Reading young adult or teen fiction is really not where my interest in books is – or so I thought. In recent years, my bookshelf is filling with more secular fiction. I don’t think I can say what drew me to read this one save for the cover art was probably what caught my eye (isn’t it captivating?). Then the story sounded intriguing. Touted as being another version of The Hunger Games, this revolves around a strong-willed female protagonist who lives by a set of rules in a world that separates the social classes.
I hope you find something you can’t live without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it’s like to have to try and live without them.” – Kiera Cass, The Selection
American Singer works to help provide for her “Five” family but her one mistake may be falling in love with a “Six.” And, then she receives the royal invitation to take part in The Selection. Her mother is delighted, America isn’t. Fighting off the idea of becoming one of “them,” she rebels against being carted off to the palace Is it logical to accept… or will an acceptance break hearts?
The Selection by Kiera Cass | Book Review
Most of you probably know that I did read The Hunger Games earlier this year. I didn’t hate it but I also did not understand its draw. Just a mere twenty pages into The Selection, and already I’m far more enamored with this story than by Collins’ bestseller. Not only is the story more compelling but it also boasts a passionate heroine. Does she fall into some of the clichés of teenagers with an attitude? Absolutely! But at least, she takes action! (The more I think about it, the more I realize Katniss had the personality of a wooden pole. Sorry, fans) America is far from perfect and is sometimes downright annoying but above all, at least she reacts. She cries and has fits of anger instead of nothing.
What draws me to this story is how it aspires to be one thing – a coming-of-age story but winds up being oh-so-much more. It is a mixture of a fairy-tale (a little bit Cinderella with a smidgen of The Bachelor), an adventure (not in the usual method) and the cherry on top, futuristic. Some may be bothered that this takes place post-America. Although dystopian stories are not new to the world of fiction, this one isn’t just set in such a world, it actually makes reference to the world “before.” To read about our Country in a past tense – as if someday, everything we are proud to be a part of, proud about in our heritage, could be wiped away.
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Cass’ writing is rich in romantics and a love triangle that shouldn’t be such a dilemma. Like THG, this includes a boy from home vs. the wealthy prince. Although, this story doesn’t put such a battle in America’s heart. Her internal struggle is not new but it seems genuine given the material. She had a choice to make: do right by her family and pursue a dream or put on hold everything she knows to give wings to her mother’s dream. For anyone who had reservations about HG’s propensity to force teenagers to kill one another for their survival, I loved that this one wasn’t a dictator nation in the same sense. The Selection was by choice and though there are times when America alludes to it being wise to partake in events, the people have options. That was perhaps the best thing about this book.
The Selection is an exquisite fairytale that will delight teen readers who are fans of fairytale re-tellings that though not flawless leaves us breathless for the sequel, The Elite.
Fun Fact: CW is currently developing a television series based on this material. Can I just say that I am beyond excited about it? The cast list includes Aimee Teegarden and William Moseley, who is set to play Aspen but would be better suit Maxon. But then, perhaps that is my biased opinion after seeing him once in a royal role as King Peter.
About the Book:
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Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 2012
Find the Book Elsewhere: Amazon | 5-Book ‘Selection’ Set (on Amazon) | Goodreads
Series: The Selection, Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Teen/YA, Fantasy, Dystopian
CONTENT: Though not explicit, America and her boyfriend “mess around.” She always references that they are “careful”; they cannot go too far lest it result in pregnancy. There are minor expletives though rare: da*n, he*l.