The Selection (The Selection #1) - Keira Cass

Synopsis: 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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.

Review: The Selection was a surprise package for me. My first word of advise to anyone thinking of reading it, is to try and forgive the protagonists name. America Singer. Sigh. I cringed a little when I read the synopsis and that was her name.. it was a little corny.

HOWEVER. That was the single, only thing I did not like about this book. And once I got sucked into it, I wasn’t bothered by her name anymore either. Because this book is amazing.

America is a tier 5. An artist. She lives in Illea, a country that has a caste system. The 1’s are royalty, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s are wealthy and don’t go without. They live a pretty good lifestyle. The 5’s art the artists, and they have at times had to go hungry. 6’s are maids and servants and they often go hungry and are certainly paid very little. 7’s and 8’s are the bottom of the ranks - 8’s being homeless and they have nothing. This is where many people compare this story to The Hunger Games.

America loves Aspen, who is a tier 6, a servant. They have snuck around for two years finding time to be alone together, but they both know deep down it can’t work. Girls usually only marry someone the same tier or above them. To marry down is very difficult, and very time consuming.

Her mother and Aspen both persuade America to sign the forms for The Selection. A Bachelor style competition where 35 girls aged over 16 go to the palace and meet the prince in an effort to win his heart. Aspen pushes America to do this because of the money the palace will pay her family. Trying to be selfless, he breaks it off with her, so she can try and have a better life.

America of course is selected and from her ensues the typical cattiness that you find in these types of events. If you’ve ever seen the TV show The Bachelor, it’s identical to this. And the trashy TV show fan in me loved this! America initially hates Prince Maxon, but starts to thaw to him, eventually agreeing to be his friend. But is there a chance at more happening?

There was actually a huge twist to this story that I didn’t expect to see happen, and I loved and hated at the same time! I ended up getting really emotionally invested in the characters, especially Prince Maxon and America, and I wanted to see them prosper together. The twist had me at the edge of my seat and honestly, I really enjoyed the overall story.

The book ended at a point where I can just see the next book in this series picking straight back up from. No sudden cliffhanger, but nicely finished. It certainly leaves a lot of promise for the next installment and I am honestly really looking forward to it!

I listened to the audiobook version of this, and the narrator had a really easy voice to listen to. I find sometimes that the accents or voices get on my nerves, but this one was fine, and I got through it so quick. Definitely worth checking out in print or audiobook format!

Rating: 4 out of 5


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