Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Rating: 5 glasses of wine

I read a lot of good reviews about the Selection and now I can finally say I know what everyone else is talking about. Before I read this book I told myself I am done with dystopia, love triangles and vampires. Well…this book has the former 2 of the 3. For hearing so much about the book, I clearly still didn’t know what it was entirely about when I picked it up so let me tell you a little bit about it.

Futuristic dystopia set in IllĂ©a  formally known as the United States of America. Society is broken into 8 different castes and each caste is designated with a corresponding number 1-8. Here is a quick reference to get the idea: One = royalty, Eight = homeless. You are born into your family’s caste and you must do a job that fits within your caste’s roles. If you are a Five then you are expected to be an artist, musician, sculpture, singer, etc. There are only three ways you can move into a high caste:

1.) Buy Your Way Up - If you make enough money, which is unlikely because the lower your caste is the less money you make, then you can buy your way into the next highest caste and slowly work your way up the totem pole.
2.) Marriage – To my knowledge when a couple marries the wife moves into her husband caste but not the reverse.
3.) Get Drafted – If you are a male and you are drafted into the military then you are automatically made a Two.
A notice is sent out that there is to be a selection to help Prince Maxon find a bride. They are selecting 1 young woman from each province in a random drawing that turns out to be not so random. Picture the TV show the Bachelor being filmed in a castle and the bachelor is a prince and there you have the premise for the Selection.

The female protagonist, America, is a Five but she is in love with Aspen and he is a Six. She is an idealist and believe they can make their relationship work despite their class differences. America doesn’t want to enter the selection however Aspen tell America he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if she didn’t enter since she might always wonder what if. Then, her mother pesters her and makes her a deal she can’t refuse so America doesn’t see the harm since what is really the chance she will get picked? Wrong!

Aspen ends up breaking up with America because he feels like he can’t provide for her. Then America’s name is drawn for the Selection and she figures the castle will be a good place to mend her broken heart away from Aspen while earning some money for her family. The contestant’s family receives a check for every week they remain in the selection. She has no intention to fall for Prince Maxon, but he is Prince Charming wrapped in a big, red bow. America and Maxon become friends and then they start flirting with the line of friendship.

The Selection kept me captivated from the beginning to the end. It is an intriguing tale that left me wanting more…so much so that I started reading book two, the Elite through Amazon’s preview option during my lunch hour since I didn’t have it on hand. Yes, it is a dystopia and it has a love triangle, but so what. This is a uniquely crafted dystopia and when a love triangle is done right, like this, it is a real treat.

Have you read The Selection? What did you think of it? Are you Team Aspen or Team Maxon?

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