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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.As a prelude to this, I am completely aware of the drama surrounding this book. It is why I took so long to get to reading this, but it is going to hold no sway over my review. This is solely based on my enjoyment of the book, and I will not be addressing the debacle after this...
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.
As a consummate dirty secret lover of The Bachelor, I knew I'd need to read this. I somehow have no shame in watching shallow women compete to be picked for five minutes of fame with a handsome, mostly lacking in personality man. It's a spectacle, and you just can't look away. That was The Selection in a nutshell!
There are certain elements of the book I could've done without or think needed expansion, but at the heart of this, I really enjoyed myself reading The Selection. Somehow, I was interested in the other girls and their motivations, generally liked America's love interests, and was quite invested in the outcome.
Problem is, there was so much potential for some really good social commentary that was just glossed over. Where The Hunger Games makes you acutely aware of the problems with our desensitized culture and the falseness of reality tv, The Selection really just glamorizes it. There's talk of rebels, but why are they rebelling? What do they hope to accomplish? It's meant to look like a mystery, but it just looks like poor plotting.
My hope for the coming books is that Kiera Cass can maximize on the potential she's created, that she can give the reader a reason to root for America's happy ending and a reason to care about the fate of Illea. All the same, if taken lightly, The Selection can be enjoyable and worth your time.