people would run around her like lost puppies to please her, how tasty the food on her table would be, how grand her whole house (aka the palace) would be, how much attention she’d drive towards her… And so many other things!
Apparently, Kiera Cass had made a very extended list of those things, in order to write the first instalment of the series, The Selection.
The plot is quite simple, and quite common the past few years I may add. For 35 girls, the Selection seems like the chance of a lifetime; the chance to become part of a world full of glamorous dresses and priceless jewels. The chance to live in a palace and try to win the heart of the charming Prince Maxon.
For America Singer, the Selection seems like a nightmare. It means that she’ll have to renounce her secret love for Aspen, leave her home to participate in a cruel competition for a crown she never wanted and to live in a palace that is threatened by rebels’ attacks.
That is when America meets Prince Maxon. She gradually starts to question everything she was planning for herself and realises that the life she had dreamed can’t be measured against a future she had never imagined.
To be honest, it was such a pleasant and light reading that I finished the book in two days, considering that I read it during the Easter holidays and there were plenty of social events I had to attend.
It reminded me a bit of the Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, because of the different castes, the dystopian United States and the whole Selection thing, but other than that it was much more elegant, girly and way less gory. Also, the competition and the selection of the future queen of the country reminded me slightly of the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard, but Cass’s universe seemed more real than Aveyard’s. At least to my eyes and mind.
Kiera Cass managed to portrait very vividly the antagonism between those teenage girls, as well as how competitive a woman can get to earn what she thinks it is her own property. She paid great attention to the slightest detail of the personalities and the looks of the three main protagonists (America, Maxon and Aspen), and aside from the royal setting and some extravagances regarding some names, as well as a few dialogues through out the whole book, she created a very beautiful universe, not so different from our own.
What I really liked in this novel was than the love triangle wasn’t as predictable as it is in other young adult novels. Even if the female protagonist starts her adventure heartbroken and puzzled regarding what’s going to happen next, she manages to create a very pure friendship with the boy she is supposed to make fall in love with her. Something that could happen in almost all everyday relationships out there. That, along with the return of the ex-boyfriend.
Cass’s writing is casual, since there’s a first-person narration, but not too plain. Her descriptions are long and lovely, the dialogues funny and spontaneous, and the inner monologues of America quite unforeseen, taking into consideration the other YA novels I read lately. Maybe this has to do a bit with the fact that she’s 18 going to 19, while the rest of the female protagonists in the other novels were 17 the oldest. It may seem strange to some of you, but two years can make a huge difference during that age.
Best part throughout the whole novel; the part where America talks about her family. “You don’t do that. You don’t just leave your family. Sticking together… it’s the only way to survive.”
No matter how messed up or wrong someone’s family might seem or even actually be, nobody should abandon it. Family can get crazy, complicated, annoying, embarrassing… But it is also wonderful, supportive, funny, an endless source of love, a grand gift! Nobody should waste it just like that.
I know by now whether America won Maxon’s heart or not, but I wasn’t quite sure at least till I read The One. All I know is Kiera Cass won mine when she talked with such wonderful and truthful words about the meaning of the family. Great job and congratulations!
To me, The Selection was neither a waste of money nor a waste of time. I enjoyed it to the fullest, finding it a very refreshing reading, after the Glass Sword and the Queen Song disappointments. I hope that the rest of the books will be equally, and maybe even more, enjoyable. By the time you’ll be reading this review, I’ll probably know how all the books of the series made me feel!
Yeah… I’m writing my book reviews once I finish every book but you only get to read them once a week. Let me know if you want this to change or get a bit mixed up, you guys!
For more information regarding Kiera Cass’s book series, you can follow the link I provided at the beginning of the post. I’m sure many of you will be more than eager to read her books!
Till next time… Toodles!