Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.

While The Selection is being buzzed about as being “like” The Hunger Games, the similarities are far and few. Sure, there is a lottery to choose who is “lucky” and then paraded around in their finest clothing, but in my opinion that’s where they end. On that note, there are other books/stories that have similar stories – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, being the most standout in my head.

The Selection is more of a sort of Cinderella-type story than a dystopian. At times I forgot their world was even considered dystopian and instead was swept up into the world of fancy dresses and dreamy princes. I love reality-show type books, and that’s just what The Selection was to me, just without the cameras. Kiera has stated in the past that the inspiration for The Selection was Cinderella and the Book of Esther.

The ladies are each competing for a chance to marry the handsome prince and then be queen. America, our heroine, loves someone back home and is determined to stay in the castle as long as possible to forget him. The longer she stays, the more she discovers a side of Prince Maxon she likes. Meanwhile rebels are routinely attacking the castle, some are viciously violent and others just seem to like causing a bit of havoc. The rebels add in a dash of fear that make The Selection a fascinating read. Add in pretty fancy dresses (that cover…swoon!) and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed.

The Selection isn’t going to be for all dystopian fans. It’s much too light, but at the same time it’s a book that could very likely bring non-dystopian fans into the genre gently. It reads more like a contemporary at times and that’s pretty enticing. If you haven’t already heard the CW has picked up The Selection as a new TV show, so I’m excited to see how it turns out.

I received my copy of The Selection in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.

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  1. Oh the Selection was so cute!!! And I agree it has more of a Cinderella story than Dystopian but I liked this mix!! I found the story cute and light! My only problem was Prince Maxon, I wished he would have been a little more edgy and shining, he was more of a boy than a man…

    AndYEAH for CW making the TV show, they always do an amzing job and I’m excited to see it on the screen!

    • Amanda says:

      He was a bit immature, but I kind of figured that his lack of female interaction was the reason.

      Either way I’m sure the CW will take and make him more of a bad boy. It’ll be fun!

  2. Laine says:

    I loved that cover, but Ive heard mixed reviews about this book, thanks for your great review! I dont know if I am still anticipating this book now. But thanks for sharing. Amanda. x


    • Amanda says:

      I really enjoyed it, but it’s definitely not for everyone! I think if people are aware it’s NOT pure dystopian going in they’ll be more apt to like it though.

  3. I think there is place in the ever growing Dystopian genre for some of all types. I think there will probably be some more lighter fair as the genre grows :) GREAT REVIEW!

    • Amanda says:

      Definitely! And different types will pull more and more fans to the genre. The super violent ones aren’t going to be for everyone, neither will the light ones. But that pull might open the genre up to others.

  4. Andrea @The Bookish Babe says:

    What a nice review. I’ve heard either gushing praise or scathing reviews of this one. I think if people would stop comparing it (and every other book) to The Hunger Games, it would fare better. I think I would probably enjoy this one. I will definitely check it, and the show, out.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. :)

      I think the comparisons will never end. Just like all vampire books are compared to Twilight. *shakes head* Maybe one day people will learn.

  5. kimba88 says:

    Glad to hear you thought of Cinderella too.. i enjoyed this one! excellent review :)

  6. Cathy says:

    This has been on my wishlist for the longest time. I really don’t think i would probably see it as a hunger games because they just look too pretty for that. Can’t wait to read this book. Really great review.

  7. Well, that’s a nice concept, breaking in non dystopian readers gently. I think you’re right about that. Still not sure if this book is for me, but the reviews I’ve been reading for it sure are interesting because they vary so much.

  8. tnx for the honest review
    i do love Cinderella
    on my wishlist for some time

  9. I’ve been debating reading this for a while. I don’t know if I’d enjoy it since I’m not a reality TV fan really…However, pretty dresses entice me.

  10. Molli says:

    I really agree with your review, Amanda – I was sold on all the pretties and the cover, too. I almost feel like the comparisons to The Hunger Games are setting extremely false expectations, because these books are vastly different, and both great, but …different. That said, I really did like The Selection, a lot more than I thought I would. I think it would be a GREAT first dsystopian read for young adults!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  11. Melissa says:

    This sounds like such a sweet fun read…sometimes one needs a break from all the darkness in regular dystopians!

  12. I definitely see Cinderella and Esther in this book (those were two stories I thought of while reading) and I think that helps explain why this guilty pleasure was so delicious for me! That and the very easy writing and the fact that I prefer lighter stories to gritty dystopias.

    • Amanda says:

      I love both! I think there’s definitely a place for both, too. Not everything needs to be happy, but not everything needs to be so grim either.

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