Original Title: The Selection
Year Published: 2012
Published by: HarperTeen (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Number of Pages: 336
First Sentence: “When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.“
Goodreads Rating: 5/5
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.
I really enjoyed this book. I will say that I was hesitant about it since the premise of the book is a competition where girls fight to become the wife of a prince. But it is so much more than that. Yes, the competition is a huge part but it is not front and centre. Instead, the book is about strong and diverse women, and about friendship and families.
I really enjoyed America as a character. She was a tough girl without being demeaning to the other girls. Even the girls she disliked she tried to be nice too. And although ll the girls could have been absolute assholes to each other and constantly tried to manipulate each other, they didn’t. Yeah, there was some foul play but mostly they tried to only focus on themselves and win by enhancing their own strengths, not by trying to manipulate and try to scare the other girls.
Maxon was such a sweetheart! I absolutely loved him. He was kind to the girls and was well aware of the fact that a competition wherein he was to pick his future wife, was not the most ideal way of meeting the girl with which he was to spend the rest of his life. But instead of being selfish and all “woe is me”, he knew that it wasn’t and ideal situation for the girls either and that most of them might not want to be there.
The plot was actually quite fun. This is a book set in a dystopian future where people are divided by class. It has Hunger Games vibes but without all the killing. There is a good balance of intrigue and world building, and although not too much happens in this book (apart from the beginning of the competition and some other things) it never gets boring. It sets the stage for the next book and also gives you a good idea of why the world now looks like it does. Really enjoyed it.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do!
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