21 January 2014

The Selection

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Kiera Cass
Format: Paperback
Pages: 327
My Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (thanks, GR): 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.

My Thoughts: I do this really cute (and by cute, I totes ma-goats mean really damn annoying) thing where I read book after book and then not review them. Bizarre, right? Yeah, not in my life. Also, Kelsey drafted her review of this novel and told me (GUILTED ME) into posting mine. So if it's short... please forgive me. 

Kelsey also stole my "The Hunger Games meets the Bachelorette" line. Though, I think I saw that somewhere else. Okay, focusing now, I swear. That line literally sums up what I thought of this. Okay, so there's no death, but oh brother, can girls be catty. So, in the catty, girls are too mean to each other sense, this is totally like The Hunger Games. The Bachelorette thing basically describes the entire plot of this novel, which I actually think is really cool. I really like that it felt unique, and that it took dystopian to a new level that I haven't encountered before. 

There was definitely similarities to other dystopian novels that I've read before. There is a caste system, and our home girl America was one of the lowest ones. She and her "let's go to the tree house and make out but lets be clear we aren't technically together because that's now allowed because I'm a caste lower than you and I can't drag you into that life when you could have [not actually that much more] more than me" boyfriend are in one of those taboo relationships. Her parents would kill her if they found out about Aspen, despite the fact they like his family. Basically, in summary, Aspen = Gale in my books. Kind of Edwardian (totally going to change this definition to a character resembling Edward Cullen) in the sense that you can't be with me because you can't make your own coherent choices, and thus I must protect you from all the evils you aren't smart enough to understand. Okay, apparently I'm angry today. I digress. 

Maxon, however, I was really intrigued by. He's the Prince and the bachelor if we're going to stick with the whole Bachelorette thing. Beautiful girls from each caste are sent to him, and the way that the author sets it up, you totally expect him to be a douche.  But he really isn't. It just so happens, I really like this Maxon guy. He's patient, and cute, and realistic (in a total book way, not reality way). I understand why some people don't like him, because if the author hadn't tread with care, he would totally be some douchenozzle player. I mean, he gets the prettiest 24 girls in the country to play with and decide he wants to marry. Good thing Cass does him justice. Basically, in summary, Maxon = Peeta in my books. 

So, following the above logic, one would assume that America = Katniss. BUT NO. WRONG WAY, TURN AROUND IMMEDIATELY. America was my least favourite character, which sucks because she's the narrator. The plot kept me, not this shitty character. Seriously, girlfriend couldn't make up her mind to save her life. The one that instance that Kelsey and I talked about a lot was the fact that she was uber pissed off about having to participate in this contest, but she stopped to sign autographs of her "adoring fans" aka people that just learned of her existence because she may be the next princess. Anyway, America was seriously so flaky and that's such an ugly word, but I can't think of anything else. 

Final Thoughts: Basically, I read this for the plot. Not for America. Hahahahah, that sounds way dramatic. 


Reviewer: Kelsey
Rating: 7ish out of 10

Thoughts: This was kind of a guilty pleasure type of read. I didn't think that it was any kind of outstanding writing or plot or characters even but I did enjoy this novel a lot. I read through it rather quickly. It was an easy one. The plot was easy to understand and follow too. It wasn't totally original nor was it unoriginal. It was kind of average really. I did find, however, that it had some kind of hold on me. I didn't put it down until it was done.

I thought that it was sort of The Hunger Games meets the bachelorette. Take that however you wish.

Character wise...okay, I thought it was a bit of a mess. I'm not sure the author took all the time necessary to get to know her characters. I thought that America jumped all over the place. She wanted one thing then suddenly wanted something totally opposite. A little bit of this might not have been a problem but America does this suddenly and often. It was like character whiplash. I couldn't figure out who she really was. I also had a problem with Aspen. He was stupid. I'm tired of "we can be together" then "we can't", "we can", "we can't". Make up your mind.

I think that this novel had a lot of potential but it was lost somewhere. Maybe it just needed a little bit more work and polish. I don't really know. To me, it was missing that spark. It was missing what couldn't made it a great novel. I wish it could've been great.

Basically: I thought that it was a fast and easy read. I found that I wanted to finish it and I got a hold of the second one right away but this could never be my favourite novel. I thought that it lacked something and the characters were all over the place. This book doesn't really stand out to me and, if Kristen hadn't given it to me, I probably would never have picked it up off the shelf.

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