Release Date: Out now!
Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals . . .
It's the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.
Swept up in the world of a elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don't know is that America has a secret - one which could throw the whole competition . . . and change her life forever.
A big thanks to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
In a dystopian society where people are divided simply by numbers, for our main leading lady, America Singer, she is classified as a five. But that's not such a bad thing in her world. After all, while being a number five doesn't exactly mark her out to be special nor anyone privileged like your number one's and two's are, but her family aren't reduced to being mere servants and they have just enough to eat in the means of survival. Not like her handsome friend, Aspen, who is a six. As much as America wants her future plans to come true like they are suppose to, but her mother wants more for her daughter's life so when the opportunity arises itself, she convinces America to enter The Selection, a fierce competition where pretty girls compete for the heart of Prince Maxon and the crown of Illea. But unlike most teenage girls wanting a better life for themselves and for their families, America isn't the least bit interested in a rich, spoilt boy as her heart has already been set on her forbidden love for Aspen, a boy she so desperately wants to marry and share her life with. But when a devastating and heartbreaking event takes place in America's life which changes everything, she sees The Selection as her only escape from the reality she now fears the most. The question is: Will her heart always belong to Aspen or will America eventually fall in love with someone else of the unexpected?
The first installment in this YA trilogy, THE SELECTION, which is heavily marketed as the Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, has been one of the most unfairly criticized books by far in YA literature this year. Before even its release date, there has been so many negative and hateful reviews for this book alone and it'd really put me on the edge to say the least. It made me quite mad actually if I'm being honest with you here. I mean, I almost didn't read this book because of such reviews and this so-called 'controversy' that happened between the author herself and her agent had also put me off, but secretly it also made me want the book even more and more! So thank you dear readers for your opinions because I absolutely adored this book to pieces! Literally . . . I LOVED IT and I cannot even fathom why so many readers disliked this book so much. I honestly saw nothing - I repeat nothing - wrong with it. Sure there wasn't too much world-building in some regards of the book, but who the hell cares when you have a captivating, romantic storyline with such a variety of characters that you will love and form some connection with! I'm truly speechless here as I write this review because I am so in love with this book right now!
As far as main heroines go, THE SELECTION's America Singer was one of my all-time favourites this year of 2012! In the past I've read reviews where some readers called our America bland, disinteresting, sometimes selfish, and almost 'too much like' Twilight's Bella Swan (c'mon people please she's nothing like her!) but personally I would call her strong and completely ordinary because immediately I liked her when I met her and she . . . well, she felt like someone you would meet in real life - someone who is just like you and me, you know? - and I liked that certain connection that I had with her. The same connection was the same with her two love interests as well, Aspen and Maxon, whom were just as interesting as the main heroine was. After all, neither of them acted the way I thought they would when I first met them and in the end they both actually made me feel differently towards each of their character's which was a pleasant surprise.
Regarding the love interests and what they had to offer up to the storyline, I still think it's rather unfair to judge and choose a side between the two boys since Aspen, the boy whom you will first meet in the book, didn't exactly have a large part in the book - if not at all - though I can see there's definitely some hottie potential there for him in the works. But since Aspen didn't get much of the spotlight, even though he's awesome in his own kind of way and can be a bit a jerk at times, I have to say Prince Maxon had me totally swooning over to his team of many fangirls (for the meantime at least) and I say sign me right up baby to The Selection! Along with America's feelings towards him I too wanted to hate his guts like she did, but Prince Maxon was someone you shouldn't judge by first glance because he was a prince charming for sure and he left a huge impression on me. A HUGE one! Sure Maxon may have been a bit naive about his kingdom and of the people living within it, but with this sweet and vulnerable side to him that is eventually shown to our America and the rest of the girls, Prince Maxon totally turned out to be everything and if not more than I wanted from his character originally, and I can see why so many readers want him so badly for themselves. He was really, really something!
Overall, THE SELECTION was one of those reads that surprised me in every possible way and it left such a huge smile on my face due to this surprise! It only goes to show not to trust those negative reviews out there (hey, haters gotta hate), where people are trying to put an author and their book down . . . because I absolutely adored this book! While this book is not for all readers, I admit this, but if you love a book filled with beautiful things, reality tv-like aspects, dystopian societies and heart-pulsing romances leaving you questioning everything in Kiera Cass's world, then this book is most certainly the book for you! It certainly was for me!
Also before I forget, a big thank you to the author, Kiera Cass, for this mind-blowing debut novel of hers because I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her sequel, not to mention I can't wait until CW's tv show adaptation of her novel gets to see the light of day because really . . . I'll be right there waiting at the tv screen with popcorn at the ready and a crazy-ass smile on my face . . . so you can definitely count on that from me!