by Kiera Cass
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 24, 2012)
Buy the book: Amazon
The Selection: The Selection Trilogy, Book 1
By Kiera Cass
Narrated by Amy Rubinate
Publisher: Harper Audio
Length:8 hrs and 7 mins
Buy the audio: Audible
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.
At a Glance:
Although I'm not sure The Selection lives up to the hype, it was still an enjoyable read and an interesting story.
This is one of those books that I'm really glad I listened to on audio. I'm a fan of Amy Rubinate's voice, so when I saw she was reading this one, I immediately said yes, I want it. Amy does a great job with this story. Her voice is a little deeper and kind of throaty, which lends itself well to both female and male characters. I would say that she might have been a little too throaty/breathy this time, but for the most part, I enjoyed her reading very much. She doesn't have a lot of distinct voices, like some readers do, but I don't think that was an issue with this book, as there weren't many characters in a scene at a given time. Female and Male voices were easily distinguishable. Amy is definitely one of those narrators that I will be looking for in future audiobooks! You can listen to a sample here.
Middle of the Road:
It's funny because this book seems to be one of those that people either absolutely LOVED or absolutely HATED, and honestly I'm not sure why. I actually found The Selection to be a pretty good book, that I enjoyed, but that didn't really stand out as anything spectacular. I found myself thinking, "I wonder why they picked this book to be a t.v. show. Seems random." But, I guess in the reality t.v. world, we went from Survivor to The Bachelor, so it only makes sense to go from The Hunger Games to The Selection, right? Whatever the reason, I found myself enjoying this story despite the hype, and the bashing, and I'm glad that I decided to take the time to listen to it.
What a name, right? Just like the story itself, I didn't have any particularly strong feelings about America. She seemed to be kind of an "All-American-Girl" and was neither terribly exciting or terribly annoying. I liked her. It seemed like she was supposed to be this amazingly wonderful person that everyone fell in love with, and maybe that's because she was just an every-day girl. She spoke her mind, she didn't fawn all over the Prince, and she lived the way she wanted, without worrying about how she would look to others. She cared about people, no matter their status, and she didn't care if other people liked it or not.
The Romance/The Triangle:
I know I'm going to sound like a broken record, but the romance was good, not great. There is a love triangle, but I didn't feel really compelled toward either guy. I think this might have something to do with the fact that the build up to the relationship between America and Aspen takes place before the book begins, so they're already together. And the relationship between America and Maxon was more of a friendship growing into something more. I would say I'm definitely leaning more toward Maxon, but I wouldn't be broken up about either choice. I'm anxious to see what happens in the next book with the two of them, to see if I become more loyal to either guy.
I thought the storyline was pretty interesting. When I first heard that it was like The Bachelor, I have to admit, I didn't think I would even pick this one up. I'm just not a fan. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story was more than just a bunch of swoony girls going after the rich, hot guy. There's actually an underlying story here that is being set up, and I think it will end up being pretty good. I'm hoping that the future books will have a little more of the actual political unrest, and not just give small glimpses into the riots and rebelling that's going on behind the scenes. I wish that this one would have done that a little more, but maybe it's just being set up. I will say that there are a lot of flaws, and people can and have picked it apart completely, and I can't really argue with them, but still, there was something about this book that made it fun to read, at least for me.
Will I read book 2?
Yeah, I definitely will. Well....I'll most likely listen to it on audio also, since it was so well done. I can't say it's one I'm just dying for, but I'm eager to find out what happens next. Especially since this book ended on a massive cliffhanger.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins & Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (both for the feel of the competition)
- Language: Minor
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Violence: Mild
- Other Notables: Body image issues