The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection (The Selection, #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 327, Hardcover
Source: Audiobook
Rating: 3 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

For America Singer, life is defined by the cast she was born in to. As a 5, she, and the other members of her family, make up the artists and musicians of society. Money is tight and she must work hard, but she is happy with her life and what she has. In fact, she’s ready to spend the rest of her life with a 6, even though marrying down a cast is almost unheard of for women. 

As the Selection comes along, a competition of sorts from which Prince Maxon will choose a daughter of Iléa to marry, America has no desire to put her name into the drawing. But with pressure she concedes and is one of the 35 girls selected. Although America applied for all the wrong reasons, she has motivation to continue in the competition but falling for Prince Maxon is not part of the plan.

My Thoughts
I liked The Selection well enough for a light, fun read but it is first and foremost a romance and everything else just fluff. I thought the Selection itself could have been given more attention to add a bit of drama and excitement but most of the scenes with the other girls were rather tame and cordial. And then there wasn't really a steady sending-home of the girls. Maybe 10 went home throughout the story and then there was a massive cut at the end. It felt like Kiera Cass realized after 300 pages that practically all of the girls were still in the competition and needed a quick fix, reinforcing the lack of focus on this part of the story. 

In general, I found the first 2/3 of the novel better than the final 1/3. I liked the dynamic between America and Prince Maxon most in the beginning. America enters the Selection with a lot of misconceptions about Prince Maxon. In their first few encounters she is rather harsh to him but Prince Maxon just finds her amusing. They settle into some sort of mutual agreement and find friendship and comfort in each other which helps them grow close. But all of their progress hits a wall near the end and everything is left unsettled and complicated. Just when I thought things were going so well, Kiera Cass throws a sucker punch and the love triangle comes back full force. For the record, I am Team Prince Maxon.

It is probably important to reiterate that this is not a well-written, finely crafted novel. Not that it is  poorly written but the world-building, character development and sub-plots aren't that strong. Some of the descriptions and dialogue are cheesy. But I can continue to read and enjoy a book regardless if it can keep my attention, and The Selection did.

Wrap Up
Prince Maxon is really what saves this book from a lower rating. I just found him sort of adorable. I looked forward to the encounters between America and Maxon and was satisfied with the progression of events...until the end. I really felt like the end of the book was rushed and unconnected. It really left me feeling gipped. I can't imagine this series as a trilogy (otherwise, the next book will probably be painfully dragged out) so I hope The Elite concludes the story. 


  1. I have heard about this book but I have yet to read it. Thanks for your honest review! I think I will have to look for it the next time I'm at the library. At the very least is sounds like an interesting concept.

  2. I agree, I have absolutely no idea how this series will be as a trilogy. So far, it down to five girls I think? (I read this book a LONG time ago, so I don't exactly remember how many girls are left.) Is Kiera planning on making book two down to two girls then the third book will have the winner? Or will the last book be dedicated to the whole rebel situation instead?
    I hate when authors drag out their book into a series just for the money. ):


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