Kiera Cass-The Selection

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.
Hardcover, 327 pages  Published April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen (first published 2012)  ISBN  0062059939 (ISBN13: 9780062059932)
In a war torn country in the early years of being rebuilt. We have a monarchy and a caste system. Strict rules of who can marry whom, and what jobs each can hold, but mostly how much money you can make. America just so happens to be the right age at the right time when the Prince is looking for a spouse. Her invitation is a blessing for her household, but a horror for her personal life. Her heart is already taken, even though her chosen mate maybe from a lower caste and the reality of them marrying is slim. His choice to push her to apply, and better her family will get her to act.
America Singer is a talented musician and just so happens to be very pretty. A shoe-in for the competition, she makes the cut. But going to live in the Castle is beyond what she imagined it would be. Exciting, claustrophobic and frightening. Between the rebel attacks on the Castle and the time the Prince must spend in meetings, it’s hard to imagine he has time to fit in finding a wife. But he manages to spend alone time with all of the girls, narrowing it down to just 10 by the end of the book.
What caught me off guard with this story was how detailed the world building was. I was expecting just a competition for a husband, and girls being petty and drama-filled. But this story has depth, a lot of character growth and a world that is on the edge of falling into chaos. Of course, there is some drama and pettiness between the contestants, but so little that it’s not a huge part of the plot.
The Selection really surprised me and I found it a very entertaining to read. America was a thinker, always making smart decisions with the situations she was put in. Not only did I admire her for her perspective on things, but also the Prince. They did what most people don’t do enough … communicate. Honesty really is the best policy, and even when the timing may be off, their intentions were good. But without that bad timing, we wouldn’t have the same amount of suspense.
I am really excited to jump into the next book The Elite so see what happens as the competition gets down to the narrow last few contestants and the attacks against the Castle surely become more dangerous.

*This review was originally written for and posted on

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