Series: The Selection #1
Published by HarperTeen (4.24.2012)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook, 336 pages
Source: I own it
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 had been wanting to read this for a while, yet at the same time dreading it because while I was intrigued, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be a me book. Actually, I was quite sure I was going to hate it, but curiosity about the hype eventually won out. Surprisingly, I didn’t hate it like I thought I would, but I wasn’t all that impressed, either. I felt very ‘meh’ about everything. I didn’t care about the characters or the story. I read it with a passive disinterest.
The worst part of this book is definitely the world building. Other than that, it honestly wasn’t that bad. (Or at least, not nearly as bad as I thought it would be!) There was mention of a fourth World War, but no details whatsoever. There were a couple of times were they were watching the King and he “gave a brief update on the war” and that was all we got about it. Um, how about elaborating? That’s such a cop out, and in my opinion it’s just lazy writing. The biggest snippet of world building we get is that the United States owed China a bunch of money, so they invaded and took over, renaming the US the “American State of China.” The names of places were meshed together – like “Honduragua” – but it was all very confusing. A map would have been fabulous. The lack of world building made the story feel very flimsy and unconvincing. I couldn’t get a grasp on the world, so it wasn’t realistic in my mind.
Then there was the love triangle. The complication and drama was kind of a turn off for me, but surprisingly it didn’t ruin it. Probably because I didn’t really care! I didn’t like Aspen, but I didn’t care much for Maxon either. They were both so bland that I couldn’t feel anything for either of them. Maxon was too nice in my opinion, which made him boring to me. And Aspen was stupid and gave her up for ridiculous reasons, so I didn’t like him much at all. I found America to be very bland too and had trouble connecting to her.
Like I said, it wasn’t a bad story. There was a lot of drama though – it was kind of like reading about one of those reality shows, which aren’t really my thing. This book is fluff, and while I enjoy fluffy stories every once in a while, I’m sad to say that this one didn’t do anything for me.
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5
This is the type of book everyone hates, but talks about – and it makes me curious. I want to pick it up and just see for myself how it is, but at the same time, I don’t want to pick up a book I know I’m not going to like. Ahhh, the struggles.
It does sound like this book had the potential to be good (or at least better) if the author would have put more thought and details into the word-building. Such a shame!
That’s the ONLY reason I picked it up, is because everyone talks about it. I would say still pick it up, just to sate your curiosity! I may not have cared much for it, but I’m glad I finally read it just to say that I have XD
I read this book for a book club and I think I felt the same way you did. It was so “meh”, considering all the hype when it came out. I heard that the rest of the series gets better and I see they have more books on the way.
This series is definitely a guilty pleasure for me. It’s so bad but I can’t look away–it’s like watching The Bachelor.
I was really disappointed in the world building. I wanted more dystopian elements instead of a girl who whines over who to love for 200 pages. America is one of my least favourite heroines ever (she even beats out Bella Swan I think).