10507293The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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.  – Goodreads

Review:

After not one but two of my BFFs told me “ASHLEY READ THIS SERIES THIS IS A SERIES FOR YOU.” I have decided to give it a shot. Thanks library for your audiobook.

The Selection starts out easy enough. America Singer, lives in a caste system and has a chance to get out of the lower caste system. Of course America doesn’t want out of the system, she enjoys her life, her family, and the boy that she’s in love with, Aspen. A line that sets the feeling of the world she lives in is:

I hope you marry for love, and not a number.

That stayed with me throughout listening to The Selection and how much the caste system stayed with them. There seems to be two types of people in this world. Those who want to be chosen and those who just want to live without being part of the party. While America signs up (because of her mom), she has no interest in marrying the Prince. She just wants to be with Aspen, even though part of her knows that will never happen. Of course, it’s no surprise to the reader that America is chosen for the competition. America obviously does not care. She isn’t even putting that much effort into it, she’s actually just being herself, which is actually working in her favor when it comes to the public.

While America is dreading the thought of this game show spectacle and arranged marriage, Prince Maxon is fine with it. His parents met this way and they are perfectly happy. What I enjoyed was Prince Maxon calling America out on her bullshit, particularly when she doesn’t even try. I mean, day two the Prince asks if she has feelings for him. DAY TWO.  I am all for love at first sight, and believe in it when it comes to me and a particular banjo playing hipster musician, but that is not the point.

What I found interesting was the dynamic between all the girls, and of course the dynamic between the Prince and America. The Prince, of course, knows just about nothing about the life in his country. The fact people have gone hungry is a shock to him. A legit shock. While I found use of particular tropes overrated, I did enjoy that the Prince and America seemed to organically fall in love. It wasn’t forced, there was a friendship, there was even jealousy. Although it has been used before, it was still nice to read.

The two of them are always there for each other, what America doesn’t expect is people from her past to appear at the castle and rock that friendship her life to the core. This book is nothing special and that is probably why I enjoyed it. It does have its problematic moments, and I believe if I would have read it instead of listening to it as an audiobook I probably would have quit. The narrator was A++ which helped me not quit.