My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Series: Book 1 of The Selection.
This review contains no spoilers.
I couldn’t even put this book down long enough to make any notes about it. I had heard a lot of things about it and almost all of them were good, but it was still romance which is not usually something I really enjoy. So I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about it, but I did know that I needed something to get away from Harry Potter for a while. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my Harry Potter Read-a-Thon is making me want to strangle dear Harry.
So I grabbed The Selection off my bookshelf and sat down to read. Two hours later I finished and sat on my couch knowing that 9 o’clock at night is far too late to run to the bookstore to buy book two.
Surely by now you’re asking: But I thought you didn’t like romance Camryn? I thought so too, but it seems that sometimes you can be wrong, and in this case I most certainly was. I have a theory on that though. Romance irritates me when its an unneeded addition to the story line, when it subtracts from a strong main character by saying ‘look she only needs a man,’ when it feels tacked onto the book. But when the romance is – like in The Selection – the main focus of the book it seems I don’t mind it quite so much.
The Selection can easily be described as ‘The Bachelor (which I have never watched) meets The Hunger Games (which I believe is a little overrated)’ and yes there are a lot of cliches, happy coincidences (Aspen showing up) but it plays well into those cliches and gives the audience what it wants.
Who do I think would enjoy this book? Honestly I think everyone who enjoys YA should give it a try. I typically don’t enjoy romance or dystopian but I enjoyed it. This is one of those books which I honestly only read because it was popular, but I’m glad I did read it.
Reading Progress and Updates
I didn’t make a lot of updates mainly because I couldn’t put the book down.
- 03/04 marked as: currently-reading
- page 97 29.0% “It’s always the third floor that’s off limits.”
- marked as: read
I was told by a trusted friend that I probably wouldn’t like America (and even though he’s not read it he has heard this from his trusted sources) but I found that I didn’t mind her. She wasn’t the best main character ever, but she wasn’t horrible certainly. I did at times get frustrated by her (particularly for her choices regarding the love triangle). If she really loved her family and wanted better for her siblings, then why shouldn’t she give up ‘true love’ with Aspen to make them happy?
I didn’t mind America as much as I thought I would, but I still liked Maxon more. He genuinely seemed to want to make a difference, and is one of the few love-interests I’ve not been fairly annoyed by in my reading experience.
A few mild spoilers: I liked Aspen more before he showed back up (but I was not at all surprised that he did because, you know, PLOT). I respected him for his choice to leave America and push her toward her chance to do something to better her and her family’s station.
On a side note: I can’t take any one named ‘Aspen’ seriously because its the name for the grading system at my school.
One of my very favorite characters was Marlee, a fellow Selected. She seems to be one of the few honest, trustworthy characters, but because I’ve learned not to always trust authors, I’m terrified of what will happen to her and what she will do in the future.
Can I just strangle her? I hated Celeste – as we are meant to – and I was so angry at Maxon for letting her stay even if she’s powerful and important.
It was very realistic that the Selection is rigged, but I thought it was sad that I picked up on that long before the characters did.
I liked when Maxon was justifying to America why he kept the girls he kept when he chose The Elite at the end. It seemed important to show him considering the wellbeing of his country.