Kiera Cass’ The Selection has been getting a lot of buzz, both positive and negative. I know a lot of readers have removed the book from their lists due to some of the drama, but I still wanted to give the book a chance. After all, drama is drama and a good book is a good book. Now, in general I was a little wary to read The Selection because it’s another book that’s being compared to the Hunger Games series, as well as “The Bachelor”, which I think is a rather ridiculous show. But as soon as I began reading, I immediately was hooked. I’m actually surprised by how much I ended up loving this book!
America was one of the first things to draw me into the story. Ms. Cass has written a headstrong, vulnerable, and extremely likeable character. I don’t think there’s a single instance when I disliked America, which is quite the accomplishment on the author’s part since a lot of YA leads can get annoying. This isn’t to say that America is a perfect person, though. But her flaws aren’t glaring; they’re authentic and come across smoothly. I really admire her desire to ensure her family’s happiness and safety, too.
Right off the bat, I was in love with Aspen and was rooting for him and America’s relationship. They contrast and compliment each other so well that it’s hard not to like him. But then Prince Maxon enters the picture and I found myself on his team, too. He’s such an awkward, caring person that he really does embody the fantastical role of a prince.
America does start to develop feelings for Maxon, but the romantic plot stays away from the cliché love triangle seen in many books. I, for one, was glad Ms. Cass didn’t take that route. Instead, America acknowledges her conflicting feelings, accepts them, and continues living her life, not centering it around her feelings. And Aspen and Maxon handle the situation rather nicely, too, which helps keep the cliché away.
Now, I will say that from what I know about “the Bachelor”, the comparison is fitting, but not in a bad way. I really enjoyed seeing the Selection play out and the drama that ensues between the girls. It made me think of high school and how catty some girls can be.
Also, I can see where the Hunger Games comparisons are coming from, but this book stands on its own. Much like any dystopian story, there are social castes, starvation, and a flawed government. Ms. Cass manages to weave in details about the society and its history in careful and seamless manners.
All in all, The Selection is a book worth reading. With a clever, yet personable narrator, two fantastic male leads, and an exciting game of love, this book has it all. Ms. Cass keeps the tension high, the drama exciting, and the romance sweeping with the skill and ease of a seasoned writer. As much as I’m looking forward to book two, I’m even more excited for the TV show!
So, if you’ve had your doubts about The Selection, put them aside and read it. You’ll be glad you did.