Author: Kiera Cass
Year: April 2012
series The Selection #1
The Selection by Kiera Cass is an absolutely girly book with all the excitements of first love and first break-up. The sharing between girls, the competition for the coolest guy in school and more and more emotions, experienced when you are a teen. Although the novel is advertised as a young adult dystopia, the totalitarian world built by Kiera Cass is more like a décor than real part of the plot. The story take place in the future on the territory of today’s USA, now a monarchy called Ilea. The new kingdom is divided by 8 casts and they don’t mix as every lower cast is poorer than the previous. When the prince of Ilea is mature, he must choose his wife from a lottery in which all the girls from the kingdom participated. Each girl receives an invitation to take part in the lottery and 35 are chosen by luck, and compete for the heart of the prince. The leading female character is America and her mother makes her participate in the lottery. Despite that, America didn’t believe that she could be chosen but surprisingly her name is among the 35 drawn from the lottery. Now she has to go to the palace against her wish. From now on the plot concentrates on America’s thoughts and feelings as she is torn between her first love Aspen and the new emotions toward prince Maxon. Aspen broke-up with America just before the start of the lottery in order to give her a chance for a better life since he is from a lower cast. There is no surprise that America and Maxon will fall in love and there will be a love triangle.
If you are expecting to see further development over the political regime in the kingdom, the cast system or the rebels, then you will be seriously disappointed. Although the idea is original, for some reason, Kiera Cass didn’t develop it any further. And that way the anti-utopian effect in the novel is lost. I have to stress that the participation in the lottery is free so there is no drama about that and the competition reminded me very much of the TV show “The Bachelor” which evidently inspired the author.
Kiera Cass emphasizes over a typical girl’s emotions and while I was reading I felt like the story took place in some school for young ladies. The story has all that elements – the mean beauty, the beginning of the real friendship and overall the awareness of yourself. The last one is the biggest advantage of the book. The message is clear, be you and don’t copy your favourite stars just to be popular. America is the real embodiment of the girl who has an opinion and don’t follow others values and ideas. This of course is the reason why Maxon felt in love with her.
The Selection is for girls, especially the ones who still are searching their place in school and after reading it will reconsider the stupid rules for being among the so called coolest people. But if your years as a teen are over or are expecting some real anti-utopia novel, you better choose another book. I always try to be objective in my reviews so in the end I think that the novel is just the right for its meant target.
Official book trailer