Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

  • Title: The Selection
  • Classification: Young Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Dystopia/Fairy Tale Remake
  • Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 24, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062059939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062059932
  • Author's Website:

The letter read...

The recent census has confirmed that a single woman between the ages of sixteen and twenty currently resides in your home. We would like to make you aware of an upcoming opportunity to honor the great nation of Illea. 

Our beloved prince, Maxon Schreave, is coming of age this month. As he ventures into this new part of his life, he hopes to move forward with a partner, to marry a true Daughter of Illea. If your eligible daughter, sister, or charge is interested in possibly becoming the bride of Prince Maxon and the adored princess of Illea, pleas fill out the enclosed form and return it to your local Province Services Office. One woman from each province will be drawn at random to meet the prince.

Participants will be housed at the lovely Illea Palace in Angeles for the duration of their stay. The families of each participants will be generously compensated for their service to the royal family.

She didn't want to enter.
She was already in love.
The odds were not in her favor.
 Yet she was one of the selected.
The Selection could change your future.
The Selection could change your fate.
The Selection could change your fortune.
The Selection could change everything.


So I really enjoyed this book. I would describe it as Cinderella meets the Bachelor minus the wicked step mother. She's been replaced by a wicked competitor.

America Singer is from one of the lower caste families in the Kingdom. She's a very talented entertainer who can speak 3 different languages fluently and play several different musical instruments. When news starts to spread that the prince was looking to find his match among all the eligible single woman in the Kingdom ,she is encouraged to apply. The only problem is she has a boyfriend she is madly in love with. When he also encourages her to apply, she decides to humor everyone thinking her chances of being one of the handful of girls selected are slim. The upcoming Selection, however, brings home just how different America and her boyfriend, Aspen, are. She is of a higher class and a relationship between the two is forbidden. The strain caused by their two different castes soon begins to wear on their relationship, eventually leading to their break up. America is devastated. 

Upon the heels of their break-up,  it is announced she is among those who were selected. Everything changes, and she's soon whisked away to a competition which could change not only her life but that of her family's. If she becomes the Prince's chosen wife, she and her entire family will rise to the highest caste in the kingdom. But how's she supposed to compete for his affections when her heart has been smashed to pieces? Plus, as she starts to fill out some of the final paperwork  for the final phase of the competition, it appears there is a dark side that no one on the outside knows about...
"One more thing. This isn't exactly a rule, but if would be unwise of you to ignore it When you are invited to do something with Prince Maxon, you do not refuse. No matter what it is. Dinner, outings, kisses--more than kisses--anything . Do not turn him down."  

Prince Maxon was a delightful surprise. Handsome and smart his parent's managed to raise their son not to look down his nose at those of a lower caste. He's led a fairly isolated life thus far and the Selection is the only real means he has of meeting woman. Despite everything, he seems down to earth and to truly care about the Kingdom. When those around him talk, he listens. America soon comes to admire him and realize he'll make an excellent king. Her initial fears of what he'd be like quickly vanish, and she finds she truly likes him. Maybe more so than she ever thought possible. 

I loved how America manages to remain true to herself throughout the competition. I liked how she was up front with the prince and how she slowly starts to come to know him in the most bizarre of circumstances. I like how she makes him see and understand how parts of the kingdom work, parts that someone in his privileged position wouldn't usually see or know about. There is a twist later in the book that I wish she would have handled differently, but she was caught between a rock and a hard place. Not knowing how things would be handled if she divulged it to the prince. I can't help but wonder if keeping this information from him will cause things to end badly in Elite. 

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to see how things progress in Elite and already have it on pre-order. I may have to fight my daughter to read it first. She also enjoyed the book.

My visions of the castle (Photos found on photobucket):
 photo FantasyWallpapers-136_zps14421538.jpg photo DSCI0191_zps4ba38bf9.jpg photo drummond-castle-gardens-scotland-05_zpsb92744ed.jpg photo 9_zps2b70efeb.jpg photo 228e3865-c4fd-4688-ae5c-61715516c593_zps7711cebb.jpg photo DSCN0468_zpse7b6a57e.jpg photo DSCN1635_zps514e0078.jpg

Order of the Series:

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