When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me. I didn't want to be royalty. And I didn't want to be a One. I didn't even want to try.
The Selection by Kiera Cass is another title to put on the dystopian fiction shelf. I have to say, though, that its dystopian qualities are unlike those of Divergent or The Hunger Games. This is a more laid back, romantic version. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but, coming from those series, my expectations were probably a little too high. The Selection does deliver as far as likable heroines go, but the story is a little slow at times, and the excitement of new dresses isn't exactly the excitement of battle scenes.
Still, it's nice to meet a heroine who isn't out killing people and then struggling with PTSD. America Singer is likable and brave in her own right as she leaves her beloved family to be part of the Selection, a group of young woman chosen to vie for Prince Maxon's attentions. Only one will end up with a ring on her hand and a crown on her head. It's sort of a game show meets speed dating. The prince does his best to "date" each women in order to narrow down his prospects, and the girls participate in near weekly televised interviews. I've read that some have compared it to Esther's story in the Bible, but I would say that is an extremely loose connection, one that I personally wouldn't suggest.
The first person, past tense writing style is enjoyable. America's descriptions of life around her is interesting, from her modest home to the impeccable palace. If I could actually go to that palace, I would. Her largest troubles revolve around her boyfriend from home, Aspen, who dumped her just before she was selected, and Prince Maxon, who is surprisingly different from the prince who appears on the television screen. And even if she doesn't want to be part of the Selection, she has her family to think about. The compensation they receive for her participation is not only appreciated but also needed. A love triangle follows, of course, which is perhaps the thing I dislike most. Overdone much?
My final thoughts? The Selection is enjoyable but not exciting. It's an interesting idea that's fairly executed. Fans of young adult fiction will probably enjoy it, but those who decide to pass on it shouldn't worry about missing out on a whole lot. I disliked the occasional expletive (d---, h---) because they added zero to the story; plus, they made me decrease my like of America. Neither did I like America's relationship with Aspen, because it seems to be based mostly on physical attraction and geographical proximity. Though not explicit, in a couple of places they, as another blogger so eloquently stated, and the best way I can explain it, "mess around," only harbored by laws that would imprison them if they went any further. I think that's a bit ridiculous, since they sneak around their parents and the city's curfew anyway. Prince Maxon's character, in my opinion, is much more likable. (Side note. I don't know if I missed a description of Maxon's accent. I feel like it has to be British, but of course there isn't such a thing in this futuristic world. His "my dears" and general dialogue make me think British.)
The second book in the series, The Elite, was published in 2013, and the third book, The One, will be published in May of this year. A couple of other reviews to read: Dreaming Under the Same Moon (where I got the idea to read The Selection and where I "borrowed" that eloquent phrasing) and Characterized.
Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Many thanks to my local library!