2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Saturday, 1 February 2014

REVIEW: The Selection - Keira Cass

Saturday, 1 February 2014
PAGES: 272
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Kids
FORMAT: Paperback
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 3 Stars

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals...It's the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love. Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others. Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don't know is that America has a secret - one which could throw the whole competition...and change her life forever.

I must stop judging books by their covers. I must stop judging books by their covers. If I keep telling myself that maybe one day I'll listen. 

The gist of the story is America Singer, narrator and generally stubborn lead character is picked in a lottery to become a contestant in 'The Selection': a country-wide competition to find a girl to marry the crown price Maxon. There are a lot of dystopian similarities between this and The Hunger Games but obviously with none of the gravity. 

I have to say that I quite surprised myself by enjoying this book. I expected it to be rather shallow and although it almost is, America's character really brought it forward to me. She is funny and strong and doesn't cower in a corner like the rest of the girls. She has the best of both worlds and I really enjoyed the growing triangle between Prince Maxon and her former boyfriend Aspen. It's got a fun, glitzy edge to it with the rivalry between the girls and the television interviews. I really enjoyed the banter, it was witty and funny. 

I tried to grasp why she is called America and decided she is supposed to represent those traditional American values of being yourself and fighting for what you believe in. She certainly has freedom of speech. I'm still not completely convinced that this is what it means because I imagine that her name would be a comment on the society that she is currently living in, but you only get to touch on its politics and backstory.

I concluded that this book isn't really for that kind of analysis. It does try with the introduction of the rebels that try time and time again to attack the palace and the intriguing notion that history should be oral and records of it shouldn't exist, but I don't think it needs that. It's Gossip Girl meets The Bachelor and even though I never watch those types of shows I loved this.

The most disappointing part for me was the ending. There was no cliffhanger and even though I was left wanting more it wasn't in the way it should been. It was a cheap ending. There's no way you can read this book without the rest of the series and feel any kind of resolution, and at the same time there was also no 'oh my gosh' moment to make you run out for the next one.

Having said that I'm quite happy to read the rest of the series; this is light, fun reading that is a change for me.

- Bex.

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