Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: The Selection

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: So when I first read the synopsis for this I was like "Gee, a teenage Bachelor."  In essence this was true, but the Selection is SO MUCH BETTER.  I devoured this in almost one sitting.  That engrossing.  I had to force myself to go to sleep.

What the U.S. has become is just as crazy as any other dystopian novel.  And yes I said dystopian.  You wouldn't think so from the cover would you? Wrong.  It's almost as bad as medieval caste systems.  People are split into numbers from 1-8, 8 being the lowest.  You are born to that number, do the trades associated with that number and that's what you are stuck in for life.  Girls can marry up through the caste's but that's about it.  If you're in love with a guy below your caste, you will move down, he won't move up.  It's all incredibly whacked.  There is also no birth control available for the lower classes, so there are more mouths to feed and they're near starving.

America is a 5, the artisan class.  She's a music performer, singing and playing many different instruments.   When the Selection comes up, the last thing she wants to do is sign up.  She's madly in love with Aspen, who is a class below her.  But America doesn't care about class and believes that she and Aspen will truly be happy no matter what.  They've been secretly dating for two years, and she thinks that Aspen is about to propose.  To appease Aspen and her family, she signs up for the Selection.  Never did she expect she'd actually be picked.

America is uprooted from her life and put into the biggest round of matchmaking in the country.  She's up against 34 other girls for the hand of Prince Maxon.  Little do they know that America doesn't want to win anyone's hand and has no intention of actively participating.  America however is torn.  She doesn't want to compete for Maxon's hand, nor does she want to go home to face Aspen, so America and Maxon settle on a compromise.  America will be the friend Maxon never had in this madhouse, and Maxon will keep her in the competition as long as possible so she doesn't have to go home.  It's a wonderful plan, until that is, they both start to fall for each other in the process.

I absolutely adored Maxon. Take the cutest most adorable puppy in the world and turn him into a prince, you have Maxon.  He's so terribly sheltered, but a complete gentleman.  Despite his strict upbringing, he has a good sense of humor and teases America.  He is just the nicest guy I have ever come across in a YA book.  I loved him to death! And I liked Aspen too! OMG, this is the second review, in one day no less, where I didn't mind the love triangle.  *gasp* Aspen seemed like a genuinely good guy too.  Despite his douche bag move towards America "to protect them from heartache" blah blah blah, he was not a bad guy.  And then when he showed back up in the story I was internally screaming.  Nnnoooooo.  He ruins the nice budding feelings America is having for Maxon and screws everything up! Totally frustrated.

Despite all the romance, there is actually more to the plot.  The Rebels.  Oh how I want more of them.  I sense big foreboding plot twist that is gonna just rip the carpet right out from under our feet.  I am awaiting it with glee.  As for the ending I about threw the book in frustration.  No, no cliff hanger.  I was just so engrossed that when I realized I was on the last chapter I about screamed in frustration.  I wanted MORE. That right there is a testament to just how much I liked this novel.  I cannot wait for the sequel! And the CW adaption.  I freaked when I found out about that too.  *evil laughter* So yes, loved it!


Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

Hahaha this book sounds AWESOME. I was a little wary of the book since it is a teenager bachelor but I figure even if the romance isn't really for me I'll still get a good laugh out of it! Hopefully I'll like the love triangle like you did! :D

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Although I loathe reality TV, I am a sucker for the concept of The Bachelor and can't wait to read this book. I'm really in the mood for some good romance.