10 March 2013

Review: The Selection

The Selection
The Selection by Kiera Cass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy crap this was good.

If someone told me that there was a book out there that was a mix of the politics and selection aspects of The Hunger Games with the ridiculousness of The Bachelor, I probably would have scoffed. That so many people were raving about this book, however, meant I had to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

The basics are that the prince of this future America is now looking for a bride, and tradition holds that all eligible young women of a certain age have the opportunity to be part of The Selection, where a number of the girls are chosen to live at the palace and get to know the prince, and he slowly narrows the group down until he finds the right girl. Our protagonist, also named America, is part of one of the lower castes and is in love with another boy, but applies to be part of The Selection in order to help feed her family, and surprisingly gets in. As things fall apart with her boyfriend, she moves into the palace and things get very interesting.

The book is great on so many levels. The concept behind it is fairly silly, and the book does a good job winking a bit at the entire idea. Even with that said, it's a simple, well-constructed world with the history and the arbitrary caste system, and the way the world got to be what it is tends to be more on the realistic side, which is a fascinating change of pace. America is a great character, the prince is exactly what you'd want, and there are a ton of little wrinkles along the way to keep this from being completely predictable.

This book, to me, fulfills the promise of the super-disappointing Matched. Too many of the current YA dystopia books have had disappointing sequels, as well, and knowing that book two is about six weeks away...I'm excited. Definitely worth your time and energy if you're looking for a lighter fluffy YA book.

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