Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Posted June 10, 2015 by Lola in Dystopia, Review, Romance / 24 Comments


selectionThe Selection (The Selection #1)
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 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 Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

After reading some mixed reviews I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to read this series, although I liked the cover and the concept and when i saw the book on netgalley I decided to give it a chance and see for myself what it was all about. I have to say I am glad I did as I really enjoyed The Selection. The Selection is a fun and enjoyable book and I just wanted to keep reading. I have to admit it was an addictive book and really enjoyed it.

The Selection is about main character America Singer, she lives in a dystopia future country where the prince chooses his bride through a selection. Every girl in the country is eligible and can submit themselves and then 35 girls are chosen to live in the palace and the prince chooses his bride from among those. It’s almost a fairytale story with how a poor girl gets the chance to become a princes. The plot might sounds a bit ridiculous but it was just so much fun to read about these 35 girls who all wanted the price and/or the crown and al the dynamics surrounding this. I had some expectations about this book and the characters that where quickly proven wrong. Like how the girls weren’t only there for the competition and some made friends. How America wasn’t there for the prince at all, but for her family. And how the prince wasn’t a stuck up rich guy, but someone who genuinely cared and for whom the selection was as hard as for the girl themselves.

So yes the main characters really is named America Singer, she is named after America and she does sing. I seriously had expected that her name would bother me lot, but as it’s told from first person perspective her name isn’t used that much. And there is even a story/ reason behind her name, beside the obvious. So the name didn’t really bother me as much when I was reading. America is a great main character, she loves Aspen and isn’t interested in the Selection, she doesn’t want to marry the prince, but eventually Aspen and her family convince her to sign-up and guess what she gets chosen. I liked how down-to-earth she was, she spoke her mind to the prince without being afraid of the consequences. She made friends with her maids and often preferred their company to the rest of the girls. She was nice to the other girls and didn’t feel entitles to anything as she knows what is to be poor and have hunger. It was refreshing. The side characters are nice, but it’s hard to really get to know any of the side characters as there are just so many of them, I am hoping that will be less of an issue in the next book as only 6 girls remain then. We do get to know Maxon who seems like a nice guy and wasn’t the stuck-up prince I expected, he was nice, even a bit shy and he was pretty open and honest with America which is the thing I liked most about their relationship. I also liked May, America’s younger sister, as she was just a fun and enthusiastic character.

The Romance was nicely done, while America loves Aspen that only plays a small part, some sad things happen between them, but it was obvious they cared for each other. It was harder for me to feel their romance though as we don’t really get their history they are already in love when the book start and while it was written well I still felt like we missed a piece. Then there is Maxon, America doesn’t expect to fall in love with him, but she is nice to him and they become friends and it slowly grows into more. It was nice to see and I liked how open America was to Maxon, especially at first, later that does change a bit. So yeah there was a love triangle, but it was done pretty well in my opinion. Both love interest have a different connection and past and even though I am pretty sure I know who she ends up with I am curious how she will end up there.

The world building is one of the few disappointing facts, but as I has expected this form previous reviews it didn’t bother me too much. Don’t read the Selection hoping for an intriguing dystopia world yes there are dystopia elements, but it really isn’t the focus. I was okay with the world building not being the focus, but in my opinion they better could’ve scrapped it at all and just focussed on the competition. the only piece of world building that really plays a role was the caste system. Then there are the rebel attacks, but it all felt a bit off. There are multiple rebel attacks and it’s supposed to be scary, but it was hard to care as we knew so little of the rebels and they never did anything. So yeah the world building was really weak and only the caste system played any role.

To conclude: this was a fun and enjoyable book and I just wanted to keep reading as I was really enjoying this book. The story is fun to read about with the girls competing for the prince his love. The characters are likeable and I especially liked America and how down to earth she was, she was just a genuinely nice person. I was also surprised by the prince and how he was actually a nice person. The romance is done well, there is a bit of a love triangle although I felt more of the romance between America and prince Maxon as we see that one building from the beginning. There isn’t much world building and I think they could’ve just skipped the whole attempt to make this a dystopia beside the caste system. I enjoyed the book and didn’t mind that there wasn’t much world building as it isn’t about that and it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment that we know little about the world. All in all an enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the rest of the books in the series.


You can add The Selection to your to-read list on Goodreads

You can buy The Selection here:
The Bookdepository

Can you ignore flaws in the story/ world building or other aspects you find important in a book and still give a book a high rating if you enjoy it a lot or does everything have to be great for a book to get a high rating?


24 responses to “Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

  1. I’d read mixed reviews about it too, glad you enjoyed it finally ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like a good original worldbuilding, however if the characters and the plot are excellent, I won’t mind if the worldbuilding is overlooked.
    Red Iza recently posted…Rainy Kaye : StifledMy Profile

    • The book was good enough and I didn’t even mind the world building wasn’t as done well. I am always a bit hesistant to start a book that has so many mixed reviews as I am not sure whether I will enjoy it or not. So I am glad I did enjoy it.

  2. I’m so glad you liked this one!!! That’s an interesting question you pose at the end there. I can definitely ignore some flaws in a story as long as it remains a) well-written and b) enjoyable–but that means that I’ll probably rate it lower anyway. If it’s worldbuilding though… I find it hard to look past that aha. Especially if it’s fantasy.

    Lovely review!
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Delicious-Looking 2015 Books To Come || Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015My Profile

    • well said! I usually can overlook some flaws, but it does matter what the flaw is. In this case the world building wasn’t really missing, but it’s more that the little world building there is feels a bit off. Everything else was good though, so I could mostly overlook the issue, although it would never get a 5 star. Although that’s also because it just misses that 5 star feel, it was a great book though.

  3. I loved this book! America and Maxon have so much potential together ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m with you on the world building. While it is considered a dystopian, at some parts it didn’t feel like one. I think this book focused on the actual Selection more than the dystopian setting. But it didn’t bother me too much. What did bother me was America’s name. ๐Ÿ˜› Like you, I’m so glad this was told in first person because imagine having to go through her name in third person. Haha. Lovely post Lola!
    Jillian @ Jillian’s Books recently posted…These Kinds of Writing StylesMy Profile

    • I agree America and Maxon have a lot of potential! Indeed it doesn’t really feel like a dystopia, I am happy I knew that the world building wasn’t as good before I started reading it, else I would’ve expected more. On the other hand like you said the focus isn’t on the setting, so the lack of world building didn’t really bother me a lot.
      Even though there was a reason behind her name it just felt weird she was called America, I am so happy it was first person else it would be annoying.

  4. I am a little ashamed to admit that I haven’t started this series yet. I even have the first book in the series sitting on my bookshelf, judging me. I’m glad you liked it so much! I have to admit that I haven’t read it for the same reason as you- the mixed reviews

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    • The good thing about starting the series is late is that now you can read the whole series after each other if you enjoy the first book. The mixed reviews made me hesistant, but I am happy I did read it.

    • I am the same, not always can I ignore flaws, but it really depends on the flaw and when I read the book. In this case a light, fun and enjoyable book was exactly what I was in the mood for and the world building wasn’t really missing. In some books it is really confusing without world building, but this book you could read even without knowing anything or little about the world if you wanted to.

  5. I’ve had this on my TBR list for ages and your review has prompted me to download the first one onto my Kindle. It sounds exactly like the type of book I love and I’m planning on reading it next week on holiday.

    I can overlook issues with worldbuilding if the rest of the book is good so that doesn’t really bother me.

    Thanks for the great recommendation Lola!
    Siobhan Davis recently posted…Review Be With Me (Wait for Me #2) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

    • I think you will like this one :). It was a great book and the whole 30 girls fighting for one prince plot was just so fun. The romance is well done. Let me know what you think of it when you get around to reading it ๐Ÿ™‚

      I usually can’t overlook world building issues, but in this book there was just so many things I enjoyed that I didn’t mind. It also it more the case that there is no world building necessary as the book isn’t about that and I was okay with that.

    • I agree the setup makes it sound like it won’t be a realistic romance, but more forced, but it totally isn’t. I think that’s what surprised me most and what I liked best. America was a great down-to-earth character and I liked how she wans’t planning on falling in love with Maxon.

  6. I could have SWORN I commented on this while I was up last night with Buffy… But there’s no comment so I bet I forgot to hit post. Anyway…

    Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I went into it with a lot of the same faulty expectations it sounds like you did & was also pleasantly surprised – particularly by both America and Maxon. The world building is light I agree – it’s getter in future books. And you’ll get to know the contestants fairly well in the Elite. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did ๐Ÿ™‚
    Berls recently posted…Even White Trash Zombies Get The Blues by Diana RowlandMy Profile

    • I checked my trash and there was your previous comments, seems you forgot to click on the anti spam button. Next time let me know on twitter, so I can get your comment out of the trash, I try to check every week or so, but most people just comment another time. I am always amazed at that ๐Ÿ™‚

      I remember you mentioning the same thing about America and Maxon how likable they where. I was really pleasenatly surprised by that. I actually didn’t mind the light world building, as long as you go in expecting that, it’s okay. And the story was just so fun and enjoyable. I hope I can get the rest of the series soon, unfortunately netgalley rejected my request for the next two books :(.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Why do you want to read a Book?My Profile

    • I am looking forward to hear what you think of this book! And indeed I don’t miss instaloves either. I much prefer a slower building romance, like this book has.

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! I actually heard so many things about this book, it made me a bit hesistant to rea dit, but I am so glad I read it as it was such a fun book.

  7. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Selection, Lola. It’s on my tbr and since Berls loved it too, I think it’s safe to say I will. I like the sound of how America speaks her mind without worrying about the consequences – and that she didn’t even want to participate so she’s not so caught up in the ‘process’. It is sad that the worldbuilding wasn’t that great but I think, like you, I can forgive that if the author can make me fall in the love with the characters and the story overall. Great review, Lola. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Berk Reviews ~ The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet ~ Erin DionneMy Profile

    • Berls her review pretty much convinced me I had to read and then when i saw it on netgalley I just had to give it a try. America is a great main character and she’s just so down to earth and speaking ehr mind to the prince, it was refereshing.
      The world building wasn’t great, but it didn’t impact my overal enjoyment, it’s such a fun book, that the bad world building is only a minor complaint. And in this case the world building just wasn’t the focus, so it didn’t matter, as you don’t need to understand a lot about the world. I hope you’ll enjoy this one as well!
      Lola recently posted…Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer EstepMy Profile

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