The Selection Kiera Cass,
The Selection Kiera Cass,
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Teens and YA.
I’m an eclectic reader and like to chop and change genres, as I find that way each book feels fresh to me. I don’t read a lot of YA fiction, but sometimes I just want something easy to read, a story to relax and enjoy without too much deep thinking and a good YA provides that. Though I’m rarely attracted by a cover – put off very often… but not easily persuaded into reading by one, the cover on this one, those wonderful dresses, caught my eye and made me look further. It sounded a fun read and though its a trilogy all three parts are out. That’s always a bonus as I HATE waiting for further instalments, I want to read all the story back to back while it and the characters still feel fresh and real to me.
So, we meet America and her family, get an intro into the dystopian world this book covers, and get to meet all the Selection girls, along with Prince Maxon and his parents. Its a strange set up – girls between certain ages submit photo and info, and 35 are selected to stay at the palace for months until finally they’re whittled down and the Prince chooses one for his bride. It seems odd in a way, and yet there are still many countries and religions that rely on arranged marriages, and at least this way he has some choice. The girls too don’t have to take part. Even here in UK we like to think our Royals have freedom when it comes to romance and marriage and yet – they only move in certain circles because of security, and if by chance the heir to the crown wanted to date some everyday person, a waitress from a council estate for example, I have absolutely no doubt he’d be swayed away from her at the first opportunity, so there’s no realistic chance he’d marry her even if they could be perfect for each other, soul mates, in love….So then this doesn’t seem so far fetched.
The Caste system too is not unlike those in many countries today, and even in western “classless” countries there’s actually a real unwritten class system working. Jobs go on who one knows very often, old school and uni friends, men’s clubs, ladies groups, and though in theory all are welcome if one doesn’t fit the image then the welcome is shallow, and that person would probably leave realising that the group is not for them.
I enjoyed the story, felt for America in her dilemma of Aspen and the caste system, versus the fact that being chosen would bring a huge and very much needed financial benefit to her family, as the families of those chosen get money while the girls stay at the palace. There were times when even though her family were fives, three up from the bottom, they still had to choose between food and heating….and castes are fixed to what you are born into unless you marry down. Aspen is a six, they struggle constantly for money, work all hours, and if they marry she’ll be a six too then. Not something her family will like. So reluctantly she applies, gets chosen, and the story moves to the Palace, the girls, and the first parts of the selection. We learn more about the others, some are sweet, and some – the notorious Celeste, are outright cruel in their determination to be the chosen one. Maxon seems a bit stiff and stilted when we first meet him, it seems he’s been allowed very little freedom and the whole situation with girls is something he’s unused to. He’s attracted to America, but she’s still hurting for Aspen, and when she explains this to him they agree to be friends. He badly needs one, and they begin to see more of each other in less formal situations.
Its a fun read, easy to follow and with a typical teen/early twenties girl drama and jealousies. America finds that she’s becoming attracted to Maxon, which confuses her, and when he’s with one of the others she can’t help but feel a bit down. There’s some true Bit ch girl manipulations, and lots of angst and dramatics. I’m keen to read part two now, which fortunately I have on my kindle already Winking smile
Stars: Five, it’s a light and fun read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers