Review Preface: I would like to begin this review with a preface, to bring up the fact that I read this book because of a negative review. I know everyone is always interested in these tidbits, so I’m stating honestly that I requested this book from Amazon Vine because of what I read in this negative review. The things stated by the reviewer, I thought I would actually like. Now, I DID NOT like the drama that occurred around this particular review, but it drew my attention to the book and made me want to judge for myself. And that is one half of my two cents…the next half:

 

PJV Quickie: I’m equal parts delighted and sad. Delighted that I got to read ‘The Selection’ as an ARC, yet sad that I will have to wait that much longer to read the second book. Why do I do this to myself? ‘The Selection’ was everything that I could have hoped for. It was as if Kiera Cass took every part of my favorite young adult dyostpians and made them into the perfect ‘guilty pleasure’ book.

Review

I was lost from page one. This was one of those books. I just couldn’t put it down. I kept reading and reading and I got to the end and I wanted more! Kiera Cass introduces us to a world that could very much be real. A world of caste systems and royalty that combine a weird sort of reality show with a selection to become a princess. We are introduced to America Singer, she is what is known as a five, from the artisan caste, little better than a servant. I could completely relate to America, because I would be in her caste — “Make something pretty for me artist…” my rich patrons would say.

It is a struggle for America’s family, to eat, to survive, yet everyday they perform for their “betters”, the elite of the world, born into luxury and power. Yet, for all the women her age there is a chance to move up, to become a princess, to be a part of The Selection. But, out of all the women asked to apply, America is probably the only one that doesn’t want to become a princess, she doesn’t want the love of a Prince, because she is already in love and can’t see a life any different from the one she’ll have with him. Even if it means starving and barely scraping by, she will choose love.

Kiera Cass has created a very interesting world, she has blended current social issues into a very believable future. Cass’s world might not be as dark and horrific as others in the young adult dystopian genre, but the struggles are the same. Yet, within it is the one girl and a chance to be a princess, something most of us want deep down inside, ever since we watched our first Disney movie. It might seem trite, superficial or materialistic, but to me it was just refreshing and a bit of a guilty pleasure. When reading dystopian sometimes you can be weighted down with the sheer enormity of the situation the hero or heroine finds themselves within, that the world has just gone mad and you are there to witness this life and death struggle. ‘The Selection’ was not like this. Not to bring up Disney again, but if they were to make an animated princess dystopian — this would be the one. Hopefully you won’t be disappointed.

At the core of it is America Singer and the great character that Cass has created. You’ll fall in love instantly, or at least I hope you will. Her internal struggle left me conflicted, her family left me touched. It was a great book and I can’t wait to read more from Kiera Cass.

I mentioned above that it was like all my favorite dystopians rolled into one, here is the break down:

It had the battle among the lower class like ‘The Hunger Games‘, yet these ladies weren’t fighting for their lives, but the prince.

It had the internal struggle of ‘Wither’, the comfort before family and vice versa. It also had the sequestered female bonding that ‘Wither’ expounded on.

It had the separation of a young girl from her family and thrust into a world so very different but reassuring, much like ‘Divergent’.

Then it had the dirt poor lower “class” girl, capturing the love of royalty, much like ‘Cinder’.

Just a great mix! If you liked the above books, you’ll love ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass.

 

Recommendations:

Recommended for teens 13+ because of mature themes and some sexual talk, but only in reference, nothing engaged. Fans of young adult contemporary romance could use this as an introduction into dystopian and should enjoy. The core of this book is romantic and about love, but the main theme is a girl’s coming of age story.

Like This, Like That:

Cinder‘ byΒ Marissa Meyer
Delirium‘Β  by Lauren Oliver

411 on The Book:

Cass has sold her option and the CW is now piloting ‘The Selection’ (imdb is labeling it a TV Movie), you can see the entire casting process on Kiera Cass’ news section of her website. Ethan Peck who I loved on ’10 Things I Hate About You’ will be playing the Prince and Aimee Teegarden (who I’ve never seen in anything but is awful pretty) is playing America.

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